Sep 04 2006

Malawi Bound

Category: Uncategorized<ADMINNICENAME> @ 4:12 AM

I’m leaving for 15 days in Malawi on Monday, partly to get a look at how food-security issues are handled in this southern African country, where famines have reoccurred since the mid-1800s. Malawi’s corn harvest is expected to be its largest since 2000, because of better weather.

That should ease pressure on food supplies but there is continuing concern over low productivity in agriculture. One of the reasons for my visit is to meet with ordinary farmers to better understand efforts to improve food output. The work is part of a continuing project of mine on the political economy of African agriculture, which has been funded in part by the German Marshall Fund.

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In today’s SF Chronicle I have a short analysis of the current problems in the Congo, where a second round of U.N.-sponsored elections are set for late October.

I don’t like what the UN is doing in the Congo and think the elections should be postponed, with a new slate of candidates drawn from civil society, not the ranks of war lords and despots (the current contenders).


Sep 01 2006

Category: Uncategorized<ADMINNICENAME> @ 10:31 PM

“Every African is an unconscious aristocrat.”
Cheikh Anta Diop


Sep 01 2006

Back to Africa

Category: Uncategorized<ADMINNICENAME> @ 10:24 PM

Barack Obama’s visit to Kenya has provoked some productive soul-searchingamong the citizens of Africa’s greatest under-achiever. Obama, the only black U.S. Sentator, is the son of a Kenyan economist who’s never lived in Africa. His frank talk, coupled with his efforts to deepen connections to people with a shared heritage, provides a model for a different kind of foreign assistance to Africa.

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Aids continues to dominate media attention of Africa, as illustrated by a front page story in the Aug. 29 issue of the New York Times, which centers on Bill Clinton’s effective efforts to reduce the costs of HIV/AIDS drugs.


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