Category: Foreign Aid

MDB “knowledge” banks

Former IMF chief economist Kenneth Rogoff says “far too little attention has been devoted to understanding why multilateral development lending has so often failed”. In his experience, MDBs are most valuable as “knowledge” banks — sharing soft development infrastructure such as experience and best practices rather than financial muscle. The latter, he says, has led to their “greatest failures”.

Five years after earthquake, Haiti’s journalists show resilience amid threats to freedom of the press

Divided before the earthquake of 2010, the disaster united Haiti’s media landscape out of necessity and in the face of a strong adversary in the administration of President Michel Martelly. Nowadays, that landscape is facing a tight squeeze from a government opposed to press freedom and moneyed NGOs with communication agendas that outnumber the country’s news organizations 10 to 1. Shearon Roberts for Journalism in the Americas reports.

Just one more foreign investor

Much has been written about China in Africa — China’s #1 spot as Africa’s biggest trading partner, its massive investment in infrastructure development across the continent, its hands-off approach to domestic politics — but is talk of China’s domination in Africa overdone? The Economist reports.

Five years after the earthquake, Haiti remains on unsteady ground

Thousands of Haitians continue to live in tent camps five years on after a deadly earthquake brought an already struggling nation to its knees. This update by Jacob Kushner for the GlobalPost gets at the core of the country’s ongoing struggle for stability despite donor aid in the billions: as long as Haiti remains without property rights, the rule of law and a constitutional government, chaos will hobble recovery.

Africa in Fact: dirty dealing

The September 2014 issue of the monthly current affairs magazine, Africa in Fact, offers a dramatic snapshot of the all-embracing and, at times, astonishing ways in which the cancer of corruption impacts societies, diverting resources from much-needed public services, ranging from health care to national defence, into private pockets.

Fire on the water

(April 25, 2014) Lake Turkana, the world’s largest desert lake, has held water for at least five million years and is also known as the cradle of mankind for its abundance of hominid fossils, but may now suffer the same dry fate as the Aral Sea in central Asia thanks to hydro-electric development that ties neighbours Ethiopia and Kenya together. Writer Ben Rawlence looks here at how regional power plays can work against accountability and how the complexity of large projects and the many actors involved with them militates against holding anyone to account.

Kariba Dam collapse fears and disaster preparedness in Zimbabwe

(April 11, 2014) Experts say an aging mega-dam on the Zambezi River between Zambia and Zimbabwe is in imminent danger of collapse and poses a threat to 3.5 million people. Zimbabwe’s disaster preparedness was revealed as “extremely weak” earlier this year after torrential rains caused the partial collapse of the country’s Tokwe-Mukosi dam, which displaced thousands and forced the government to declare it a national disaster.