how China sees Africa: We get commodities, you get infrastructure. Cool?

H/T Paul Kedrosky! On the shopping list for my next civilisation run is the latest bestseller "The Ascent of Money: The Financial History of the World" of Niall Ferguson, a Scottish intellectual gifted with breaking down history, finance and politics into simple understandable language. Here he talks about China and Africa in an interview: Q Is China’s rise to power a bad thing? A It is not a bad thing that the most populous country in the world is emerging from grinding poverty and hundreds of thousands of people who were in subsistence agriculture now have better paying jobs. That can’t be a bad thing. The problem is that in the realm of politics, China’s [position] is not necessarily benign. They [do not] remotely share our … [Read more...]

crisis innovations

One of the frustrations of working on a development project with a focus on policy work is that the impact on very urgent needs is years away. There is certainly value to shaping the legal environment to pave the way for changes to set roots. But as I mentioned in an earlier post about why I use twitter, I'm interested in how social issues are tackled now, across different continents. So check out the practical ideas borne out of  crises around the world. One of them hit the NY Times lately, Africa's Gift to Silicon Valley: How to Track a Crisis. @Ushahidi suggests a new paradigm in humanitarian work. The old paradigm was one-to-many: foreign journalists and aid workers jet in, report on a calamity and dispense aid with whatever … [Read more...]