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Human Development and Poverty (280)

Malawi has been in the headlines, following pop-star Madonna's battles to adopt a second child from this tiny, landlocked southern African state. But as Malawi gears up to celebrate its 45th independence day on 6 July, it's a good time to reflect on the lessons of its recent political trajectory. There were very high hopes for Malawi following its democratisation in 1994, after decades as a one-party state. But where does the country stand now?
This book wipes the lustre off Africa's sparkling success story, Botswana. Through the pages of a relatively slim volume, Australian Professor Kenneth Good, who was declared an ‘Undesirable Immigrant' and deported from Botswana in June 2005, painstakingly unearths a different reality to this much-vaunted case of African exceptionalism.
In April 2009, the Western Cape branch of SAIIA hosted a public seminar addressed by Simon Lacey, Senior Trade Advisor (legal) - Trade Law Chambers.  He spoke on the topic 'World in Crisis - Can the Trading System Still Serve Developing Nations?'
As leaders of the world's most productive economies meet in London on Thursday, street activism around the need for poverty alleviation and action on climate change is expected to divert the world's gaze from official proceedings. For African governments and civil society organizations, any diversion which focuses attention on issues of social justice will be welcome.
Since reaching their peak in mid 2008 after increasing since 2003, global food prices began moderating. Many conferences were held to find solutions and A Common Framework of Action (CFA) was adopted by the United Nations (UN) to reverse the crisis. However, as the global financial crisis intensified food prices fell and the flurry of conferences and media activity subsequently died away.
Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Chinese Migration in Africa

SAIIA Occasional Paper, No 24, February 2009
Seeking 'African solutions to African problems' is frequently adopted as a mantra to conflict resolution by a curious partnership of African leaders eager to prove their capacity to meet their own challenges, and western powers who have historically been eager to help Africa along but increasingly prefer to let Africans clean up after their own mess or dig themselves in deeper. African solution efforts draw widespread scepticism from observers who have witnessed the African Union (AU) struggle to resolve conflicts in trouble spots such as Sudan's Darfur region, and among Africa's traditional Western donors who have poured aid into Africa…
Friday, 30 January 2009

