Do Country Acronyms Have a Meaningful Place in a Dynamic World?

March 10, 2012 by

When Goldman Sachs first coined the term “BRICs” in 2001, it did so on the assumption that these four countries were going to heavily influence the direction of the global economy. It turned out that China was much more influential than any of the other three, and that Brazil well underperformed the others based on its decade-long average GDP growth rate of approximately 3.5%.

From the field: Getting creative in Malawi

March 2, 2012 by

I can’t get it to print. It’s Monday morning at charity: water, and Stacie, one of our Development Interns, is standing next to my desk, laptop in hand, looking concerned. As the IT Manager, I run the helpdesk, which means fixing things for the staff when they fail — programs that won’t print, computers that seize up, emails that don’t go through. I’ve been managing our systems for two years now, and I’m proud that things run smoothly…most of the time.

Somalia: The International Community can’t afford to get it wrong

February 28, 2012 by

In a February article published on International Policy Digest (IPD), Somalia’s Special Envoy to United States, Abukar Arman, wrote, “Since the collapse of the military government 21 years ago, Somalia went through various levels of problems perpetuated by clan militias, warlords, economic-lords, religious-lords, regional-lords, and a group that I would refer to as the Ghost-lords.”

Life after Zoellick: will there be a new world order at the World Bank?

February 27, 2012 by

When World Bank President Robert Zoellick announced his resignation last week, a surprising number of names emerged as contenders for the Bank’s top job. Zoellick’s resignation doesn’t come into effect until July, so there’s plenty of time for political maneuvering. Traditionally, the president of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development – better known as the World Bank – has been an American appointee.

Geopolitics of Technology and the Hydrocarbon Status Quo

February 21, 2012 by

The unrest in the Arab world, which has continued for over a year now, implies one important conclusion beyond any ongoing regional struggle for democracy. It is a reflection about globally important technologies, and even more about a crucial geopolitical breakthrough – an escape from the logic of a hydrocarbon status quo, which – after Copenhagen 2009 – failed again in Durban 2011.

NGOs Urge Open Selection Process for Next World Bank Chief

February 16, 2012 by

A global coalition of development activists and non- governmental organisations (NGOs) is calling on the World Bank’s governors to ensure that Bank President Robert Zoellick’s successor is chosen in an “open and merit-based process” that will give borrowing countries a major say in the selection. In an open letter released shortly after the Bank’s announcement Wednesday that Zoellick will step down at the end of his five-year term in June, some 60 groups and activists from around the world said any candidate should gain the “open support” of at least the majority of World Bank member countries and of the majority of low- and middle-income countries that make up most of its borrowers.

The Food Piracy of Monsanto in India

January 12, 2012 by

The Somali pirates terrorize the Gulf of Aden. In India, Monsanto terrorizes one of basic sources of human survival – food. But this may change. After years of cajoling with Monsanto, the Indian government finally threw in the towel. In 2010, it banned commercial approval of GM seeds “indefinitely” to prevent Monsanto from “frankencroping” basic crops like brinjal.

Durban’s Climate Debacle

January 5, 2012 by

I arrived at the UN climate summit in Durban, South Africa with the news fresh in my mind that 2010 was a record year for global warming pollution—and that if we don’t start reducing global emissions by 2017, we’re cooked. I left Durban with a profound disappointment in the world’s leaders, and the growing conviction that it will take people putting their bodies on the line to steer society away from suicidal climate change.

Climate Change: Human’s Remain the Same

December 30, 2011 by

From Copenhagen to Durban, the conclusion remains the same: We need principles and accorded actions as the only way to tackle the grave problems facing this planet. We are lacking elementary consensus in the Bretton Woods institutions, on WTO Doha Development round, on nuclear non-proliferation (NPT), in the IPCC, on post-Kyoto negotiations, and finally, on the alarming state of the environment.

Africa’s Brain Claim

December 20, 2011 by

Many lament the occurrence where a country’s top talent flees as soon as opportunity arises for further education and lucrative careers abroad. This flight is neatly and rhymingly called “brain drain”. In Africa especially, the hue and cry over the continent’s loss of its best minds began during the decade of monumental independence in the 1960s and has lasted through the beginning of the 21st century.

Foreign Aid Spared Drastic Cuts for 2012

December 17, 2011 by

Despite the budget cutting and anti-U.N. frenzy that seized Republican lawmakers over the past year, U.S. foreign aid and support for multilateral institutions emerged in somewhat better shape than many observers had expected. After negotiations by conferees from the Republican-led House of Representatives and the Democratic-led Senate, agreement was reached late this week on a diplomatic and foreign-aid package totalling 53.3 billion dollars for fiscal year 2012.

China’s Environment Policy: A Two Level Game

November 28, 2011 by

As the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) Conference begins in Durban, South Africa, there will be few holding their breath that a major breakthrough decision will occur. For its part, China has specifically stated that it is against any binding commitments on carbon levels.

And what if nothing happens at Durban?

November 27, 2011 by

Progress towards a binding international agreement on targets to tackle global warming has been more than glacial. Yet despite growing alarm among the climate science community, the UN climate conference, which begins in Durban next week, will fail to deliver any breakthrough. Indeed, many predict there won’t be any real progress until 2015 at the earliest.

Syrian Upheaval: Regime Change Imminent?

November 23, 2011 by

Syria is by many estimates on the verge of an increasingly bloody civil war and a long period of uncertainty. But the “people of Syria” have always “proved that they are the beating heart of Arabism”, as they were characterized by the late charismatic Egyptian leader, Col. Nasser, nearly five decades ago. This could bode well for Syrians taking to the streets to protest against Bashar al-Assad’s rule.

Is FDI beneficial?

November 12, 2011 by

According to the International Monetary Fund, foreign direct investment, commonly known as FDI, is an “investment made to acquire lasting interest in enterprises operating outside of the economy of the investor Further, in cases of FDI, the investor´s purpose is to gain an effective voice in the management of the enterprise. The foreign entity or group of associated entities that makes the investment is termed the ‘direct investor.”

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