“We need African solutions to African problems”

Nigeria’s Finance Minister & Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala was recently interviewed by CNN Marketplace Africa.

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Interesting articles I came across this week

1. Why Africa needs it’s own Ivy League institution from Think Africa Press twitter feed

2.  “Letter to a young social entrepreneur: the poor are not the raw material for your salvation” from the Pioneer Post via AidWatch twitter feed

3. Entrepreneurship becoming a more respectable career in Africa

4. African students who invented an anti-malaria soap

5. A report on linkages between Higher Education Institutions in Africa and the productive sector

6. Africa needs new breed of leaders

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Who is developing who really?

Simply mindblowing…

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Comment on African Economists vs. Western Economists

Justin Sandefur over at the Center or Global Development shed light on what seems to be  a very interesting pattern in development economics/African development. He looked at the papers from the recent Center for Study of African Economies conference (presentations – first graph and submissions -2nd graph). He rightly points out than African are disproportionately interested in jobs while Non-Africans are most interested in institutions. My inclination would be to believe that this finding is not non-trivial. That was my exact thinking when I posted this. What I wonder though is why? Why is it that Africans seems to be focused on labor, agriculture, poverty while Non-Africans are focused on political economy and institutional factors? I don’t really have an answer to this but I would like to think that logically African researchers are likely to be closer to local issues (whether physically when they are studying the issues from Africa or mentally because they grew up close to the issues at hand).

It’s really great that an army of devout development economists and policymakers are dedicating their life’s work to the cause of the well-being of Africans, but the implications red flags such as the one Sandefur is raising in these graphs are important to discuss. I would be thrilled to listen to a debate about African development between experts who work in Africa for Africa (regardless of origin) and those who work outside of Africa for Africa (regardless of origin). And no, flying over for a couple of days or weeks of fieldwork does not count as working in Africa. It belongs to the latter category.

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African Economists vs. Western Economists part 2

African Economists vs. Western Economists part 2

Graph from Justin Sandefur @ the Center for Global Development; includes all papers submitted

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African Economists vs. Western Economists part 1

African Economists vs. Western Economists part 1

Graph from Justin Sandefur @ Center for Global Development based on 264 papers presented at a conference on African development at Oxford

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A little fun with international development

So during  a recent browsing adventure, I found out that The Guardian has a treasure trove of interactive games that can help you learn A LOT about not only world geography but also international development general and current issues. My favorite is the geography game which includes a section where you can try guessing countries GDP per capita!.I hope they will do something similar for human develodepositphotos_8052259-Kids-Blocks-Spelling-Play-Time-As-Symbol-for-Fun-And-Schoolpment indicators. Pretty cool way to learrn! I recommend it to anyone interested in international development!

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