Talking Points on Economy and Development
Politicians and investors in Africa and around the world speak of
creating good jobs. In practice they most often promote a market-fundamentalist development model that sheds jobs while increasing profits for the 1%.
The "Africa Rising" narrative celebrating rapid economic growth
in many African countries contains a partial truth. New investment
in extractive industries to serve world markets is growing, and there
is rapid growth in information and communication technology as well.
But most Africans, whether in the rural areas or the burgeoning cities,
have little access to the wealth created. Jobs in the formal sector do not
come close to keeping up with expansion of the labor force. And government
policies marginalize the interests of workers and small farmers.
Sustainable development depends on public investment in health, education, and infrastructure, but these investments fall far short
of what is needed.
Significant change in economic policies, in Africa and around the world,
will only come if there is active transnational mobilization for economic justice
for the 99%. Such action must include not only political groups, but also
unions, farmers' organizations, human rights groups, churches, and others
in all sectors of society.
South African platinum miners organize a wildcat strike in October 2012.
T-shirts refer to massacre of striking miners at Marikana in August that year.
Recent bulletins on economy and development
July 6, 2015 Africa/Global: People's Test on Climate
With less than six months before this year's UN Climate Change
conference in Paris, it is clear that commitments by governments to
action on climate change will fall short of that necessary to keep
global warming under the internationally agreed target of 2 degrees
Celsius, despite recent new pledges by the United States, Brazil,
and China (http://tinyurl.com/qhtfdk9; http://tinyurl.com/q8g3srl).
But, beyond national governments, there are signs of growing
momentum for more rapid "transformational" action. Particularly
notable is the recognition that such action must simultaneously
address economic inequality and development as well as the natural
June 30, 2015 South Africa: Marikana Perspectives, 2
"President Jacob Zuma's response to the Marikana Report is
underwhelming, to say the least. He was allowed to avoid being
forced to act in a more pointed way following what happened at
Marikana because Judge Ian Farlam's recommendations are legally and
socially conservative, and morally weak. The recommendations that
essentially pass the buck to other state agencies to re-investigate
will have left most the victims and families of victims of the
killing spree in August of 2012 feeling cheated." - Greg Marinovich
June 30, 2015 South Africa: Marikana Perspectives, 1
Almost three years after the killings by police of 44 striking
miners at Marikana platinum mine, the official Commission of Inquiry
last week released a bland 646-page report, faulting primarily
police commanders and apportioning some blame as well among the
striking miners themselves, the mining company Lonmin, and two rival
unions. However, the Commission said there was not adequate evidence
for the responsibility of higher officials. And its recommendations
for action on the police responsible were for further
June 22, 2015 Africa: AIDS Struggle Continues
"Both globally and in Africa, there is good news. Our collective
efforts to end the AIDS epidemic are paying off. Now more people
living with HIV than ever before are accessing treatment, more
people know their status, and AIDS-related deaths are declining. ...
This progress, however, belies a dangerous reality: young African
women and adolescent girls are especially vulnerable to HIV." -
UNAIDS, June 2015
by date | by place | by topic
June 15, 2015
Eritrea: "Rule of Fear, Not Law"
June 2, 2015
Africa/Global: Capital Flows in Context
June 2, 2015
Africa/Global: Tax Justice & Inequality
May 25, 2015
Africa/Global: Africa, Race, and World Order
May 18, 2015
Africa/Global: Decarbonizing Development?
May 11, 2015
West Africa: Ebola Down But Not Out
May 5, 2015
Africa/Global: Renewables Gaining Ground
April 27, 2015
Burundi: On the Brink?
April 22, 2015
South Africa: Saying No to Xenophobia
April 14, 2015
Europe/Africa: Deaths at Sea
April 8, 2015
Garissa: Not Just Numbers
March 30, 2015
South Africa: Energy Futures Contested
March 23, 2015
Africa/Global: Swiss Connections
March 17, 2015
Africa: Higher Education Must Be Higher Priority
March 10, 2015
Africa/Global: Falling Short on Climate Finance
March 3, 2015
East Africa: Water, Wind, and Lake Turkana