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If you are looking for a microcosm of the U.S. struggle to fight extremism with a development face, look no further than Mali. Karin Brulliard's excellent piece in today's Washington Post (Africa on the front page!) explains the context just right: a poor country, long a crossroads of different cultures welcomed by tolerant Islam, is facing new pressures from foreign influences, including spillover from internal Algerian strife. The U.S.
Kudos to our friends at the African Development Bank for their recent launching of a new blog, Building Africa Today. So far it is providing regular updates of African currencies, stock markets, commodities, and other data relevant to those following economic trends on the continent. Any quick scan of the blog also shows that this is not your father’s AfDB of the 1980s: the blog and the Bank are both heavily focused on private sector activity.
New York Times columnist Nick Kristof just announced his 2010 Win a Trip contest. The lucky winner will accompany Kristof on a reporting trip to Africa to cover global poverty. This contest is a rare opportunity for a university student to experience a part of the world that few Americans see with such a seasoned expert like Kristof.
I wrote in a CGD Note last week with Tom Slayton about how the Philippines are engaging in aggressive buying techniques that seem designed to drive up prices, raising the specter of another rice price crisis such as what befell us in early 2008.
Nigeria is proposing to transfer a 10 percent stake in the national oil company to delta communities; citizens of the delta would then be entitled to cash benefits, delivered through a trust-type mechanism. Read about it here.
That would be a real live breakthrough on a good idea proposed in CGD papers for Iraq and Ghana.
As part of an ongoing effort to persuade the leaders of the G-20 countries to better address the needs of poor countries in their Summit, CGD president Nancy Birdsall visited Pittsburgh yesterday with a small band of CGDers in tow, myself included.