Visions of Grand Inga
, a proposed massive hydropower plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) powering much of Africa, have excited energy experts, investors, and governments for decades. The announcements this week by the Australian company
, Fortescue Metals Group
, and its chairman
, billionaire Andrew Forrest
, of their plans to develop Inga for green hydrogen
exports brings this vision a little closer to reality.
The United Nations-- which is desperately seeking funds to help developing nations battling a staggering array of socio-economic problems, including extreme poverty, hunger, economic inequalities and environmental hazards-- has continued to be one of the strongest advocates of disarmament.
Since the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) was launched in 2006, yields have barely risen, while rural poverty remains endemic, and would have increased more if not for out-migration.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has urged
all governments to support a global minimum corporate tax rate of at least 21%. The US is working with other G20 nations to get other countries to end the “thirty-year race to the bottom on corporate tax rates”.
Small agricultural loans, disbursed through mobile phones and targeting specific farming activities at different phases of production, have more than doubled food productivity among thousands of smallholder farmers in southern and central parts of Tanzania over the past three years, improving their livelihoods.
The inability of developing nations to spend on post COVID-19 recovery and resilience has placed the world on the "the verge of a debt crisis". “We face the spectre of a divided world and a lost decade for development,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday, Mar. 29, during a high-level meeting on financing development post COVID-19.
It’s been just over a year since the Colombian government launched
its landmark price stabilization fund. With a budget of $64 million, the fund was designed to provide a hedge against low prices by subsidizing farmers during periods when prices dropped below production costs.
It’s now almost three months since the United Kingdom entered into a new trade agreement with the European Union.
During that time, we’ve seen traders struggle to get to grips with the new arrangements. From lorry drivers having their sandwiches confiscated
by Dutch customs officers to estimates of additional paperwork costs of $7 billion a year
, and pig breeders watching their meat rot on the quayside
for want of the correct forms.
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues that the world is collectively facing at the moment. It is contended that strengthening the global response is pertinent to combat the threat of climate change.
When on 15 February the chair of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) General Council, Ambassador David Walker of New Zealand, announced that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala would be the new Director-General, the mood among delegates was of relief.
A sign outside a laundry in New York city had a frivolously flippant slogan: “We launder dirty clothes, not dirty money.”
And a 2019 movie titled “Laundromat,” based on a book ‘Secrecy World’ by Pulitzer Prize winning author Jake Bernstein, exposed the byzantine world of money laundering.
While Pacific Island countries have, so far, been spared a catastrophic spread of COVID-19, their economies have been devastated by the effects of border closures, internal lockdowns and the demise of international tourism and trade. With the global pandemic far from over, Pacific Islanders are looking to their local and regional economies to drive resilience and recovery.
“Oh what a tangled web we weave When first we practice to deceive”. Walter Scott’s lines, already over two centuries old, nicely sum up how pursuit of national advantage and private gain have undermined the public interest and the common good.
2021 is going to be critical, not only for curbing the rapidly spreading COVID-19 pandemic, but also for meeting the climate challenge.
But as Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) was clear to point out, the climate challenge is essentially an energy challenge. And as large polluters continue to commit to targets of net zero emissions by 2050, the world could -- in theory -- potentially address the climate challenge.
The incoming Biden administration is under tremendous pressure to demonstrate better US economic management. Trade negotiations normally take years to conclude, if at all. Unsurprisingly, lobbyists are already urging the next US administration to quickly embrace and deliver a new version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
For those of us in the international climate action community, 2020 isn’t ending the way we expected when we rang in the new year. Even before 2020 dawned, countries were hard at work planning for their first updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), in line with the Paris Agreement’s five-year NDC revision cycle. NDCs are official statements, prepared by countries themselves, outlining the commitments they are making to reduce national emissions and adapt to climate change’s impacts. They are at the heart of putting the Paris Agreement into practice and pursuing action on a global scale.
Autocracies are once again the global majority. The 2020 Democracy Report of the Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-DEM), ‘Autocratization surges, resistance grows
’, raises the alarm that while the world in 2019 was substantially more democratic than it was in the 1970s, an ongoing trend of autocratization may reverse this scenario.
Industrialization and development go hand in hand. There is hardly a country in the world that has developed without building a strong manufacturing base. But for Africa – sometimes referred to as the continent of the future – the fruits of industrialization have often seemed just out of reach.
The construction of a five-star hotel in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh, could lead to the forced eviction of the Mro indigenous community from their ancestral lands and destroy “the social, economic, traditional and cultural fabric of the community”, warns Amnesty International.
But local activist Reng Young Mro told IPS that the international community must rally behind the Mro indigenous community to halt the construction.
Often cited as Africa’s greatest asset, its youth are also among the most vulnerable and volatile.
A large and growing population of talented young people has the potential to drive economic growth and well-being of societies across the continent but, as the African Development Bank warns
, current conditions of severe unemployment are translating into poorer living conditions, higher flows of migration, and greater risks of conflict – in short, a social disaster in the making.
Earlier this year, when heavy rains caused massive flooding in Sudan, a three-month state of emergency was declared in September. The floods which began in July, were the worst the country experienced in the last three decades and affected some 830,000 people, including 125,000 refugees and internally displaced people.