Hunger in Africa, Land of Plenty Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Anis Chowdhury

Globally, 108 million people faced food crises in 2016, compared to about 80 million in 2015 – an increase of 35%, according to the 2017 Global Report on Food Crises. Another 123 million people were ‘stressed', contributing to around 230 million such food insecure people in 2016, of whom 72% were in Africa. The highest hunger levels are in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) according to the Global Hunger Index 2016. The number of ‘undernourished' or hungry people in Africa increased from about 182 million in the early 1990s to around 233 million in 2016 according to the FAO, while the global…

Out of Africa: Understanding Economic Refugees Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Anis Chowdhury

Not a single month has passed without dreadful disasters triggering desperate migrants to seek refuge in Europe. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), at least 2,247 people have died or are missing after trying to enter Europe via Spain, Italy or Greece in the first half of this year. Last year, 5,096 deaths were recorded. The majority – including ‘economic migrants', victims of ‘people smugglers', and so on – were young Africans aged between 17 and 25. The former head of the British mission in Benghazi (Libya) claimed in April that as many as a million more were…

Hillary Clinton’s Morally Superior Speech in Africa was Deluded Jayati Ghosh

Reports on Hillary Clinton's trip to Africa describe her as warning African leaders about co-operation with countries that want to exploit the continent's resources. In the pious and slightly smug tone that people in Africa – and, indeed, the rest of the developing world – are only too used to hearing from North Atlantic leaders, Clinton apparently went on to say the US would stand up for democracy and universal human rights "even when it might be easier or more profitable to look the other way, to keep the resources flowing … Not every partner makes that choice, but we…

Can Africa and China Learn from Each Other? Lim Mah-Hui

The following is a speech made by Dr. Lim Mah-Hui on behalf of the South Centre at a Seminar on the 18th meeting of Afreximbank Advisory Group on Trade and Export Development in Africa, High-level Roundtable 1– Can Africa learn from China?, in Beijing on July 13. The seminar was held in conjunction with the 19th General Meeting of Shareholders of African Export-Import Bank. The South Centre is thus very pleased to be invited here to take part in a meeting on this important topic -- the relationship and cooperation between Africa and China. China is a huge country that…

The Paradox of Famine. Erik S. Reinert

Again we are witnessing a hunger crisis in Africa. We should give all the help we can, but we should also ask ourselves one basic question: why does famine occur only in those countries that are specialized in agriculture? It is indeed a paradox: to a nation having a high percentage of population engaged in agriculture signifies a high risk of famine. Why is it that countries where only a tiny percentage of the population make their living producing food - like Europe and the USA -in fact produce so much more than they consume that they dump excess production…

China’s African Hinterland C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

China’s growing presence in Africa has led to arguments that the country is seeking to meet its growing requirements of primary products, including oil, by building a relationship reminiscent of a colonial past with many African countries. In this article, the authors examine what the evidence reveals about this relationship. China_Hinterland (Download the full text in PDF format)

Rejection of EPAs by Africa: Implications for the Developing World Arindam Banerjee

The deadlock between the African countries and the European Union (EU) in the recent Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations has much wider implications than just being a failure of the two continents to forge a partnership on economic issues. In the rejection of the EPAs, the African economies have conveyed a clear message that they will increasingly strive for greater South-South cooperation than sign trade agreements with the North at the cost of endangering the livelihoods of their people. Africa_EU_EPA (Download the full text in PDF format)

The Mo Ibrahim Prize: Robbing Peter to pay Paul Issa Shivji

Punishment is to deter; often to take revenge. Reward is to encourage. Rewards can also be a recognition for outstanding, usually, individual achievements. Which acts are liable to punishment and which are rewarded depends on the dominant values of society. These can differ from society to society and from time to time within same society. Issues of democracy and dictatorship, of war and peace, of governance and state administration, do not fall within the realm of a system of punishment and rewards. Of course, victorious powers recognise their war heroes and vanquished bury their martyrs with honour. But then heroes…

Who Does Bear the Costs of Compliance with Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures in Poor Countries? Mehdi Shafaeddin

Drawing on the available evidence, this paper examines the cost of compliance with Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures for poor countries with reference to Africa. It shows that the burden of cost of compliance is entirely on the exporters despite the fact that their capacity for compliance is limited. More specifically, it is shown that the main characteristics of the SPS Agreement and the related measures applied by main importing countries are such that they require a complex, difficult and high cost “SPS” system. poor_countries (Download the full text in PDF format)

Modelling the Impact of Trade Liberalisation: A critique of computable general equilibrium models Lance Taylor and Rudiger von Arnim

Oxfam Research Report, 2006 The paper presents a review and critique of the most widely used trade models based on computable general equilibrium (or CGE) models, explaining the fundamental weaknesses of CGE models, paying particular attention to the way that CGE models conceptualise and measure welfare. The authors also show that the manner in which the World Bank uses CGE modelling is highly problematic as it makes implausible assumptions about elasticities, the exchange rate, and macro causality in a negligent manner, and this is particularly problematic in the context of developing economies. The authors also identify a particular inconsistency inherent…

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