In the 1960s, there were high hopes for the development of the newly-independent sub-Saharan African countries but these hopes were quickly dashed following a series of shocks which began in the mid-70s, with the first oil price spikes, followed by a severe decline in growth and increase in poverty in the 80s and early 90s.
Not a day goes by without news on the growing inequality that is the telling indicator of the kind of economic model in which we have put ourselves, following the neoliberal binge unleashed by the Washington Consensus. The idea that economic growth is “a rising tide lifting all boats”, as the late Margaret Thatcher declared when she announced war on the welfare state, and its twin “capital will trickle down to everybody”, are now totally discredited. Facts, as it has been said, are stubborn.
Under the harsh Sunday afternoon sun, Daouda Dicko washes his client’s clothes on the shore of the Niger River, which runs through Mali’s capital, Bamako. “I started doing this to survive two years ago. Now, I am used to it and I don’t mind the extra money it brings,” Dicko, who also works as a gardener, tells IPS.
As countries in the Middle East and North Africa adjust to profound political changes and economic difficulties, development experts on the region have increasingly turned their attention to the social and economic potential of incorporating more female workers into the labour market.
Industry is the ailing sector of the Brazilian economy, with production falling 2.7 percent in 2012 in spite of government incentives, and in contrast with the strong expansion of retail trade and the lowest unemployment rate in history.
As governments struggle to find ways out of the persistent global financial crisis, Brazil’s development model offers an alternative path to recovery and growth, according to some economists and politicians.
The international financial crash of the late 2000s created more than a global economic recession: it accentuated popular doubts about the paradigms on which our economies are built and prompted a closer look at two crucial drivers of economic growth: women and entrepreneurship.