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Showing posts for "Sub-Saharan Africa"

New From CFR: Petroleum to the People

by Development Channel Staff
Nigerians scoop petrol after a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation pipeline burst in April 2006 (Courtesy Reuters). Nigerians scoop petrol after a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation pipeline burst in April 2006 (Courtesy Reuters).

In a recent Foreign Affairs article, Larry Diamond and Jack Mosbacher discuss Africa’s resource curse and development strategies that could help avoid it. Read more »

Measuring Human Rights Fulfillment

by Terra Lawson-Remer
A Kenyan student looks through a broken window in a classroom in Nairobi, Kenya, January 2005 (Courtesy Reuters/Antony Njuguna). A Kenyan student looks through a broken window in a classroom in Nairobi, Kenya, January 2005 (Courtesy Reuters/Antony Njuguna).

Unlike other economic and social metrics of performance, human rights, as codified in international human rights laws, are an irreducible, non-negotiable framework for assessing wellbeing. Adopted by countries through binding international treaties, human rights represent an explicit consensus between countries about fundamental rights and obligations. Read more »

Soap Operas as “Edutainment”

by Isobel Coleman
Children watch television in the Meerwada village in central India, June 2012 (Adnan Abidi/Courtesy Reuters). Children watch television in the Meerwada village in central India, June 2012 (Adnan Abidi/Courtesy Reuters).

Turns out, popular media is not always a mindless distraction. There is evidence that so-called “education-entertainment,”  which weaves important information about health, safety, and cultural issues into an enticing plot line, can be highly effective in combating cultural prejudices and encouraging positive behavior. Read more »

New From CFR: Jim Sanders on Climate Change and Conflict

by Development Channel Staff
A burning palm oil plantation in Indonesia, June 2013 (Beawiharta/Courtesy Reuters). A burning palm oil plantation in Indonesia, June 2013 (Beawiharta/Courtesy Reuters).

In a guest post on John Campbell’s blog last week, Jim Sanders, a retired West Africa watcher for various U.S. federal agencies, discusses how climate change fuels conflict. Read more »

Egypt’s Civil Society–and Democratic Transition–on Trial

by Terra Lawson-Remer
Friends of Egyptian suspects react as they listen to the judge's verdict at a court room during a case against foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Cairo, June 4, 2013 (Asmaa Waguih/Courtesy Reuters). Friends of Egyptian suspects react as they listen to the judge's verdict at a court room during a case against foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Cairo, June 4, 2013 (Asmaa Waguih/Courtesy Reuters).

Last week an Egyptian court sentenced over three dozen people working for foreign NGOs to prison terms for “receiving illegal funds from abroad and operating unlicensed organizations.” These convictions are not just a sign of a weak and faltering democratic transition. By discouraging the formation of a vigorous civil society, they also strike a fundamental blow to the sustainability of freedom and democracy in Egypt over the long term.

Read more »

Boosting Education in Africa

by Terra Lawson-Remer
Pupils in Zimbabwe study outside their classrooms at Courtney Selous Primary School, a government-run school in the capital Harare, February 10, 2010 (Philimon Bulawayo/Courtesy Reuters). Pupils in Zimbabwe study outside their classrooms at Courtney Selous Primary School, a government-run school in the capital Harare, February 10, 2010 (Philimon Bulawayo/Courtesy Reuters).

Last week on the Ask CFR Experts feature, I took on the question of how Zimbabwe and other African countries can best improve educational quality. Noting that educational failures are often due as much to corruption as to scarce resources, I recommended greater transparency in school expenditures. As I write: Read more »

New From CFR: Backgrounder on South Africa’s Economy

by Development Channel Staff
A female mine worker is seen underground at Lonmin's Karee mine in Rustenburg, South Africa, 100 km (62 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, March 5, 2013 (Siphiwe Sibeko/Courtesy Reuters). A female mine worker is seen underground at Lonmin's Karee mine in Rustenburg, South Africa, 100 km (62 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, March 5, 2013 (Siphiwe Sibeko/Courtesy Reuters).

In a new CFR Backgrounder, CFR.org’s Christopher Alessi explores the lingering inequalities in South Africa’s economy and the obstacles to faster growth, from educational failures to a shortage of labor-intensive manufacturing. As he writes: Read more »

Africa’s Growing Prospects

by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
A view is seen of the Nigeria stock exchange building in the central business district in Lagos, April 10, 2013 (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters). A view is seen of the Nigeria stock exchange building in the central business district in Lagos, April 10, 2013 (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters).

The African growth story continues as investors pour into Africa. Investment is booming and interest in the continent is surging as capital seeks regions still able to flourish despite the broader global economy’s fight to return to robust—or at least decent—health.

Read more »

The U.S. Supreme Court and Global Human Rights

by Terra Lawson-Remer
Plaintiff Esther Kiobel (L) joins a protest against Royal Dutch Shell Petroleum in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on October 1, 2012 (Gary Cameron/Courtesy Reuters). Plaintiff Esther Kiobel (L) joins a protest against Royal Dutch Shell Petroleum in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on October 1, 2012 (Gary Cameron/Courtesy Reuters).

On Tuesday the Supreme Court ruled that victims of torture, arbitrary executions, and other human rights abuses in foreign countries could not seek justice in U.S. courts. Read more »