All tagged Development Economics

As they signed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), all countries pledged to reach and deliver progress for those who are furthest behind first. People caught in crisis – those living in conflict, and those who are displaced within their own countries or across borders – often fall through the cracks of different authorities’ responsibilities or are explicitly excluded by governments in their national and sectoral plans.

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African governments are battling rumors that they are about to hand over state assets to the Chinese. The debt debate is flawed—not least for underestimating Western contributions to African debt. Nevertheless, it is revealing. In particular, the debate reflects an anxiety that has haunted relations between China and the continent since the beginning of this century: the massive power gap between China and individual African countries.

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Over half of the world’s least developed and lowest income countries are currently exploring for oil and gas or hoping to expand existing production. Yet tightening climate policies and shifting energy investment trends suggest that the time frame for profitable oil and gas production will be limited. This fundamentally changes the prospects for developing countries that hope to use fossil fuels as a ‘leading sector’ for growth over the next decade.

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The term artisanal mining is fairly new and reflects a changing perspective on what is still referred to as “illegal mining” in many countries. There’s a growing debate on regulating this small scale mining, to prevent them eating into official revenues, but also to prevent the rights abuses that have become part of the microcosm’s created by these mining communities.

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Governments, multilateral agencies and development-financing officials are usually pretty clear-eyed about the huge economic potential that could be unlocked by getting Africa better connected across its often arbitrary colonial-era borders. Doing this is easier said than done among 54 countries spread across a land mass that could take in China, India, the United States mainland and still have room for most of Europe.

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