The dimensions are truly gigantic: „A vast stretch of African savannah land that spreads across 25 countries has the potential to turn several African nations into global players in bulk commodity production“, reads a press release from the FAO. Four million km2 of Guinea Savannah, „one of the largest underused agricultural land reserves in the world“, could be developed for commercial agriculture, says a new FAO-World Bank study reviewed by Uwe Hoering.
The promises made by the study, jointly commissioned by the World Bank and the FAO (see reference), are based on the historical comparison with two areas, one in Asia, one in Latin America, with similar unfavourable conditions like the African savannah: abundant but unreliable rainfall patterns, poor soils and a high population density in the case of Thailand's North East, and remoteness, soils prone to acidity and toxicity and low population in the case of Brazil's Cerrado. In spite of such physical disadvantages, in both countries governments created the conditions for agricultural growth, „characterized by favourable macroeconomic policies, adequate infrastructure, a strong human capital base, competent government administration, and political stability“. Today, these regions are important agricultural producers, in Thailand mainly commercially oriented small-scale farms, in Brazil mainly large scale plantations ... ... this article comes up in WDEV 5/Sep-Oct 2009 and is for subscribers only. For direct log in >>> click here.If you have no subscription >>> pick your option or >>>
At first glance, everyday life seems not to have changed in Istanbul. The streets are congested; people hurry to the ferry or the bus. For weeks, there has been no terror attack. Nevertheless, there are some visible changes. There are much more policemen in the streets. In some days, the Istiklal Caddesi, the main shopping street on the European side, seems to be under a state of siege. At every street corner, there is police van with the blue light switched on.
Recent disturbing trends in international finance have particularly problematic implications, especially for developing countries. The new United Nations report, World Economic Situation and Prospects 2017 (WESP 2017), is the only recent report of a multilateral inter-governmental organization to recognize these problems, especially as they are relevant to the financing requirements for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Trump government signals unequivocally the end of international US hegemony. An international hegemon is able to define rules that find relatively broad acceptance internationally and plays a role in safeguarding international economic stability. The Trump government announced measures that go against the present economic rules while not proposing new ones.
The global deficit in quality jobs and deteriorating economic conditions in a number of regions threatens to undo decades of progress in poverty reduction, warns a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the World Employment and Social Outlook (WESO) 2016.
Weakening of workers' rights in most regions is being aggravated by severe crackdowns on freedom of speech and assembly, according to the 2016 Global Rights Index. Restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly, including severe crackdowns in some countries, increased by 22%, with 50 out of 141 countries surveyed recording restrictions.