Category Archives: Development

Costa Rica tops the Happy Planet Index for the third time

Photo credit:   Beth Rankin

Karen Jeffrey is a researcher at the new economics foundation (nef). This blog was previously published under the title “This is the most efficient economy in the world” on the nef blog.

The 2016 Happy Planet Index (HPI) results are in. For the fourth time, we’ve ranked countries all over the world based on how efficiently their residents are able to live long, happy lives right now, and in the future.

Still, no country has been able to achieve the ultimate goal of long lives and high wellbeing for all within sustainable ecological limits. In fact, the results challenge the conventional wisdom that wealth equates to delivering a successful economy, and offer valuable insights into the policies that might deliver long, happy lives within environmental limits.

What is the Happy Planet Index?

The HPI is the leading measure of sustainable wellbeing. It combines four elements – wellbeing, life expectancy, inequality of outcomes, and ecological footprint – to show how efficiently residents of different countries are using environmental resources to lead long, happy lives.

How’s it looking in the UK?

The UK places a disappointing 34th out of 140 countries. But it’s not the only wealthy nation that fails to place near the top of the rankings – no G8 economy appears in the top 30.

The UK performs relatively strongly on wellbeing and life expectancy on average and in terms of how equally the scores are distributed across the population. But like most other advanced economies, it is denied a place in the HPI‘s top 20, due to its high and unsustainable ecological footprint – a whopping 4.9 global hectares per capita. However, the UK still comes out ahead of France (44th) and Germany (49th), but behind Norway (12th) and Spain (15th).

The most efficient economy in the world is….

Costa Rica has topped the 2016 Happy Planet Index rankings for the third time. The tiny tropical nation is far ahead of the UK and beats many Western economies on sustainable wellbeing.

The overall results highlight success stories in Latin America and Asia Pacific, where residents enjoy relatively high and equally distributed life expectancy and wellbeing, while leaving a smaller ecological footprint than other more advanced economies.

What does success look like?

In Costa Rica, people are living longer, and are more satisfied with life than people living in the USA – although there is slightly higher inequality in how these outcomes are distributed within the population of Costa Rica. What really sets the country apart is that it manages to combine long, happy lives with an environmental impact that’s little more than one third of the size of the USA’s.

So what’s the secret to Costa Rica’s success?

Since abolishing its army in 1949, Costa Rica has reallocated its defence budget to funding education, health and pensions.  The culture of forming solid social networks of friends, families and neighbourhoods is another factor that’s contributing to Costa Rican’s high wellbeing.

Costa Rica is also a world leader when it comes to environmental protection. 99% of electricity used there comes from renewable sources and the government is far ahead of many wealthier nations, having committed the country to becoming carbon neutral by 2021.

While Costa Rica’s commitment to environmental sustainability is impressive, it still has some way to go before its Ecological Footprint of 2.8 global hectares per capita reaches the sustainable level of 1.7 global hectares per capita.

Like every nation, Costa Rica has more work to do to reach the ultimate goal of truly sustainable wellbeing. But its success, scoring top place on the HPI, demonstrates that there are alternatives to the development paths that have been followed in the West. It provides a shining example of a country that is well on its way to creating good lives that don’t cost the Earth.

To explore the full results, or to find out more about the other high-ranking countries visit http://happyplanetindex.org/

 

Let’s Talk about Child Well-being

Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), Wikigender and Wikichild invite you to participate in this online discussion.
“HOW SHOULD CHILD WELL-BEING BE MEASURED IN VIEW OF FUTURE DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORKS?”
Open from Wednesday 19 June until Tuesday 2 July 2013.
The discussion will be officially launched at the HBSC 30th Anniversary Meeting and aims to spark discussion on the most effective means of measuring child well-being and how these measures should be applied to upcoming development frameworks.
This discussion seeks to explore a variety of questions including:

