Category Archives: Development

Senegal hunts for oil

From Bloomberg: Energy companies operating in Senegal will drill three offshore wells next year as the West African nation vies to join a growing group of regional crude producers, according to the state-owned oil company,Petrosen. Senegalese officials held talks with more than 10 oil companies this year in attempts to lure investors to its energy industry, said Joseph Medou, Petrosen’s geologist,… Read More »

Friday links

1. Another one strikes black gold (trying desperately to resist using the line from Queen’s popular song) 2. Can stocks be safer than bonds (strange times, right?) 3. Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, formerly of World Bank, then of Nigeria’s finance ministry, then of World Bank, returns to take charge of Nigeria’s economy 4.  Commentary on Islamic finance… Read More »

RCT, economics and qualitative research

Imagine how gratifying it is for me to wake up this morning and find this post by Edward Caar through a Twitter link: What brings me to today’s post is the new piece on hunger in Foreign Policy by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo.  On one hand, this is great news – good to see… Read More »

China in Africa, cont’d

The Economist: Once feted as saviours in much of Africa, Chinese have come to be viewed with mixed feelings—especially in smaller countries where China’s weight is felt all the more. To blame, in part, are poor business practices imported alongside goods and services. Chinese construction work can be slapdash and buildings erected by mainland firms… Read More »

The current assault on Microcredit

First of all, may we not be cursed with The Hype, otherwise known as being-blown-out-of-proportion-to-the-point-that-a-thing-can-only-disappoint. I really don’t understand this simplistic search for a silver bullet that will catalyse development and “solve the problem of poverty”. Poverty is caused by a whole lot of different factors that are horribly specific in different contexts, so why… Read More »

Europe and America’s ‘master narratives’ of Africa

G. Pascal Zachary in Fanzine: The master narratives about Africa are inevitably political; art about Africa and Africans, especially art created by non-Africans, inevitably becomes intertwined with the historical use and abuse of the African imaginary. The political entanglements of literary artists engaged with African affairs are complicated by the emergence of a new humanitarianism,… Read More »

On intellectual property rights and antiretroviral drugs

The Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), originally signed in 1994, gave developing countries until 2005 to bring their IP laws in line with the new legislation. With respect to drugs, Indian, Brazilian, and Thai pharmaceutical firms could no longer copy drugs that American and European firms had created. Before 2005, however,… Read More »

Does Aid work for Growth and Development?

Based on a thorough review of the professional research literature and a re-examination of key hypotheses, our answer is “yes”. That is from Channing Arndt, Sam Jones, and  Finn Tarp, all of University of Copenhagen. They continue: Our study represents the most carefully developed empirical strategy employed in the aid-growth literature to date. The results… Read More »

Democracy is back – how awkward

Gideon Rachman of FT writes: It is ironic that the democratic movements in the Arab world broke out just as autocracy seemed to be coming back into fashion. Francis Fukuyama, whose “end of history” thesis epitomised the democratic triumphalism of 1989, recently wrote an article for this newspaper that lauded China’s ability to “make large… Read More »