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Showing posts for "Sub-Saharan Africa"

Mo Ibrahim on Africa’s Growth

by Isobel Coleman
Children listen to their teacher during a lesson at a camp for internally displaced people in Naivasha, Kenya, June 2008 (Courtesy Reuters/Antony Njuguna). Children listen to their teacher during a lesson at a camp for internally displaced people in Naivasha, Kenya, June 2008 (Courtesy Reuters/Antony Njuguna).

Earlier this week, we hosted Mo Ibrahim, the global telecom magnate and founder and chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, at the Council on Foreign Relations. Ibrahim spoke intelligently about Africa’s development and governance challenges. His insights are relevant to some of my earlier posts regarding inequality and the youth bulge in Africa.

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Africa’s Arrested Development

by Isobel Coleman
A student writes on a blackboard in a classroom outside of Lome, Togo, April 2013. (Courtesy Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi). A student writes on a blackboard in a classroom outside of Lome, Togo, April 2013. (Courtesy Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi).

Last month, I wrote about the economic and social reforms that have boosted Africa’s growth, and the challenges the region still faces going forward. This week, David Smith of The Guardian wrote on a similar theme, questioning the popular narrative of “Africa rising.” Based on survey data, Smith argues that recent optimism about the continent is misguided: although there has been economic growth, it has not helped average Africans. Indeed, in some countries – including in South Africa, the continent’s largest economy – poverty rates are increasing.

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New From CFR: John Campell on “Scoring Africa”

by Development Channel Staff
A boy takes a rest after digging for gold in Napotpot, South Sudan October 2012 (Courtesy Reuters/Adriane Ohanesian). A boy takes a rest after digging for gold in Napotpot, South Sudan October 2012 (Courtesy Reuters/Adriane Ohanesian).

In a recent blog post, John Campbell calls attention to a new infographic that compares African countries and serves as, “a great introductory tool to a host of African issues. It also provides a fascinating overview of the differences among the various African countries—and the differences within a single country.”

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What Africa Needs to Succeed

by Isobel Coleman
Students at a public school in Gudele, South Sudan, April 2013 (Courtesy Reuters/Andreea Campeanu). Students at a public school in Gudele, South Sudan, April 2013 (Courtesy Reuters/Andreea Campeanu).

In the early 2000s, Africa’s future seemed grim. The Economist’s May 13, 2000 cover declared “Africa: The Hopeless Continent.” But over a decade later, when The Economist again devoted a feature story to the continent, the message had changed entirely to “Africa Rising.” A new book by Jonathan Berman, Success in Africa: CEO Insights from a Continent on the Rise, aims to explain how this transformation happened and what the world can expect from a now-hopeful continent.

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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 »