Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Case for Strong Social Policies & Human Development

Botswana has per capita income of $13,204 in 2008, while Costa Rica has a lower per capita income of $10,870. But Costa Rica has a life expectancy of 79 years and under five mortality rates of 11 yrs/1000 live births. By contrast Botswana, with its rapid economic development ranks low in human development indicators and has life expectancy of 55 years and child mortality of 31/1000 live births. How do u explain this disparity? Its not entirely on HIV and AIDS. Besides, HIV is an epidemic.

Economic development alone in terms of GDP growth or Per Capita income doesn't cut it, if there is no strong social policies to curtail inequality.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Why The Markets Hate Libya?

Off Mike Allen's PlayBook

“Libya is a big deal and not helpful to the world economy. At a minimum: Oil supplies disrupted, oil price increase is a drag on growth, war expenditures rip another unbudgeted hole in the budget … Worst case: All of the above, plus: Qaddafi survives and Libya is split between east and west (Benghazi and Tripoli). Egypt exerts dominance over the Benghazi half. Qadaffi teams up with Al Qaeda and unleashes a wave of terror in Western Europe in revenge for U.K., Italy and French participation in the coalition, Russia rearms Qadaffi, China gets the oil and Europe is driven closer to Russia (energy dependence now with no nuclear coming online and no Libyan oil). Over time, this starts to look like Iraq from 1991-2003, with a no-fly zone and ineffective oil-for-food sanctions and Saddam (now Qadaffi) still in power and a permanent thorn in our side. … Markets hate uncertainty and this situation has nothing but.”

Friday, March 18, 2011

Swagga la Peter Msechu

It should be a treat catching this guy performing live with his own band. I hope that is his plan. In this clip, he is performing Shida, which by itself is a classic track.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Digital Africa

From INTELLIGENT LIFE Magazine, Spring 2011

There were about 17m Facebook users in Africa at the start of this year, and there are expected to be 28m by the end of it. That means Africa is by far the least Facebooked continent, but the growth patterns indicate that the numbers will surge ahead as mobiles and data become more affordable. Facebook is already making its way in poorer countries. The number of Facebook users in Tanzania quadrupled in 2010, to 200,000. It is expected to quadruple again this year, giving Tanzania more Facebook users than graduates.

Interesting observation

There are signs that a new generation is outmanouevring the old. January Makamba, a youthful Tanzanian politician touted as a presidential hopeful, used Facebook to rally supporters and money when he won a parliamentary seat for the Bumbuli constituency in the hills between Mount Kilimanjaro and the Indian Ocean last year. Makamba brought an aide on the campaign trail whose role was to take pictures and write stories for Makamba’s Facebook page. The target audience was not impoverished Bumbuli, but Makamba’s peers back in the city: a sophisticated web presence was meant to attract ideas and funds and set Makamba apart from the bruisers, apparatchiks and army officers who also have designs on the presidency

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Is Libya Obama's Rwanda?

There are striking similarities, back then The US Marines were fresh off their embarrassment in Mogadishu and didn't want any part of foreign humanitarian intervention. Resulted (part of the blame) into a genocide in Rwanda.

Flash forward today, you have two failed military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan and nobody want to touch Libya--despite the evidence that Gaddafi is committing war crimes against his people. How are we going to look back at this moment?