Centrality of Women Leadership and Gender Equality

Sudanese women like everyone else aspire towards achieving the commitments made at the Millennium Summit in 2000. What are the odds, for a country and a people in a complex conflict and post-conflict situation? The ethos of the Millennium Declaration and its emphasis on women’s rights, participation of all citizens, gender equality and peace, profoundly captures the reality for women and their families in Sudan. Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Sudan demands creative and extra-ordinary measures centered on women’s leadership, reducing gender inequalities in all governance, service provision, and resource management while fostering strategic partnerships. Sudan is a country of multiple realities for its communities. Sudanese women and people are continuing to smile with one eye, while crying with another eye. They are living between the joys and commitment to sustain the peace ushered by the CPA and crying in search of peace in the Darfurs!


Economic Growth, Poverty and Inequality in South Africa: The First Decade of Democracy

In 2005, government released its economic policy programme captured formally as the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (ASGISA) (The Presidency, 2005). ASGISA is distinguished, relative to its two predecessors, GEAR and the RDP, by its strong emphasis on defined, and very specific growth-enhancing projects. The delivery of physical infrastructure and a detailed programme for the provision of skills are just two examples of such interventions. It is important to note however, that in many senses, ASGISA is a continuation of the GEAR strategy. Having achieved the critical need for macroeconomic stability – arguably the core of GEAR – the emphasis has now shifted within ASGISA to a more detailed programme of activities designed to deliver the holy grail of 6% growth per annum.


Early Marriage and Its Effects on Girls’ Education in Rural Ethiopia

Education is an important social objective of any society. The role it plays and its possible contribution to the intellectual growth and development of the society have become points of common concern in both developed and developing countries (Abera Regassa 1999:1). Education enables individuals and the society to make an all-rounded participation in the development process by acquiring knowledge, abilities and skills. Education also plays a role in promoting respect for human rights and democratic values, creating the condition for equality, mutual understanding and cooperation among people (Transitional Government of Ethiopia 1994:1-2). Thus, it is an indispensable prerequisite for developing the capacity of participation in all aspects of development (Yilma Workneh 1995:27; Trufat Bekele 1999:141-142; Befekadu Zeleke 2000)


Neoliberal Policy Agenda and the Problem of Inequality in Higher Education

As nation states seek a competitive advantage in a burgeoning global knowledge economy, they are increasingly looking to human capital produced by quality and efficient higher education (HE) systems to give them this advantage. In the case of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), this optimism has been expressed in terms of the centrality of HE in the knowledge-driven poverty reduction discourse championed by the World Bank (WB). The Bank has underscored the critical role that HE can play in supporting ‘knowledge-intensive’ development through training, producing new knowledge, and building capacity to access and apply global knowledge; and has renewed its interest in revitalizing HE in sub-Saharan Africa (World Bank, 2009). Many countries in the 2
region have taken the World Bank’s lead, reforming their HE policies to emphasize new national ambitions of knowledge-driven economic growth to end poverty

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Multi-Sector Country Gender Profile

Lesotho is a small landlocked, mountainous country that is completely surrounded by the Republic of South Africa (RSA). With a total population of about 2.2 million, the country is about 3,000 square kilometers. Three-quarters of the land is made up of highlands and the remaining one-quarter are lowlands. However, the low land is home to over 55% of the population. Lesotho is a constitutional monarchy with the King as the Head of State and the Prime Minster as Head of Government and a dual legal system consisting of customary law and the common law. Political stability has been achieved through the adoption of a relatively more inclusive electoral system as of 2002. At present, the three major challenges facing the country are extremely high unemployment and HIV/AIDS prevalence rate coupled with a high degree of food insecurity all of which exacerbate poverty, gender inequality and erode the considerable gains that Lesotho has made in human development.


Why Has Burundi Grown so Slowly?

Burundi is a ‘low opportunity’ economy. The country is small and overpopulated with more than 6 million people divided into three ethnic groups: the Hutus (about 84 percent), the Tutsis (about 15 percent) and the Twas (1 percent).1 With an urbanisation rate of only 7 percent, Burundi is essentially rural. Furthermore, Burundi’s location in the tropics, where malaria and other debilitating tropical diseases are prevalent, imposes a heavy constraint on the country’s development potential.2 In addition, Burundi is landlocked and dependent on its neighbours’ wrecked road and rail infrastructure in the conduct of its international trade.
The country’s isolation within a geographically isolated continent (Fafchamps, 2003) compounds the challenges to Burundi’s economic growth.


How do tax Systems evolve as Countries Achieve Structural Transformation?

At the end of the 1980s, developing countries engaged in a policy of economic openness and trade liberalisation. This paradigm change came with a ‘tax transition’, whereby economically neutral taxation replaced protectionist taxation. This paper examines this break in the tax policy among countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the last group of countries to engage in liberalisation.
Changes in development strategy: role of the state and tax transition. A sharp increase in the government revenues in developing countries, including SSA, occurred between 1980 and 2012. Tax revenues followed a similar pattern, an aggregate that in part eliminated the impact of revenues from mining.


Spatial Inequality and Development

The UNU-Wider project on ‘Spatial disparities in development’has analyzed evidence on the extent of spatial inequalities in over 50 developing countries. The peer reviewed papers published under the auspices of the project find that spatial inequalities are high, with disparities between rural and urban areas, and also between geographically advantaged and disadvantaged regions. In many countries such disparities are increasing, partly as a consequence of the uneven impact of trade openness and globalization. While there are efficiency gains from the concentration of economic activity in urban centers and in coastal districts, the associated regional inequalities are a major contributor to overall inequality. They are particularly worrying if they align with political or ethnic divisions. The broad outline of appropriate policy for managing high and rising spatial disparities is also clear. The case for policy interventions to ensure a more spatially equitable allocation of infrastructure and public services, and for policies to ensure freer migration, has been made powerfully in the papers in this project.

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Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD) University of Kwazulu-Natal

This literature review was prepared for the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, to provide a theoretical basis for a research meeting in October 2005. The review concentrates on the socio-economic consequences of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, looking specifically at its interaction with poverty and inequality at a household or micro level, and with economic growth at a macro level. The aim is to review the available literature and highlight findings from the most important studies, as well as recent original research and new thinking. While the focus of this work is limited to the economic impacts of the epidemic, we do not disregard the overwhelming human aspects – prolonged emotional and physical suffering, grief and bereavement – which cannot be quantified.

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Community, Inequality, and Local Public Goods: Evidence from School Financing in South Africa

To examine how local income distribution affects both a community’s ability to pay for schooling and the quality of that schooling, this research merges household and school census data from South Africa. Empirical results are twofold. First, while the median income and the average household income increase school fees, inequality in household income (standard deviation) decreases school fees, which indicates that the lower tail of income distribution pulls down school fees. Second, an increase in school fees significantly improves school quality, decreasing the learner-educator ratio and increasing the number of nonsubsidized educators. The result is consistent with

(1) strategic behavior of the low-income group.

(2) optimal school fee determination with incomplete interhousehold income transfers.

Empirical results and simulations demonstrate the possibility that income and asset inequality may reduce the quality of public goods, decreasing human capital and income growth for the next generation.


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