Good News from Africa

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Corruption: Africa's great disease

This is not exactly good news, as anyone could easily realize just by reading the Christian Science Monitor article's title: Corruption's quiet erosion of democracy. But, it's a very interesting read and optimism prevails. An important excerpt:

So I laud the international community's efforts at bringing democratic reform to Africa. My country has never been more positively engaged in Africa. The peace corps and embassies around the world perform daily miracles, small and large. I plan to dedicate my life to this effort.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Weah drops Liberia poll challenge

Good news from Liberia, as reported by BBC News.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

African entrepreneurship in Dubai's markets

Interesting story from BBC Business News on African traders buying anything, from cheap Chinese shoes ($0.70 a pair) to JCB's earth diggers in Dubai's open markets, focusing on Tanzanian's trader Siril Mallya's story.

Eye-catching figure: Dubai's trade with Africa has increased by over 400% in the last 4 years.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A little old, but it's like gold

African economist's James Shakwati Spiegel interview. The whole interview is worth reading, but this short extract is shrill:
SPIEGEL: Stop? The industrialized nations of the West want to eliminate hunger and poverty.

Shikwati: Such intentions have been damaging our continent for the past 40 years. If the industrial nations really want to help the Africans, they should finally terminate this awful aid. The countries that have collected the most development aid are also the ones that are in the worst shape. Despite the billions that have poured in to Africa, the continent remains poor.

SPIEGEL: Do you have an explanation for this paradox?

Shikwati: Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need. As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa's problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn't even notice. Only the functionaries would be hard hit. Which is why they maintain that the world would stop turning without this development aid.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Lybia's success story

BBC news has a story titled "Business boom" on the fruits of Lybia's market liberalization. Good news certainly.

Monday, November 14, 2005

And her name is..

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

That's of course the name of the first African female president. She's been surprisingly elected president in the second round of Liberia's elections over George Weah, the famous Liberian footballer, who was leading the first round.

The Guardian has a piece on the election with interesting facts about the "Iron Lady" and about female politicians in the rest of the continent as well, while over at BBC's website you can find a pretty good coverage of the election, starting from the news story on "African leaders hailing Liberia poll", with a list of links to other on topic news on the right side of the page.

Let's hope that everything will work out well for war torn Liberia, and that her new president will live up to her qualifications: a Harvard educated, World Bank economist, having opposed Liberia's dictators.

Good night, and good luck to Ellen..

Thursday, November 03, 2005

A success story from Ghana

Here's the first blog entry. This blog will deal with various good news from Africa. It's just out of personal interest. I realized, rather late, that I was fascinated hearing good news from a region of the world that everybody is used to hearing about poverty, illnesses and deaths. Maybe there will be other people delighted from them, too. Maybe, we can do our best for African people after hearing good news about them, rather than catastrophic ones.

Here's one, for a start: A success story from Ghana's chocolate production.