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 >>>
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.
The year 2015 was marked on the one hand by the inability of the European Union (EU) to emerge from the crisis, and on the other by a dramatic rise in the number of people taking flight from their homes and from their homelands, because of wars and terrorist attacks, in many cases caused by the destructive policies of the EU and of its member states.
The world economy stumbled in 2015 and only a modest improvement is projected for 2016/17 as a number of cyclical and structural headwinds persist, says the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2016 report. Global growth is estimated at a mere 2.4% in 2015.
Within a few weeks leftwing governments in Latin America have experienced a breath-taking decline. The Latin American (centre-) left forces suffered several strategic defeats. They occurred in the biggest Latin American economies. First in Argentina, than in Venezuela, and also in Brazil the days of an uncontested majority of left forces are definitely over now.
14 years after their previous strategy on gender mainstreaming, the WBG has decided to develop a new Gender Equality (GE) Strategy. This briefing document presents WIDE+ critical reflections and key recommendations to enhance the new World Bank Group's (WBG) strategy on Gender Equality.