March 26, 2017

Lifting Asia Out of Poverty

View from craft brewery Level 33, of Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay (right), Singapore Flyer (left) and the under construction Singapore Indoor Stadium (far left). (Photo by Peter Morgan, Creative Commons License)

Developing-Asia’s impressive growth continues but faces a new challenge — inequality is on the rise. Over the last few decades, the region has lifted people out of poverty at an unprecedented rate. But more recent experience contrasts with the ‘growth with equity’ story that characterized the newly industrialized economies’ transformation in the 1960s and 1970s.   Treating developing Asia as ... Read More »

Mining in Africa No Longer a Curse?

Copper mining in Kitwe, Zambia. (Photo by Panos/ Sven Torfinn, Creative Commons License)

The Hollywood blockbuster movie, Blood Diamond, tells a gripping story of how diamonds fueled Sierra Leone’s 11-year civil war, which erupted in 1991. It depicts kidnappings, use of child soldiers, amputations, rape, killings and destruction of bridges and hospitals, among other atrocities.   The movie, starring American actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly and Djimon Hounsou, brought world attention to the campaign ... Read More »

World’s Top Ten Billionaire Skyscraper Homes

One57 NYC

  When it comes to the most luxurious apartments in top city centers, the only way is up.   At least that is the opinion of a number of property developers who are wooing the ultra wealthy with lavishly-appointed skyscrapers in the most prestigious of neighborhoods, where large-scale lateral square footage is nearly impossible to find.   As well as ... Read More »

Ukraine Crisis Reigniting Europe’s Energy Security Dilemma

Europe's largest gas liquefaction plant was built in northern Norway. (Photo by Bilfinger SE, Creative Commons License)

International relations is witnessing the revival of oil and gas geopolitics as a decisive issue on the global political agenda. Rising demand, swelling energy costs and the ever-growing scarcity of resources has ushered in a new wave of competition for raw materials and energy reserves.   Consequently, the European Union (EU) is attempting to systematically incorporate energy security into its ... Read More »

The Risk of a Jobless Recovery in Southern Europe

Protest again foreclosures in Granada. (Photo by Patrick Colgan, Creative Commons License)

Financial crises are followed by significant increases in unemployment rates and the Great Recession will be no exception. Employment will not increase in earnest until overall demand in the market recovers its pre-boom strength, which will take time since the reduction of debts (also known as the deleveraging process) has barely started.   However, the financial crisis is not the ... Read More »

Diverting Blue Nile’s Course Could Take Africa to War

Blue Nile river is one of the two tributaries of the Nile river. (Photo by wo de shijie, Creative Commons License)

Water wars, many warn, could be around the corner. After the removal of former President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt has inherited a huge problem: Addis Ababa decided to divert the course of the Blue Nile late May, as part of its project to generate electricity through the construction of the Renaissance Dam. Ethiopia took the decision — which will have a ... Read More »

Is Africa’s Land up for Grabs?

An aerial view of fields in Laikipia County, Kenya. Photo: (Photo by Panos/Frederic Courbet, via Africa Renewal)

An apparent surge in the purchase of African land by foreign companies and governments to grow food and other crops for export has set alarm bells ringing on and off the continent. The headlines have been strident: “The Second Scramble for Africa Starts,” “Quest for Food Security Breeds Neo-Colonists,” “Food Security or Economic Slavery?”   The outcries reflect the continuing ... Read More »

Trading Away West Africa’s Hunger

Tighter security in Cameroon over Boko Haram threat is choking cross-border trade with Nigeria. (Photo by Monde Nfor/IRIN)

Poor roads and railways, high transaction costs, lack of sufficient market information, incoherent trade policies by governments and bureaucratic hurdles are among limitations to free trade in West Africa. Import and export procedures are more costly and more time consuming in West Africa than any region of the world, experts say.   For instance, according to a 2010 study by the UN ... Read More »

The South-Africanization of Nigeria

(Map by Yodod, Creative Commons License)

Nigerians are so overwhelmed by the inadequacies of Nigeria; we easily ignore its strengths.  I am not talking here about Nigeria’s potentials; I am talking about Nigeria’s current actual status in the world economy.  I am talking about Nigeria as a country with the biggest consumer market in Africa.  Just think about it: the entire economy of Kenya is only ... Read More »

Greece Looks to Avoid a Third Bailout

(Photo by SpirosK photography)

Greece is raising the prospect of debt relief with international lenders as Prime Minister Antonis Samaras announced a primary surplus of 1.5 billion euros as proof the country’s battered economy will begin to rebound this year.   Samaras said, however, he is keen to avoid a third bailout that may contain additional austerity measures, which he has repeatedly rejected, and ... Read More »