Economy & Trade

Optimism Prevails Despite Uncertainty Over Revolution to Build Africa’s Food Systems

The 2022 Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) Summit ended in Kigali, Rwanda, with policymakers, activists, researchers, business leaders, and agricultural experts divided over the right pace to build resilient agri-food systems on the continent.

United We Stand to Achieve Sustainable Development

The world today faces a future that is in peril. Our challenges have become more complex and interconnected, as we see the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, an uneven economic recovery, a climate emergency, growing inequalities, and an increase in conflicts globally. This year also marks a grim milestone, with over 100 million people forcibly displaced.

Africa Needs More Action, Fewer Words to Secure Food and Nutrition

For more than five years, Ritta Achevih was harvesting one bag of maize or less from her small plot each season. She could hardly provide enough healthy food for her big family.

In the Face of Scarcity, Cubans Dream of Once Again Drinking Their Daily Cup of Coffee

While the Cuban government's plans to increase production begin to bear fruit, Mireya Barrios confesses that she seeks every possible way to enjoy a cup of coffee every day, in the face of high prices and scarcity.

Developing Countries Must Grow More Food
Climate change and war on Ukraine a wake-up call

As our planet continues to heat up, extreme weather has affected many of us. From the west coast of North America across Europe, the Middle East and Asia to Pakistan and New Zealand, wildfires and flash floods have destroyed homes and property and disrupted the daily lives of millions.

Sand Poachers Fueling Environmental Harm in Zimbabwe

In Chitungwiza, right next to the highway, 36-year-old Nesbit Gavanga and his five colleagues use shovels as they load trucks with sand. The six apparently are in the business of sand-poaching and openly explain that every other day they engage in running battles with environmental officials who seek to curtail land degradation here. The group’s informal sand quarry lies 25 kilometers southeast of the Zimbabwean capital Harare.

Bukele’s Failed Bitcoin Experiment in El Salvador

A year after Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele decided to make El Salvador the first country where bitcoin is legal tender, the experiment has so far failed, as few of the original plan's objectives have been achieved.

Afghanistan: A Treasure Worth More than a Trillion Dollars

Both mainstream media, international bodies and human rights defenders continue to rightly denounce the Taliban's inhuman abuses against the Afghan people’s basic rights, in particular those of women and girls.

Eight International Development Priorities for the new UK Prime Minister

The UK’s new Prime Minister (and former Foreign Secretary), Liz Truss, enters Downing Street with a full and urgent in-tray, dominated by the highest inflation rate for 40 years and concerns across the country about the cost-of-living crisis.

1980s’ Redux? New context, Old Threats

As rich countries raise interest rates in double-edged efforts to address inflation, developing countries are struggling to cope with slowdowns, inflation, higher interest rates and other costs, plus growing debt distress.

The Right Policies Can Protect the Workers of Asia and the Pacific

Most of the 2.1 billion strong workforce in Asia and the Pacific are denied access to decent jobs, health care and social protection but there is an array polices and tools that governments can use to remedy these deficiencies and ensure that the rights and aspirations of these workers and their families are upheld and that they remain the engine of economic growth for the region.

Biomethane, the Energy that Cleans Garbage in Brazil

The increasing productivity with which humankind generates waste has gained at least one sustainable counterpart: the extraction of biogas from landfills, a growing activity in Brazil.

Special Economic Zones: A Nod Towards Capitalism in Venezuela

Venezuela is preparing to replicate the experience of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), a mechanism with which more than 60 countries have tried to draw investment and accelerate economic growth, while under its avowedly socialist government a "silent neoliberalism" is gaining ground.

Transforming Girls’ Education, Changing The World

As we approach this year’s Transforming Education Summit, global leaders can and must prioritize expertise and mobilize political will to support efforts to ensure inclusive and quality education for all, especially girls. This is at the heart of Sustainable Development Goal 4 in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the commitments made in the Charlevoix Declaration and the G7 Declaration on Girls’ Education.

From Worm Composting to Biofuels, the Caribbean Seeks Solutions to Seaweed Influx

In June 2022, swathes of matted, putrid seaweed took over the shores of beaches across the Caribbean. It was the worst seaweed influx reported since 2011, when ocean currents began depositing tons of the brown seaweed, known as Sargassum, across the region, leaving authorities grappling with the severe ecological and economic fallout.

Monster Monsoon: “Pakistan and Its People Are Paying the Costs of What They Are Not Responsible For.”

Pakistan has been going through the worst time of its recent history due to unprecedented colossal monsoon rains and devastating floods. The current floods would have been expected less than once a century, but climate experts claim that what we are seeing today is just a trailer of what’s in store for us if we don’t pay heed to climate change. More than 112 districts are currently afffected and around 30 million people; their property and land are totally devastated. Across the country, where hundreds of thousands of cattle died due to the Lumpy Skin Disease, now more than 727,000 have perished due to floods and rains. The number is increasing rapidly.

Africa Should Trade its Carbon Credits to Fund Renewable Energy – UNECA

Africa needs to trade in carbon credits to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, finance the transition to renewable energy, and boost economic development, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) says.

A Tale of the Spanish Neckties and Other Made-in-Europe Things

Shortly before the 25 August approval by the Spanish Parliament of the government’s plan to save energy, the country’s right and far-right opposition parties revived their debate about an earlier suggestion of not wearing neckties in the Spanish Congress and Senate and other official institutions.

Shaping Our Digital Future

Asia and the Pacific is the most digitally divided region of the world, and South-East Asia is the most divided subregion. The Covid-19 pandemic detonated a “digital big bang” that spurred people, governments and businesses to become “digital by default;” a sea change that generated vast digital dividends. These benefits that have not been distributed equally, however. New development gaps have emerged as digital transformation reinforces a vicious cycle of socioeconomic inequalities, within and across countries.

How France Underdevelops Africa

Most sub-Saharan African French colonies got formal independence in the 1960s. But their economies have progressed little, leaving most people in poverty, and generally worse off than in other post-colonial African economies. Decolonization? Pre-Second World War colonial monetary arrangements were consolidated into the Colonies Françaises d’Afrique (CFA) franc zone set up on 26 December 1945. Decolonization became inevitable after France’s defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and withdrawal from Algeria less than a decade later.

Argentina Seeks Elusive Investment to Fully Exploit Shale Gas

Argentina, which has one of the largest unconventional hydrocarbon deposits in the world, has been forced to import gas for 6.6 billion dollars so far this year.

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