  1. What is the actual state of child well-being today?
  2. What are the most important domains of well-being – specifically for children?
  3. What policies have had the most impact on children in the past? 
  4. Should there be a child development goal in the Post 2015 framework?
We would like to hear your views, lessons learned and best practices or policies on measuring child well-being.
Background
Measuring child well-being has traditionally rested on economic measures such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP); however, it is now widely accepted that the well-being of the nation is influenced by a broad range of factors including economic performance, quality of life, the state of the environment, sustainability, equality, as well as individual well-being.
Over the last decade, organisations around the world have been developing new indicators of progress that look beyond GDP and economic growth when measuring child well-being.
The well-being of children is high on the agenda for policy makers and this online consultation, hosted by Wikichild, seeks to engage discussion on the most effective means of measuring child well-being and how these measures should be applied to upcoming development frameworks such as the Post-2015 agenda.
You can post a comment in a few clicks by going to the “Contribute!” section of the online discussion page. Here is the shortened link to the discussion page: http://bit.ly/19ECjl  and the hashtag for Twitter is #childwellbeing .
To find out more about the questions asked and how to participate, please click here.
Make sure your voice heard!
Robbie Lawrence,
Wikichild Coordinator 

Putting green growth at the heart of development

Jan Corfee-Morlot, OECD Development Co-operation Directorate, shares her insights on the OECD’s recent publication “Putting Green Growth at the Heard of Development” . This blog is part of the Wikiprogress Environment Series.

The rapid pace of development in many developing countries raises the stakes for investments in development, but also begs reflection on the patterns or types of growth that are appropriate for a particular country context. Putting Green Growth at the Heart of Development is a new OECD publication. It explains why green growth is vital to secure a more sustainable future for developing countries and outlines how national and international action can help achieve this.
Green growth does not replace sustainable development, but is a key means to achieving it. Developing economies are highly dependent on natural resources and also highly vulnerable to resource scarcity and environmental risk. By integrating the value of natural assets into the growth model, green growth policies can deliver a range of developmental and environmental benefits. If policies are designed to respond to the needs of the poorest, green growth also can contribute to poverty reduction and social equity.
Based on in-depth consultations and engagement with a range of developing countries, this book brings to light 74 policies and measures from 37 countries as well as 5 regional initiatives that target green growth. Examples range from Cambodia to Ethiopia’s efforts to integrate green growth in national development plans, to China and Cameroon’s use of taxation policies to sustain the use of natural resources, or Indonesia and Ghana’s efforts to  boost government resources for priority issues and improve the incentives for clean energy investment through reform of fossil fuel subsidies. The large number of examples demonstrate growing interest and experience in developing countries with green growth policies. 
The report responds to many of the concerns and questions we often hear about green growth, for instance:  How do we manage the costs of implementing green growth? How do we make green growth and trade work together?
I’m sure that choosing a greener pathway for economic growth will generate up-front costs for some developing economies in the short term, whether to build better infrastructure or to put in place a system to limit over-harvesting of forests or fisheries. Balancing difficult short-term trade-offs with longer-term benefits will be challenging as countries make choices to deliver a more stable and sustainable future. Despite these challenges, the many examples described in the report present a clear and hopeful message: green growth can generate both wealth and well-being for citizens of current and future generations.
Developing countries will need leadership to integrate environmental concerns into development plans and to take bold actions to reform policies. It will be important to secure and publicise some immediate gains, but also to educate and inform people about the risks of non-green development pathways and the need to manage these. Lasting institutional reforms will need to build engagement, be step-wise and emphasise the need to learn and adjust to achieve green growth over time.
Beyond the national policy agenda, international cooperation can provide essential support to developing countries in managing a transition to green growth. Financing green infrastructure, strengthening access to international markets, boosting trade in green products and services, and promoting technological transfer and cooperation are key.
Highlighting both the opportunities and challenges, the OECD Secretary General Gurría said: “Putting green growth at the heart of the development agenda requires real political leadership to instil change at international, national and local levels. Our report shows that green growth can offer new opportunities for developing countries. We are looking forward to working with governments and the development co-operation community to reap the benefits of a greener growth path for the well-being of the people in our partner countries.”
Green growth can help countries to benefit from greater efficiency and productivity in natural resource use, and from innovation and new markets. More importantly, if we do not green our act today, the development achieved so far could be significantly eroded and future growth potential seriously compromised. Green growth is not an option – it is a must-do for delivering sustainable development and global security for all.
Jan Corfee-Morlot
Senior Policy Analyst and Environment and Development Team Leader, OECD Development Co-operation Directorate

