The African Continental Free Trade Area is expanding, but who will benefit?

May 8, 2019
Brenda Kombo is a socio-cultural anthropologist and lawyer based in Nairobi, Kenya. On April 2, 2019, The Gambia ratified the agreement establishing the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). In doing so, it joined 21 other African countries, thus helping usher the agreement into force as the threshold of 22 ratifications was reached. But what does this really mean for Africa? Temporarily ignoring the African Union’s

What does Artificial Intelligence mean for the future of poor countries?

September 22, 2017
What do the multiple overlapping new technologies currently breaking in tsunamis over the world’s economies and societies mean for the future of low and middle income countries (LMICs)? Last week I went along to a seminar (Chatham House Rule, so no names) on this topic, hoping for some interesting, preferably optimistic ideas and examples. I came away deeply, deeply worried.

Have technology and globalization kicked away the ladder of ‘easy’ development? Dani Rodrik thinks so

June 26, 2015
Dani Rodrik was in town his week, and I attended a brilliant presentation at ODI. Very exciting. He’s been one of my heroes ever since I joined the aid and development crowd in the late 90s, when he was one of the few high profile economists to be arguing against the liberalizing market-good/state-bad tide on trade, investment and just about

What can Sweden teach us about successful development?

September 7, 2010
What, if anything, can today’s developing countries learn from Sweden? That’s the question that a new paper by Ari Kokko, published by the UN University’s World Institute for Development Economics Research, seeks to answer. Sweden is particularly relevant because up until well into the 19th Century, it looked very much like a developing country: dependent on agriculture, forestry and mining,

It's Doha déjà vu (all over again)

December 21, 2008

Is the World Bank’s New Chief Economist a Heretic?

December 4, 2008