Ahmed Mahamoud Silanyo PHOTO: AFP/Getty Images
“It is very difficult to say when it is going to happen, but we can say that we in Somaliland have always sought and struggled to get the independence and recognition we need. We know that’s not an easy thing to achieve immediately, but still it remains our main goal”
“In the early years, I think we did what a lot of corporate foundations and a lot of foundations in general do, which is fund lots of small projects with a lot of not-for-profit partners around the world,” says Chris West, who, after a career that spanned both the private sector and the development world, joined the Shell Foundation as director a decade ago. “Pretty quickly we realised that that achieved neither scale nor sustainability... I think in many ways that’s a historic reflection of how a lot of donors and NGOs and indeed corporates have behaved in the past, and it’s been driven by short term reputational benefit over real genuine systemic change.
Perhaps accelerated by the financial crisis, a number of businesses operating in Africa are taking a greater interest in the social and economic impact of their operations, engaging in activities usually associated with development agencies
A sleeping giant stirs
Out of all the Bric nations, Russian interest in Africa seems the least compelling and the most enigmatic, but the stirring of a new wave of interest in minerals, telecoms and energy suggests that the “R” in Bric may yet have some significance for the continent
Could India’s microcredit crunch spread?
The microcredit industry in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh is facing a crisis, which analysts say could have knock on effects for microfinance institutions worldwide
Third among equals
The US has talked up the strategic role of its foreign assistance, but the operational realities within USAID suggest that development is still a junior partner in the “3D” approach
Ending the neglect
Tackling neglected tropical diseases could help achieve several of the Millennium Development Goals, but greater awareness and a comprehensive funding strategy is needed
While many mobile operators are mulling strategies for rolling out third generation networks in Africa, some within the industry are asking whether LTE might offer a chance to leapfrog 3G entirely
Charting a new course
The introduction of new shipping lines and increased container capacity serving Africa reflects the shift East in the continent’s trade relations and a gradual return to pre-crisis appetite
Phuthuma Nhleko, President and Group Chief Executive of MTN
“I don’t think MTN has any stated aversions to merging with anyone. What we have said is that we want to expand and be a pre-eminent player, and that has various facets to it. Some of it will be organic growth, and some of it will be M&A related”
Afro-pessimism is misplaced
Many Africans have seen their quality of life improve significantly over the past few decades despite poor economic progress, but there is no room for complacency
Climate Change is already affecting Africa
The signs of climate change are clear to all across Africa. Severe droughts are occurring in East Africa, producing climate refugees and jeopardising crop production and water supply. Changing rainfall patterns have increased the risk of crop failure. Coastlines could begin to disappear in West Africa as ocean levels rise across the world. Vector-borne disease rates are climbing and the fight against Malaria could be forced backwards as climate change induced prevalence increases.
Strengthening the rule of law
Access to decent security and justice services, such as the police and courts, is as important a development goal as clean water, healthcare and education. Indeed, robust legal systems, independent and transparent judiciaries and clear, comprehensible laws are crucial for creating the conditions in which wider development efforts can take root and flourish.
Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Chairman, Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue
“The strength of HD is that it has no army behind it, it is just a foundation with no political power, and that absence of political power is the greatest strength, in many cases”
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“There is a regional consensus that the crisis cannot be allowed to affect regional development”
“Africa probably has more resources than any place you can imagine”
“There can never be soft touch regulation. But it has to be regulation that is not arbitrary. The direction needs to be clear”
“Africa has lots of potential – raw materials and young people – but it needs FDI”