John Campbell

Africa in Transition

Campbell tracks political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

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Showing posts for "World Bank"

Black and White Income Inequality in South Africa and the United States

by John Campbell
A fruit vendor waits for customers at an informal settlement in Thokoza, south of Johannesburg, July 18, 2014. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Courtesy Reuters) A fruit vendor waits for customers at an informal settlement in Thokoza, south of Johannesburg, July 18, 2014. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Courtesy Reuters)

South Africa is notorious for having gross income inequality. Its GINI coefficient–a standard for measuring income inequality–is one of the highest in the world. The World Bank computed it at 63.1 in 2009, with zero being absolute equality and one hundred absolute inequality. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the GINI coefficient for the United States in 2012 was 47.7. When analyzing these two GINI coefficients, there is a danger of comparing apples with oranges. The GINI coefficients here cited were developed by two different institutions, no doubt with different methodologies. What GINI coefficients actually show is also a matter of debate. Still, they indicate income inequality was greater in South Africa than in the U.S. in recent years. Read more »

Bringing Solar Power and Hope to the DRC

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
War-orphaned children sit in cardboard boxes at the Kizito orphanage in Bunia in northeastern Congo, February 24, 2009. (Finbarr O'Reilly/Courtesy Reuters) War-orphaned children sit in cardboard boxes at the Kizito orphanage in Bunia in northeastern Congo, February 24, 2009. (Finbarr O'Reilly/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Allen Grane, former intern for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies program. Allen is currently an officer in the Army National Guard. His interests are in Africa, conflict, and conflict resolution. Read more »

African Economies: Growing Quickly But Transforming Slowly

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Labourers work at a mine believed to contain gold in Minna, Niger State, June 23, 2013. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) Labourers work at a mine believed to contain gold in Minna, Niger State, June 23, 2013. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Diptesh Soni. Diptesh is a master’s degree candidate at the Columbia University School of International Public Affairs (SIPA) studying economic and political development. You can read more by him at: https://dipteshsoni.contently.com/. Read more »

Tapping into Africa’s Potential: Why the Marginalized Matter

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A woman sets up her shop at the Konyo Konyo market in Juba, South Sudan, May 12, 2012. (Adriane Ohanesian/Courtesy Reuters) A woman sets up her shop at the Konyo Konyo market in Juba, South Sudan, May 12, 2012. (Adriane Ohanesian/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Lynn ElHarake, research associate for the Women and Foreign Policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“Africa is now the world’s youngest continent,” writes Makhtar Diop, vice president for Africa at the World Bank. “These young people have high expectations, and African policy makers are increasingly concerned about how to meet them.” Read more »

Response to Africa Glass Half Full or Half Empty

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
An Ethiopian man carries a stack of hay near Korem in the mountainous region.. 14/12/2004. (Radu Sigheti/Courtesy Reuters) An Ethiopian man carries a stack of hay near Korem in the mountainous region.. 14/12/2004. (Radu Sigheti/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Owen Cylke. Mr. Cylke is a development professional and a retired senior foreign service officer with USAID.

The discussion over whether Africa’s glass is half full or half empty simply allows each side to argue their case–over and over again.  McKinsey will argue that Africa’s long-term prospects are strong while the African Development Bank will counter that, in fifty years, one-third of Africa’s population will still be living with an income below $1.25 a day. Read more »

Guest Post: Rural Futures

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A worker picks tea at a plantation in Githunguri, 30 km (18 miles) from Kenya's capital Nairobi, January 6, 2012. (Thomas Mukoya/Courtesy Reuters) A worker picks tea at a plantation in Githunguri, 30 km (18 miles) from Kenya's capital Nairobi, January 6, 2012. (Thomas Mukoya/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Owen Cylke. Mr. Cylke is a development professional and a retired senior foreign service officer with USAID. In his post, he discusses the CAADP meeting in Nairobi in early May, and agriculture’s future role in development. In a related development, the White House recently announced a new U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, a strategy underscoring the role of agriculture in spurring economic growth, trade, and investment. Read more »

Guest Post: Aid Ironies and Djibouti’s “Invisible Undercitizens”

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A baby receives treatment for malnutrition at a Medecins Sans Frontieres facility for outpatients in Fajigole, a village near Shashemene, Oromiya region in this May 23, 2008 picture. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters) A baby receives treatment for malnutrition at a Medecins Sans Frontieres facility for outpatients in Fajigole, a village near Shashemene, Oromiya region in this May 23, 2008 picture. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Jim Sanders, a career, now retired, West Africa watcher for various federal agencies. The views expressed below are his personal views and do not reflect those of his former employers.

Returning from an early autumn vacation in Acadia National Park last year, we exited I-95 near Waterville, Maine to grab a Starbucks coffee at a nearby mall. Seeking a second opinion on my theory that the Subaru station-wagon was the state car of Maine, I approached a total stranger who was climbing out of his Toyota Prius. After affirming that, in fact, he had owned one himself, the man identified himself as Dr. David Austin, a local physician. He also mentioned his upcoming tour in Djibouti, as a Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontiers, or MSF) physician, and explained that he had previously served in Sudan (Darfur) and Congo. Read more »

Africa and the World Bank Presidency

by John Campbell
Nigeria's Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala attends an economic conference in the capital Abuja October 20, 2011. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) Nigeria's Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala attends an economic conference in the capital Abuja October 20, 2011. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

Many Africans were proud that the continent fielded a highly qualified candidate for the World Bank presidency, Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. By the time the vote took place, serious African observers recognized that the American candidate would win. But, there was also satisfaction that the three sub-Saharan heavyweights – Nigeria, South Africa, and Angola – had come together to nominate and support her. Read more »

The Economist Endorses Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

by John Campbell
Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala speaks during a media briefing in Pretoria March 23, 2012. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Courtesy Reuters) Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala speaks during a media briefing in Pretoria March 23, 2012. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Courtesy Reuters)

The Economist has strongly endorsed Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the presidency of the World Bank. The March 31st editorial argues that the American and European “carving up” for the leadership positions at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund is outdated, and that the poor qualifications of President Obama’s nominee, Dr. Jim Yong Kim provides an opportunity to end it. It also calls on the Colombian candidate José Antonio Ocampo, a former finance minister, to withdraw “gracefully.” Read more »

Africa Unlikely to Win World Bank Presidency

by John Campbell
Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim (C) walks off stage with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner (L) after U.S. President Barack Obama (not pictured) named Kim as his nominee to be the next president of the World Bank, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, March 23, 2012. (Jonathan Ernst/Courtesy Reuters) Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim (C) walks off stage with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner (L) after U.S. President Barack Obama (not pictured) named Kim as his nominee to be the next president of the World Bank, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, March 23, 2012. (Jonathan Ernst/Courtesy Reuters)

Nigeria, South Africa, and Angola are supporting the candidacy of Nigeria’s foreign minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, for the World Bank (WB) presidency. For that office, President Obama has nominated the president of Dartmouth and a medical doctor, Jim Yong Kim, who has a distinguished background in development — but not in business, finance or politics, as his predecessors have had. Read more »