This post first appeared on the Green Growth.Knowledge Platform, here

For more information on OECD work on green growth and development, see:
www.oecd.org/DAC/greengrowth 

Governance Week in Review

This Week in Review by Robbie Lawrence is part of the Wikiprogress Governance Series

‘Good governance is the foundation on which a society is built, and thus it is indispensable for the development of a country.’ Dirk Niebel, German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development

As you all know we are focusing on Governance this month, so today’s Week in Review will provide you with an insight into a number of key reports (and a video!) related to the subject. The article includes overviews of the current Wikichild Spotlight, UN Habitat’s State of the Field in Youth-Led Development, UNDP’s Global Consultation on Governance and the Post 2015 framework and Beth Noveck’s Ted Talk, ‘Demand a more open-source government’.  

First published in Nairobi last year, UN-HABITAT’s State of the Field in Youth Development sheds light on how youth are positively impacting communities around the world. As part of wider series, this particular report stresses how young people can be beneficial to communities, and how local, national and international governments can implement, engage and support youth and youth led initiatives. ‘State of the Field’ then goes further and identifies youth led organizations that need more support, financial and otherwise, that could in the future make the most difference. This framework of initiatives was first put in place at the World Youth Congress in October 1999 and since then has expanded to a global form of youth led participation.

Developed by UNICEF and Save the Children, Children’s Rights andBusiness Principles provides a comprehensive framework for understanding and addressing the impact of business on the rights and well-being of children. While most businesses are aware that ‘children are our future,’ the voices of young people are often ostracized when it comes to the corporate sustainability movement. The Children’s Rights and Business Principles are built on existing standards and practices and help to explain the opportunities for business of investing in children.  

The UNDP is currently running a global thematic consultation on governance in the lead up to the post-2015 framework. Similar to Wikiprogress, Wikigender and Wikichild online discussions, this is an open forum for individuals, policy makers, NGOs, UN staff and other stakeholders to discuss how governance can be used to tackle the most pressing issues (inequality etc) facing the post-2015 panel.  Make your voice heard!

The Human Development Report 2013 examines the noticeable transition in global dynamics catalysed by the fast-rising new powers of the developing world and its long-term implications for human development. The report series provides an overview of health, education and basic living standards across the world so that governments and decision makers can make more accurate and comprehensive decisions to boost progress.

What can governments learn from the open-data revolution? In this striking talk (below), Beth Noveck, the former deputy CTO at the White House, shares a vision of practical openness – connecting bureaucracies to citizens, sharing data and creating a truly participatory democracy.



We look forward to bringing you more Governance related articles in the coming weeks!

The Wikiprogress Team

What’s driving the quiet revolution in basic healthcare?

This article by Romina Rodriguez Pose, ODI, is part of the Wikiprogress #health series.

