Download Africa's Turn? (Boston Review Books) by Edward Miguel PDF

By Edward Miguel

Edward Miguel, coauthor with Raymond Fisman of monetary Gangsters: Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of countries, is affiliate Professor of Economics and Director of the heart of Evalulations for international motion on the college of California, Berkeley.

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Sample text

Policymakers are genuinely interested in keeping Africa’s current economic turnaround going, reducing agricultural subsidies to our domestic cotton farmers would be an obvious starting point. Recent history suggests that unilateral trade liberalization by rich countries can make a difference. In 2000 the United States enacted the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which reduced tariff rates and lifted quotas on African textiles. It is credited with spurring textile production in a few African countries, including Kenya.

It should not be surprising that it is taking a full generation or more for real nationhood to take root in these infant countries. Everything started from scratch after independence. Politicians had to figure out how to forge political compromises across class, regional, gender, linguistic, tribal, and religious lines. History and civics textbooks needed to be written. Citizens had to come up with their own national narra is it africa’s turn? tives and heroes. In Kenya leaders had to deal with the toxic legacy of the Mau Mau uprising, which became a civil war pitting Kikuyu neighbors against one other.

But not so for Sudan, Chad, or their neighbors. Several leading international climate scientists predict that conditions will get worse in Africa’s Sahel, a parched stretch of earth containing Chad and Niger, as well as parts of Sudan, Mali, Senegal, and their neighbors. The Sahel is home to over one hundred million of the world’s poorest people. Average annual per capita income in the fifteen Sahelian countries is only $346, and the entire region is racked by political instability and warfare.

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