"Helping" Africa

Particular moments - like Barack Obama's presidential inauguration - seem wired with history. Expectations are high that he will be a natural friend of Africa. Could his presidency be the historical moment in which Africa assumes its place in the world?
Poachers are not the core problem in the management of South African marine resources, it is poor policy. This poor policy effectively turns ordinary traditional fishers into poachers and traditional law enforcement strategies are failing to curb the problem. 
More countries have a firmer grasp of the extent of the epidemic - in 2004 only 102 countries maintained consistent records, whereas in 2008 45 more have better, more rigorous information about the epidemic.
Swaziland’s parliamentary elections have underlined the dire and longstanding problems that confront the small southern African nation. The country needs seriously to reconsider its political arrangements if it is to deal with the challenges it faces.
The 63rd Session of the General Assembly, which opened this Tuesday, 16 September 2008, will surely be of particular significance to President Thabo Mbeki. Not only will his address to the General Assembly Session - on 24 September 2008 - be his last as President of South Africa, but the Session will no doubt be of great importance, given its focus on the African Agenda as well as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
As this year's International Aids Conference begins in Mexico City, AllAfrica guest columnist George Katito says African governments and civil society will need to assert themselves more vigorously if the goal of an Aids-free generation is to be realised.
Senior Research Associate
The recent report of a high-level aid watchdog says the G8 group of industrialized nations has fallen short of its aid promises to Africa by U.S. $40 billion. Although the report stops short of charting a clear way forward in the relationship, it proposes some positive measures, writes AllAfrica guest columnist George Katito, and this week's G8 Summit needs to identify bottlenecks to aid flows.
Position: ResearcherProgramme: Economic Diplomacy Programme
In the past decade South Africa has seen an exponential growth in cash-in-transit robberies, vehicle hijacking, illicit drug trade and white-collar crime, among others. The level of skill in the planning and execution of these organised criminal acts is creating considerable problems for the police, prosecutors, financial institutions and private security companies.
eAfrica Volume 2, August 2004Children languish as leaders fumble to meet even minimal goals; 10 points that need attention.
eAfrica, August 2005 IN SOUTH Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province, a 30-year water and sanitation concession signed in 1999 between a local municipality and Siza Water Company has been criticised but also has improved infrastructure and service delivery in the area. The Borough of Dolphin Coast municipality (now absorbed into the Ilembe District Municipality) chose the private sector partly as a result of projections in developmental growth and also because they lacked the money to upgrade the existing bulk water and sanitation infrastructure, which was in a poor state.
eAfrica Volume 2, June 2004 EVELYN Mudzongachiso represents the last link in one of Zimbabwe's many chains of modern misery. The worse things get under President Robert Mugabe's deepening repression, the more people are attempting to leave the country. As more people try to get exit visas, foreign embassies tighten their requirements. The harder it becomes to get a visa, the greater the demand for bribes. 'I am a teacher by profession and I am getting nothing, so why should I be patriotic to a system which is not grateful to what I'm offering?' said Mudzongachiso, a resident of a…
BOTH Latin America and SA experienced positive economic growth last year, coupled with stable exchange rates, controlled inflation and a strong domestic consumer market. But severe poverty, a worsening income gap and uncertainty about the sustainability of economic growth are the real challenges that both face in the future.
Each year, the Outlook also provides an in-depth analysis of a topic critical for Africa's development prospects. The 2007 focus is on Access to Drinking Water and Sanitation. Some 10 million people have been given access annually to drinking water over 1990-2004 in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Edited by Peroshni Govender and Steven Gruzd SAIIA: 2004ISBN: 1-919969-16-0Published by SAIIA & funded by the Royal Netherlands Embassy. This report highlights the challenges in African education and encourages governments to start planning and expanding their secondary education sector. The report was edited and produced by SAIIA's Nepad and Governance project which is funded by Royal Netherlands Embassy.
African agriculture is in crisis, and the price tag the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) has put on its recovery is not small. Nepad estimates donors (mainly) will have to cough up $251bn between 2002 and 2015. Currently, the continent gets about $16bn in development aid and imports food worth about $19bn every year.
Herewith the listing of news and media items written by researchers involved in SAIIA's Development Through Trade project. Articles are not necessarily confined to the project's area of focus. December 2007 Development through Trade (monthly column) by Phil Alves, as featured in the Business Day Exporter, 04 December 2007 November 2007 Multilateralizing Regionalism - Implications for Africa by Peter Draper, as featured in Business in Africa, 15 November 2007 Rival crews can both steer by the star of competition by Peter Draper and Raymond Parsons, as featured in the Business Day, 09 November 2007 Development through Trade (monthly column) by…
eAfrica, Volume 2, February 2004 THE predictions certainly seemed plausible. Mix drought with Mugabe’s chaotic upheaval on the commercial farms and what once was a bread basket was bound to become a dust bowl. Aid agencies have warned repeatedly over the past three years that half of Zimbabwe’s 12 million citizens were sitting on the brink of starvation.
Monday, 28 April 2008

While All Around They Die

eAfrica, volume 2, April 2004 ON THE impassable dirt lanes that cut through her township outside Maputo, Mozambique's capital, very few people know that Sharmila is HIV-positive. She hopes to keep it that way — and even though she lives in the conditions that accelerate the more graphic, tell-tale manifestations of full-blown AIDS, she just might be able to. 
eAfrica, Volume 2, May 2004 African and Western policymakers refine agenda for continent's development in Maputo AT A time when Africa is struggling to redefine its place in the global village and battling against marginalisation in a world shaken by terrorism, the African Partnership Forum - a vehicle originally established for dialogue between Nepad and the Group of Eight industrialised countries - provides a key window on the continent's progress. 
eAfrica Volume 2, June 2004 EVELYN Mudzongachiso represents the last link in one of Zimbabwe's many chains of modern misery. The worse things get under President Robert Mugabe's deepening repression, the more people are attempting to leave the country. As more people try to get exit visas, foreign embassies tighten their requirements. The harder it becomes to get a visa, the greater the demand for bribes.
eAfrica Volume 2, July 2004  School feeding schemes provide incentives for destitute families to keep their children in class THE air-conditioned UN Land Cruiser deposited me next to a line of barefoot children that cut across a bone-dry schoolyard. A group of women scooped steaming cups of maize meal into the children's red plastic dishes as ribbons of steam curled up into their faces from the battered pots. Boys and girls gathered in clutches outside their classroom, laughing and eating with relish, as a group of colourfully dressed Masai stood forlornly with their emaciated Brahmin cattle in the background.