Rarely a day goes by when the news is not filled with both warnings about possible epidemics and more encouraging tales of medical breakthroughs. And yet, while these often extreme perspectives occupy the limelight, more nuanced and in-depth understandings of how and why things are working in certain countries and not in others remains relatively unheard.
Health is a key component of ODI’s Development Progress project, which for the past three years has been documenting national-level case studies (on what is working in development and why), enabling us to reflect on how far we have come in addressing basic health issues around the world and uncover hidden stories of progress.
The project’s first-round health case studies explored progress in Bangladesh, Eritrea and Rwanda and were carried out between 2009 and 2011. The second round, currently underway, has two focus areas: maternal health (with case studies in Nepal and Mozambique) and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) (Sierra Leone and Cambodia).
Maternal health is intrinsically important because people’s prospects in life depend on it to a large extent. It is also a proxy for the capacity and strength of health systems and government’s ability to deliver core services. NTDs are of particular interest as they disproportionally affect the world’s poorest and are dependent on and can accelerate progress in a range of other development areas (poverty, nutrition, water and sanitation, women’s empowerment, education).
Although these countries represent very different local contexts, we can identify clear and consistent factors driving progress across them all:
  • Strong leadership and sustained political commitment have been key to pushing through reforms and engaging populations in development processes. Progress is not possible without the prioritisation of health within governments’ agendas.
  • Bottom-up approaches invoking social mobilisation and community participation were the cornerstone for progress in all three case studies in the first round, and preliminary findings from Nepal and Sierra Leone support this trend. Community participation and involvement in health service delivery have not only helped alleviate staff shortages, but also proved extremely effective in accessing hard-to-reach populations, bringing services closer to the community while at the same time allowing for behavioural change. They have also transformed community members from being passive recipients to being active participants in their own development and wellbeing. Among other things, the empowerment of women and their increased decision-making power in health matters has been key in both Bangladesh and Nepal.
  • The role of donors has been instrumental, not only financially but also through the provision of evidence of successful schemes in similar countries. All the countries studied are heavily dependent on external funding, but all have mechanisms to ensure funding is aligned with national planning (e.g.implementation of health sector-wide approaches has helped governments shape health policy, strengthen delivery and make health financing more predictable and flexible). Balancing government ownership of a development agenda with outside help can be challenging but is essential to ensure commitment and sustainability. Ownership varies across the countries studied, with some governments acting more strongly than others in responding to priorities on the development agenda.
  • Both demand- and supply-side interventions have been put in place and contribute towards progress in health in these countries. Community health insurance schemes (e.g. mutuelles de santé in Rwanda) and removal of users fees (e.g. free health care for pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under five in Sierra Leone) have boosted demand for health services by removing financial barriers for underserved populations. From a supply point of view, rewarding health service providers for their performance incentivises them and enhances their commitment to working to higher standards in the delivery of services, although strong controls and quality checks need to be in place.
Despite the high levels of progress these strategies have attained, challenges remain. For instance, the provision of health services has relied widely on community involvement and voluntarism. Despite volunteers being rewarded in terms of respect shown by members of their communities and by the few incentives in place (e.g. provision of mobile phones, T-shirts etc.), keeping them motivated is becoming increasingly challenging. In the same vein, progress has been possible as a result of the financial flows provided by donor countries, which puts sustainability in question, as aid budgets in the developed world are under threat. As such, there is still a need for countries to mobilise internal resources in order to reduce their dependence on aid.
The bigger picture, however, should put a spring in our step. We can state, without doubt, that progress in health care is happening and reaching the most underserved populations in the poorest countries in the world. The increasing body of evidence documenting how progress has been achieved in some settings provides a great opportunity for policymakers from countries facing similar challenges to get inspired by successful strategies and best practices that have worked elsewhere.

The threat of youth unemployment in Africa

In his opening address at the OECD’s International Economic Forum on Africa, Olusegun Obsanjo warned that youth unemployment in Africa has reached a critical stage.


Speaking to the committee, the former President of Nigeria stipulated that with well over half of 15-24 year olds out of work, the potential for instability in the region had grown, as seen last year in the violent protests that erupted across North Africa and the Middle East.

In the last decade, Africa has experienced exponential economic growth. Going some way to shrug off the ‘Hopeless Continent’ tag tarred on it by The Economist, Africa created 73 million new jobs between 2000 and 2008 (All statistics in this article are taken from Promoting Youth Employment in Africaand has more recently endured the financial crisis with many economies already growing at rates close to their pre-crisis averages. In line with these figures, six of the world’s ten fastest growing economies (2001-2010) were in sub-Saharan Africa.

On the surface this all seems promising, particulary the burgeoning job figures. However, these stats alone bely an underlying problem; only 10% of Africa’s job market is available to youths.

