Talking Points on Economy and Development
Politicians and investors in Africa and around the world speak of
creating good jobs. In practice they most often promote a market-fundamentalist development model that sheds jobs while increasing profits for the 1%.
The "Africa Rising" narrative celebrating rapid economic growth
in many African countries contains a partial truth. New investment
in extractive industries to serve world markets is growing, and there
is rapid growth in information and communication technology as well.
But most Africans, whether in the rural areas or the burgeoning cities,
have little access to the wealth created. Jobs in the formal sector do not
come close to keeping up with expansion of the labor force. And government
policies marginalize the interests of workers and small farmers.
Sustainable development depends on public investment in health, education, and infrastructure, but these investments fall far short
of what is needed.
Significant change in economic policies, in Africa and around the world,
will only come if there is active transnational mobilization for economic justice
for the 99%. Such action must include not only political groups, but also
unions, farmers' organizations, human rights groups, churches, and others
in all sectors of society.
South African platinum miners organize a wildcat strike in October 2012.
T-shirts refer to massacre of striking miners at Marikana in August that year.
Recent bulletins on economy and development
May 25, 2015 Africa/Global: Africa, Race, and World Order
"The failure to acknowledge race as a fundamental feature of today's
unequal world order remains a striking weakness of radical as well
as conventional analyses of that order. Current global and national
socioeconomic hierarchies are not mere residues of a bygone era of
primitive accumulation. Just as it should be inconceivable to
address the past, present, and future of American society without
giving central attention to the role of African American struggles,
so analyzing and addressing 21st-century structures of global
inequality requires giving central attention to Africa."
May 18, 2015 Africa/Global: Decarbonizing Development?
Decarbonizing Development, a new report from the World Bank, lays
out a target of "zero carbon future" by the end of the century. The
target year goal is the most conservative of the options laid out
for negotiations in the climate summit in Paris in December. Such a
long transition can rightly be criticized by climate activists and
scientists as falling far short, as can the Bank's own record of continued
support for fossil fuels implicitly faulted in this report.
May 11, 2015 West Africa: Ebola Down But Not Out
"The [Ebola] epidemic is at its lowest but not over yet. The recent
weeks have seen an important decrease in new confirmed Ebola cases
across West Africa. Liberia is now close to being declared Ebolafree
on 9 May, while Sierra Leone and Guinea are finally getting
close to zero. However, the outbreak is not over until it's over at
the regional level." - Doctors without Borders, May 6 update
May 5, 2015 Africa/Global: Renewables Gaining Ground
"A key feature of 2014 was the continuing spread of renewable energy
to new markets. Investment in developing countries, at $131.3
billion, was up 36% on the previous year and came the closest ever
to overhauling the total for developed economies, at $138.9 billion,
up just 3% on the year. Indonesia, Chile, Mexico, Kenya, South
Africa and Turkey were all in the billion-dollar-plus club in 2014
in terms of investment in renewables." - UNEP / Bloomberg New Energy
by date | by place | by topic
April 27, 2015
Burundi: On the Brink?
April 22, 2015
South Africa: Saying No to Xenophobia
April 14, 2015
Europe/Africa: Deaths at Sea
April 8, 2015
Garissa: Not Just Numbers
March 30, 2015
South Africa: Energy Futures Contested
March 23, 2015
Africa/Global: Swiss Connections
March 17, 2015
Africa: Higher Education Must Be Higher Priority
March 10, 2015
Africa/Global: Falling Short on Climate Finance
March 3, 2015
East Africa: Water, Wind, and Lake Turkana
February 24, 2015
USA/Somalia: Rising Threat to Remittances
February 18, 2015
Africa: Privatizing Land and Seeds
February 11, 2015
Africa/Global: Archbishop Tutu on Fossil-Fuel Divestment
February 5, 2015
Africa/Global: Stopping Capital Losses
January 26, 2015
Burkina Faso: Hopes for New Beginnings
January 21, 2015
Africa/Global: Ebola Lessons & Questions
January 13, 2015
Nigeria: Elections/Security Disconnect