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Africa

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Redefining public goods, for Africa

How do we constructively define public goods in contemporary Africa and what role can they play in the continent’s development? Jonathan Bhalla investigates.
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Princes’ Progress: Reconstruction and authority in Eritrea and Rwanda

While President Paul Kagame’s leadership of Rwanda has been championed as “visionary”, President Isaias Afwerki is accused of transforming Eritrea into a rogue, pariah state. Popular perceptions of these comparable countries have been simplistic – and polarised.
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Network-less mobile banking By Chris Marshall

Chris Marshall suggests that the progress of mobile banking in Nigeria will be a telling indicator for the viability of such a system elsewhere in Africa.
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Aid: protection or production

With Britain re-embracing a closer alignment of aid programmes and foreign policy, will support be given to countries attempting to build a base for their economic growth? Jenny Congrave sought some answers.
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Technology in Africa: Connecting the unconnected

The mere presence of cyber cafes and WAP enabled mobile phones will not entice the vast majority of Africans to go online, unless what they can access is relevant to their everyday lives, suggests Jonathan Bhalla.
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The cans and can’ts of technology in Africa

The challenge for technology entrepreneurs, business, NGOs and think tanks in Africa is to focus attention on clearly documenting what works – how and why – so lessons can be learned says Jonathan Bhalla.
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Skills migration: from ‘drain’ to gain

Jonathan Bhalla investigates whether a programme to encourage circular migration of skilled migrants would be a cost effective way to achieve the UK’s ambitious aid target.
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Why Africa can make it big in agriculture By Mark Ashurst and Stephen Mbithi

Self-sufficiency in food production is the new mantra of donors and policymakers in Africa. But farmers, large and small, can be much more ambitious. Agriculture is the continent’s most neglected – and important – potential competitive advantage. It is Africa’s best answe...
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Kenya’s Flying Vegetables: Small farmers and the ‘food miles’ debate by James Gikunju Muuru

In this highly personal and keenly argued commentary, James Gikunju Muuru makes the first detailed response by an African smallholder to the controversy over ‘food miles’. His account describes the serial feats of coordination, discipline, productivity and manual...
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No, Mr President: Mediation and military intervention in the African Union

Multilateral systems to support peace and democracy have evolved faster in Africa than in other regions. In the past decade, diplomatic and military intervention in Africa has become more frequent and more assertive than in Latin America, Asia or the Middle East. Africa’s...