In almost adjacent fashion to Africa’s economic growth, Africa’s working age population grew rapidly in the last decade, between 2000 and 2008 it increased from 443 million to 550 million, an upsurge of 25%. 
If this trajectory continues then the continent’s labour force will reach 1 billion by 2040. With half of the continent’s population under the age of 20, Africa already has the youngest population in the world.

Despite improvements in education that will see 59% of 20-24 year olds with a secondary education by 2030, compared to 42% today, at present about 133 million young people (more than 50% of the of the youth population) are illiterate. Without the vital skills necessary for entering the labour market this group is marginalized.

Even for the educated youth problems could arise if Africa fails to implement an economic infrastructure that will provide sufficient employment opportunities for them.  Obsanjo emphasized the necessity for this support system, “If youth are given education and skill they will prosper…they must have financial support.”

For Obsanjo, the prospect of a vast, under skilled and unemployed youth population is a serious concern – at the Forum he expressed that the disaffection felt by this generation could catalyze more Arab Spring-like revolts across Africa.

According to the World Bank, one in two young people who join a rebel movement cites unemployment as the main reason for doing so. In countries like Liberia, a state that has suffered two civil wars since the late 80s, unemployment is seen as one of the major cause of instability. Even in South Africa, the most developed country in the continent, the effects of high youth unemployment have triggered an upsurge in protests over the last few years,  the AFP (see video below) reports that, “Demonstrations have intensified in poor areas of South Africa with the number of protests rising eight fold in the last seven years – peaking at 111 in 2010.” In a derisive article written for AllAfrica.com, Glenn Ashton focuses on the South African governments faltering attempts to incorporate its politically active and restless youth into the country’s labour force. While the piece is openly one sided, it does provide further insight into this particular matter.

The devastating consequences of violence are all to clear from the recent horrors taking place in Syria, however, the economic ramifications of civil unrest should not be overlooked. According to the Africa Economic Outlook survey, the Arab revolutions caused “North Africa’s Gross Domestic Product to decline by 3.6 percentage points to near stagnation in 2011.” It is arguable that support systems for jobless youths must be put in place, not only to avoid bloodshed, but to ensure the sustainability of economic development in Africa.

Obsanjo concluded his speech by reminding the committee of the resourcefulness and dynamism of young people, and the necessity of including them in plans for Africa’s economic future. He stressed the importance of maximising the potential of youth by creating policies that provide education and opportunities. He closed with, 
“Youths must see themselves as agents. They must have the right attitude. They must not give up.” 

  



Robbie Lawrence, Wikichild Coordinator

@robbielawrence1


Whats happening at the 4th OECD World Forum #Delhi2012?

As many of you will know, the 4th OECD World Forum – on Measuring Well-Being for Development and Policy Making started on 16 October 2012. 

