Tag Archives | African governments
Resource-based industries are not entirely about resources. They are, very largely, about people, and how effectively people from all sectors work together. In this article I will outline why collaboration is vital to growing our African resource industries.
The development of sustainable urban infrastructure is one of the greatest challenges of today. Urban growth is placing enormous pressure on existing infrastructures and the ability of governments to cater for all citizens in terms of housing and services. Innovative thinking is needed to help African cities keep pace with urban growth – important considering that more than a third of African inhabitants reside in cities.
The World Bank’s Vice President, Makhtar Diop, has called for faster progress in areas such as electricity and food in the vulnerable areas of The Sahel and the Horn of Africa, and says that significantly more energy and agricultural productivity are needed to raise the quality of life …
There is no question that poor infrastructure development is one of the greatest inhibiting factors for economic and social development across Africa, or that the continent’s rich natural resources are its best leverage for turning this situation around …
The West African nations of Burkina Faso and Niger expressed satisfaction yesterday after the International Court of Justice set-tied a border dispute that dated back to French colonial times. In a highly technical ruling, the International Court of Justice in The Hague demarcated the territory of the two countries in an area that stretched for about 380km, more than half the length of their border.
Direct payment at point of use is the least-optimal way of financing healthcare, as in poor countries in particular, dramatic and expensive ailments can push the poor into bankruptcy, or else high costs can dissuade people from seeking desperately needed medical care. So, according to the WHO, two years after Burundi introduced user fees for healthcare in 2002, four out of five patients in that country were either in debt or had sold assets to pay for healthcare.
It is routine for more than 2% of the population of low-income countries to suffer ‘financial catastrophe’– defined as having to spend over 40% of income after food – because of healthcare costs. In the estimation of the WHO, reliance on direct payments has to fall to at most 20% of total health expenditures to bring the incidence of financial catastrophe down to negligible levels.
Efforts to control the three pandemics (HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria) have made real differences to longevity in Africa and should be applauded. But there are reasons to think that there is too much focus on these three pandemics. In healthcare this kind of focus on a specific health issue is called a ‘vertical’ focus, and many critics think that it too often prevails in preference to a ‘horizontal’ focus that aims to strengthen health systems in a more general way.