The Year in Africa

January 7, 2020
If you don’t receive ‘This Week in Africa’, check it out – it’s an amazing and wide-ranging round up of links put together by Jeff (American) and Phil (Zimbabwean) and hosted by the University of San Francisco. And their annual version is even better. Their 2019 summary is way too long for a blog, so I’ve cut it down by

Land grabs: what's in the contracts? And an Indian land grab in Ethiopia

March 22, 2011

Education: an Ethiopian Success Story

October 1, 2010
By 7.30 a.m, the roadsides in rural Ethiopia are thronged with hundreds of kids rushing, exercise books in hand, to school. Conversations with farmers are dotted with references to the importance of education. Are they just saying what they think their NGO visitors want to hear? Not according to a new report from the Overseas Development Institute in London, one of

How can Ethiopia’s coffee farmers get more from your $3 latte?

September 30, 2010
According to legend Kaldi (left), a 9th Century Ethiopian goatherd, discovered coffee when he saw his flock start leaping around after nibbling the bright red berries of a certain bush. He gave them a try, and the ensuing buzz prompted him to bring the berries to an Islamic holy man in a nearby monastery. The holy man disapproved of their use

Should we buy roses from Ethiopia?

September 28, 2010
OK, back to Ethiopia week. On leaving Addis, we head off to the Rift Valley on one of Ethiopia’s many excellent roads (shame about the driving…) to an enormous flower farm owned by a company called Sher, which rents them out to three large Dutch flower companies, including Herburg Roses Ethiopia plc, who we are meeting. And I mean enormous

How butter leads to women’s emancipation: a self help group in Ethiopia

September 24, 2010
In societies where women are traditionally confined to the home and denied any voice, how can NGOs help bring them together? Ethiopia week on the blog continues with a visit to a women’s group supported by an Oxfam partner, Rift Valley Children and Women Development. On the way, Hussen Delecha, an ex-Save the Children staffer who decided to switch to

25 years after the Ethiopian famine, what have we learned?

October 22, 2009
It’s 25 years since the Ethiopian famine and the region is again being flayed by drought. Expect lots of media coverage, at least some of it along the lines of ’why did we bother? Nothing’s changed.’ Not so. Band Aids and Beyond, an Oxfam briefing paper published today, summarizes what’s been learned since then and asks why donors and governments

Is British aid bad? Owen Barder locks antlers with Bill Easterly

March 25, 2009
Time for a little attention to the rising aid sceptic tide. A number of books (Dambisa Moyo, Jonathan Glennie, Michela Wrong), blogs etc have been trashing aid with both good and bad consequences. Good in that, as From Poverty to Power argues, there is lots wrong with the aid system that urgently needs fixing (and some deeper questions on the