Building on the Better Life Initiative, the main objectives of the Forum are to further the discussions on the different aspects that make for a good life today and to promote the development and use of new measures of well-being for effective and accountable policy making. Here is a brief run down of the different sessions over the next four days. Don’t forget to watch Wikiprogress’s coverage of the forum on our live feed.
Don’t forget to watch Wikiprogress’s coverage of the forum on our live feed and remember to follow us on Twitter @wikiprogress and offer your own opinion to #Delhi2012 . Get the agenda, list of speaker and more from our special articles on the 4th OECD World Forum.
There will be four parallel workshops taking place on each day of the Forum, details below and round table. Speaker include Joseph Stiglit, Jeffrey Sachs, David Cameron and many more experts! 
Day 1- 16 October – Theme: Material Conditions   
What are the main limits in the statistical system used for monitoring and reporting about inequalities and poverty? How important are these limits from the perspective of giving greater prominence to these issues in the domestic and international policy agenda?
What are the most important analytical and policy issues that better micro statistics on household wealth would allow addressing?
What are the most important dimensions of job quality and well-being at work where current metrics are lacking? What statistical initiatives are ongoing and what else remains to be done?
What are the most important dimensions of housing and urban infrastructure where current metrics are lacking? What statistical initiatives are ongoing and what else remains to be done?
Day 2- 17 October – Theme: Quality of Life
What are the main challenges to the health system that we will likely confront in the future? What type of measures would be needed to manage these emerging challenges?
Why are better measures of education and skills essential to policy and decision-making? How we can ensure that they are developed, i.e. who needs to be persuaded in order to achieve more consistent implementation and how can this happen?
Is there enough knowledge and experience to identify best-practices in the production of better statistics in this field?
What are the main links between effective and responsive institutions and people’s well-being?
Day 3 – 18 October – Theme: Gender Groups in Society 
What are the main factors limiting women’s empowerment in countries at different level of economic development? Do the available data and indicators provide adequate information on these factors? What are the priorities for action in the statistical field? Could indicators of women’s empowerment be better integrated into existing measurement frameworks (MDGs, etc.)?
What are the key dimensions of child well-being and what indicators could be used to monitor them? Do these dimensions and indicators change as children develop? What are the priority areas for improving the measurement of child well-being?
What are the most important factors bearing on the well-being of elderly people? What types of statistics and indicators should be developed and implemented in order to allow regular monitoring?
What are the most important life domains where these minority groups underperform relative to others? What are the most important drivers of these low achievements?
Day 4 – 19 October – Theme: Sustainability
What are the main threats to environmental sustainability? Which population groups are most exposed to environmental degradation? What are the economic risks associated with the unsustainable use of natural resources and the environment? How can we capture the dangers of a loss of natural capital to economic growth?
What are the main implications for well-being of disasters and conflicts, in the short, medium and long term? What have we learned from recent experiences in how such disasters have been managed? Which are the populations most vulnerable to the consequences of different types of natural disasters?
What have we learned from the crisis in terms of the factors that put economic sustainability at risk? What type of statistics would have allowed better assessing the scale of the imbalances that were accumulating in the world economic system before the crisis burst?
Is the notion of ‘social cohesion’ one that could usefully inform policy discussions in developed and developing countries? What is its main manifestation?
Enjoy what should be a fascinating four days.
Robbie Lawrence
Wikichild Coordinator 
Official OECD-India Website: www.oecdindia.in

2

Good news on progress in child well-being and why it is necessary to invest further

Two reports released this month put forward evidence as to why it makes sense to invest in children, not only because reducing child deprivation is a moral obligation for all countries, but because such a strategy can have long term, social and economic benefits.
The child population of a country, are its future and whether they develop into productive, contributing members of society can have a profound influence on, among others, factors of social cohesion, economic growth, a country’s welfare burden, their capacity to reap gains from a demographic dividend and their human capital. Both reports agree that failure to address issues which impact on child well-being, including poverty and inequality, can result in failure to break cycles of intergenerational poverty.
As stated in UNICEF’s report ‘Child poverty and inequality: New perspectives’, children experience poverty differently to adults in terms of causes and the long term effects that even short periods of deprivation can have on them. While an adult may experience poverty for a period, the impacts on a child of disruption to education, poor nutrition and limited access to health services caused by poverty can do permanent damage as ‘rarely does a child get a second chance at education or a healthy start in life’ (UNICEF, 2012). Alternatively, good quality infant and child nutrition leads to approximately 2-3% growth annually in developing country economic wealth and addressing malnutrition in the early years of life can increase lifetime earnings by 20% (ODI, Save the Children, UNICEF, 2012).
The good news, as reported by the ODI, Save the Children and UNICEF in ‘Progress in Child Well-Being: Building on what works’, is that significant progress has been achieved in the last two decades in the areas of health, nutrition, water and sanitation, education and child protection. Rates of child marriage and child labour reduced in many countries, levels of child stunting have dropped in developing countries, more children have and continue to be registered at birth, lower levels of HIV transmission to children are reported, more children are enrolled in primary school and under five child mortality has declined.
So what is the bad news? As a whole the world is not on track to meet most of the child-related MDGs. Approximately 50% of children and youth are below the $2 a day international poverty line (UNICEF, 2012), 7.6 million children under five died in 2010, progress on lowering malnutrition has been slow (ODI, Save the Children, UNICEF, 2012), children continue to be disproportionately affected by disasters (see Children and Sustainable Development) and roughly 2.5 billion people are without adequate sanitation (ODI, Save the Children, UNICEF, 2012) resulting in approximately 1.8 million children dying every year from diarrhoea and other diseases (see Freshwater).
What was that about good news? As shown by Progress in Child Well-Being: Building on what works, development assistance and investing in children does work and as documented by ‘Child Poverty and Inequality: New Perspectives’, measurement strategies, policy and interventions that recognise the differences between child and adult poverty and which address its multidimensionality are more likely to be successful in improving child well-being and advancing child rights.
Hannah Chadwick
Wikichild Consultant
References
UNICEF, 2012, Child Poverty and Inequality: New Perspectives, Isablel Ortiz, Louise Moreira Daniels, Solrun Engilbertsdottir (eds), UNICEF, New York, Available at: http://www.wikiprogress.org/index.php/Child_poverty_and_inequality:_New_perspectives
Overseas Development Institute, 2012, Progress in Child well-being: Building on what works, commissioned by Save the Children and UNICEF, Save the Children, London, Available at: http://www.savethechildren.org.au/images/content/resources/Progress_in_Child_Well-being_pages_low_res_16-4-12.pdf

