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writings on the wall

economics

This tag is associated with 15 posts

Aid shambles: ..too many bakers..

This is the second (explanatory) post of a three-part series taking a critical look at aid from Tanzania. The first part, including the cake analogy, can be found here. It’s easy to criticise aid, if development woes of the past decades are all assigned to that. But to see why aid is functioning so poorly, … Continue reading

Aid shambles: One cake…

This is the first (introductory) post of a three-part series taking a critical look at aid. Imagine you’re a baker, and you’re baking a cake. The local cookbook isn’t finalised yet so you’re using a foreign one where measures and ingredients are different, meaning you have to improvise a little. While the cake is in … Continue reading

Urban transport dreams

African cities are walking cities, but are they walkable? ‘No’ was the immediate answer that came to my mind, but the title of the Walkonomics/This Big City blog post made me curious enough to read more. According to it, walking is “the most popular form of transport” in urban Africa. Realistic enough, there are millions … Continue reading

TRL: The middle of the pyramid

It all started with ‘The Middle of the Pyramid: dynamics of the middle class in Africa’ report prepared by the African Development Bank (AfDB) in April 2011. The current hype about Africa’s middle class, that is. “The number of middle class Africans has tripled over the last 30 years to 313 million people, or more … Continue reading

7th Heaven, pt. 4

#4 Spices, spices, spices Zanzibar is known as the Spice Island, and for a pretty good reason. The whole middle part of Unguja is covered in spice plantations, and apart from tourism, it’s one of the biggest driver’s of the economy. So whether it’s fresh cumin, vanilla-flavoured tea or any colour of peppercorn you’re looking for, … Continue reading

TRL: The times they are a-changin’

Gone are the days when the Western collective could claim moral and financial superiority in the world economy. Africa currently has seven of the world’s ten fastest growing economies, and its developments in ICT, infrastructure and business environment, among others, are making traditional donors and aid modalities obsolete. Below are a few recent articles on the unfolding … Continue reading

Shilingi ngapi?

How many shillings? Whether you use this phrase with a salesperson known or unknown to you, it basically always ends with a long bargaining process. After a while, you learn that there are some products which are impossible to bargain down the price for, since no one would sell at a loss, but these products are rare. Most prices … Continue reading

On famine

UN declared famine in Southern Somalia yesterday, after months of drought and hunger in the Horn of Africa. Looking at the map, large parts of Ethiopia and Kenya are not doing well either. It’s a serious and sad situation, but I find it somehow ironic that it was the Famine Early Warnings System Network that published … Continue reading

A letter to the editor

Common currency emerging in Africa, the title says. Any comments? I was quite disturbed by the picture this well-known Finnish business paper had chosen to put on its frontpage, and as I’ve been feeling very well-versed lately (as you can see from increased blog-posting), I decided to take matters into my own hands and send … Continue reading

7th Heaven, pt. 2

#2 You can easily get lost in Stone Town Stone Town is the old part of the capital Zanzibar Town on Unguja, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s got a lovely charm and reminds me a little bit of Italy actually with the narrow, winding streets, small shops and cafés and countless scooters. It’s … Continue reading

All writings on the wall

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