Why is Zambia so poor?
"I’m not going to tell Zambia how to run itself, what it needs to fix and in what order. The explanations I heard, they aren’t the whole puzzle, they aren’t even the biggest pieces. The only thing I’m able to conclude after my trip here is that it’s incredibly difficult for a poor country to go about getting un-poor. Just when you think you’ve got the right narrative, another one comes bursting out of the footnotes. It’s the informality. No, it’s the taxes. No, it’s the mining companies. No, it’s the regulators.
And that’s what makes fixing it so difficult."
This landlocked country in Sub-Saharan Africa isn’t a failed state in the traditional sense: There’s no dictator, no child soldiers. But most of its 14 million people live on less than $1 per day. How did things get this way, and can they ever get better?
Michael Maren, an outspoken critic of foreign aid and development assistance, gave an interview to Might Magazine
about the flaws in the current models for aid to Africa.
A Glimpse of the World
All across Africa, new tracks are being laid, highways built, ports deepened, commercial contracts signed
-- all on an unprecedented scale, and led by China, whose appetite for commodities
. Do China's grand designs promise the transformation, at last, of a star-crossed continent? Or merely its exploitation? The author
travels deep into the heart of Africa, searching for answers. [more inside]
Shower of Aid Brings Flood of Progress
- "An experiment that is bombarding a Kenyan town of 65,000 with health care, education, and job training seems to be achieving its goal of rapidly lifting people out of poverty, but can the results be magnified?" [more inside]
"The conventional wisdom that Africa is not reducing poverty is wrong
." [PDF, 339.97 KB] [more inside]
A Taste of Africa.
Life as a development worker in the Horn of Africa.
Did you know that...
Aid fell in the 1990s—by nearly a third on a per capita basis in Sub-Saharan Africa? In Sub Saharan Africa, half the population lives on less than 1$ a day? At current rates Sub-Saharan Africa will not meet the poverty Goal until 2147? If all the food produced worldwide were distributed equally, every person would be able to consume 2,760 calories a day (hunger is defined as consuming fewer than 1,960 calories a day)? These and more facts can be found in the 2003 UN Human Development Report