Davos: African economies essentially rely on women

This post by Angela Luci first appeared on Gender Debate.

Guinea’s president Alpha Condé, who came to this year’s World Economic Forum at Davos before participating at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, discusses the crisis of capitalism and new business models for Africa. He sees giving women better access to micro-credits and therewith enhancing their economic empowerment as a major step towards more economic and social development in Africa.

                                                           image: www.genderdebate.com

Alpha Condé said to “Le Monde”:

“L’Afrique a des problèmes très concrets. La base de notre développement c’est l’agriculture : il faut d’abord donner à manger. L’énergie est aussi un problème, car sans énergie on ne peut pas développer un pays. L’éducation, la santé, le rôle des nouvelles technologies. En Afrique, nous devons essayer de mettre en commun notre politique pour l’énergie, les infrastructures, le commerce intérieur. […] Il faut donner une nouvelle image de l’Afrique. Une des tares de l’Afrique, qu’on nous reproche beaucoup, c’est la corruption. Il faut d’abord agir sur la gouvernance,  appliquer la transparence, et que les ressources de l’Afrique profitent réellement aux populations africaines, particulièrement aux femmes et aux jeunes. […] L’économie africaine, pour l’essentiel, repose sur les femmes. L’homme peut  émigrer, laisser les enfants, mais la femme est obligée de rester pour donner à manger aux enfants. Ensuite, les femmes sont plus honnêtes. Quand vous donnez du micro-crédit, le taux de remboursement chez les femmes est de 90 %. Le développement de certains secteurs, comme l’artisanat, repose sur les femmes. Notre objectif c’est de transformer  le secteur informel productif en PME. Les femmes sont plus honnêtes, plus sensibles, plus travailleuses, mais elles n’ont pas assez accès au crédit. »

“Africa has very concrete problems. The basis of our development is agriculture: it is first necessary to have enough food resources. Energy is also a problem because without energy you cannot develop a country. Education, health and new technologies also play an important role. In Africa, we must try to harmonize our policy for energy, infrastructure and internal trade. […] We must give a new image to Africa. One of the flaws of Africa we are accused of is corruption. We must first develop governance, apply transparency, and make sure that the resources of Africa actually benefit the African people, especially women and young people. […]
The African economy essentially relies on women. Man may emigrate and leave children, but women are obliged stay to raise their children. In addition, women are more honest. For micro-credits, the reimbursement rate for women is 90%. The development of certain sectors, such as handicrafts, is primarily based on women. Our goal is to transform the productive informal sector into small and medium businesses. Women are more honest, more sensitive, harder working, but they do not have enough access to credit.”

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