Helping Africa’s urban poor gain from modernization

Helping Africa’s urban poor gain from modernization

Plans to reshape and modernize African cities, in part driven by investment, architecture and construction companies seeking new markets, could deepen existing social inequalities, according to recent research. But these development plans could also benefit the poor if governments are responsive to the needs of their citizens, argue analysts.

The implementation of these development plans within existing cities is having major exclusionary effects on vulnerable low-income groups through evictions and relocations, states the journal article “African urban fantasies: dreams or nightmares?”. This is because some of the informal settlements – where most of Africa’s urban poor live – are on lands attractive to property developers.

AfricaNew UNDP report reveals global inequalities, increasing mortality in Africa

AfricaNew UNDP report reveals global inequalities, increasing mortality in Africa

FRIGHTENING global inequalities means our world is fatally barbed. What is more? Maternal mortality is increasing in Africa, in direct contrast to the state of affairs in the northern hemisphere. Is mockery being made of global efforts to bring about development in specific areas of focus? Well, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) seems to think so.

It is the grim reality contained in its new report launched yesterday which ostensibly persuades the UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark, to conclude that a sustained reduction in inequality also now requires a shift to more inclusive growth patterns

Gender equity bill gets thumbs down

Gender equity bill gets thumbs down

A draft law that aims to enforce women filling half the top management positions in both the public and private sectors has been given a resounding thumbs down by business.

Parliament has been holding public hearings on the Women Empowerment and Gender Equity Bill this week. The bill was introduced by the Minister of Women,

Children and People with Disabilities late in 2013 and is intended to help empower women.Gender rights bodies have also slated the bill for excluding gay, lesbian, transgender and intersex people. Representatives of organized business say the 50:50 clause will be impossible to implement.Business Unity South Africa’s Vanessa Phala says while the bill’s intentions are good, women are not well represented in industries such as mining, engineering and construction

Inequalities Cause Severe Impact on Children, Warns UNICEF

Inequalities Cause Severe Impact on Children, Warns UNICEF

Despite progress made in the situation of children worldwide, the inequalities continue affecting the quality of life and human rights of millions of children, warned today the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

UNICEF released here the report Every Children Matters, reflecting that 6.60 million infants Ander five died in 2012, mostly from preventable causes, while some 15 percent of the child population was forced to work, in a scene marked by social exclusion.

Africa: NDP Inadequate to the Task of Addressing South Africa’s Inequality

Africa: NDP Inadequate to the Task of Addressing South Africa’s Inequality

This conception of equity following growth has deep roots in South Africa. One of the earliest incarnations of this idea is from the Mount Fluer Scenarios, which warned of an “Icarus” scenario, where a well-meaning democratic government spends irresponsibly and in the process bankrupts the country. The warning was heeded and successive government plans starting with GEAR (the growth, employment and redistribution macro-economic strategy) have had a singular commitment to growing the economy with the intent of creating more jobs, growing and reprioritising government spending as well as improving skewed economic ownership. The idea runs through GEAR and even finds a place in the putative social compacts reached in the Growth and Development Summit.

Fallacies of the Global Crusade against Inequality.

Fallacies of the Global Crusade against Inequality.

Justice and Liberty the First Losers of the Redistributionist Leviathan It was Thomas Kuhn, and not Karl Popper, who best succeeded at describing how human knowledge evolves. He demonstrated that men do not tend to seek the truth through verification of rational hypotheses; rather, sciences — including social sciences — are based on paradigms, often […]

Closing Ghana’s national poverty gap North-south disparities challenge attainment of Millennium Development Goals

Closing Ghana’s national poverty gap North-south disparities challenge attainment of Millennium Development Goals

According to UNDP’s Ghana Human Development Report 2007, these three regions “harbour the poorest of the poor.” So while Ghana — unlike many other countries in sub-Saharan Africa — has made some notable progress on some of the MDGs, that process has been very uneven within the country. Segments of the population have been left behind in other parts of Ghana as well, especially in the large urban centres in the south. Yet the worst indicators are concentrated in the north –

Ghanaian development experts, international aid agencies and residents of the north argue strongly that much more needs to be done to narrow the country’s regional divide. According to Charles Abugre, a Ghanaian economist and head of policy and advocacy for the non-governmental Christian Aid, Ghana will not be able to meet all the MDGs unless “deliberate government policies” are put in place to close the gap between north and south

Good news for women entrepreneurs in Africa

Good news for women entrepreneurs in Africa

Partnership formed between UN Women and the Mara Foundation, to enable and empower women entrepreneurs not only in Africa, but globally. The measure was announced yesterday during the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Mentoring, training and tools will be provided to help women entrepreneurs.

UN Women and Mara Foundation announce partnership to support women entrepreneurs in Africa.

South Africa: Corruption in South Africa – a Tale of Black Political Elites and White Economic Elites

South Africa: Corruption in South Africa – a Tale of Black Political Elites and White Economic Elites

When South Africa became democratic and political equality was adopted, little was done for economic equality. That mainly benefitted the already powerful whites. Economic liberalisation coupled with inequality and capitalist competition have engendered massive corruption

In conjunction with the passing of one of the greatest legends in our time, Nelson Mandela, South Africa gained some renewed attention. In general, the news stories regarding the country were negative and centred around widespread corruption associate with the government led by African National Congress. These reports are true, but they are far from complete. The corruption within the political elite stands in direct relation to the bribes and threats from the economic elite. It is absolutely crucial to complete the picture on corruption, not only to reach a greater truth, but also to mitigate racism and ideological delusions.

South Africa: Inequality Still a Challenge – Motlanthe

South Africa: Inequality Still a Challenge – Motlanthe

While government has made considerable strides since the dawn of democracy, much more still remains to be done to reduce inequality in the country, says Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.

Speaking at the Mail & Guardian 20 Years of Economic Transformation Summit in Sandton, Motlanthe said while poverty had declined, inequality had not, as data shows that the richest 10% of households still get over half of the country’s national income.

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