- Much to its participants’ relief, and to the world’s indifference, the World Social Forum came to an end in Nairobi. While some of us were there to tell (and espeically to experience the scorching African sun) …
- … others – namely Dr Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem, Firoze Manji and Patrick Bond from Pambazuka News – were beginning to raise questions about how un-representational and undemocratic this event has become.
- But when even the World Bank’s President, Paul Wolfowitz, has no money to buy new socks, what hope is there for those billions still living in poverty?
- Sudan was refused for the second year in a row the position of chair of the African Union, following a meeting of African leaders in Addis Abeba, on the grounds of its refusal to allow a peacekeeping mission in Darfur [via Patrick].
- China’s President Hu Jintao begun an eight-nation tour of Africa, which has already brought him to Cameroon – where he approved $100m worth of grants and loans – and Liberia – where a possible package of investment in a special economic zone is expected to create some 50,000 jobs in the next 10 years.
- Human Rights Watch takes on Nigeria’s oil corruption, accusing local governments of squandering rising revenues that could provide basic health and education services for the poor.
- The FT reports that Aureos Capital, one of the most experienced private equity groups in Africa, is aiming to raise $400m for a ground-breaking bet on the potential of smaller companies to build businesses spanning the continent [via Timbuktu Chronicles]
- David Calleo aligns himself with the social concerns of many Euro-sceptics, and criticizes free trade as the last religion of the West. He’s clearly not heard about Richard Dawkins‘ concern that we are progressively becoming delusional…
- Marie-Jose Garot makes a compelling case on Blog Europa for building a European political community as a prerequisite for any constitutional citizenship, although her suggestion of doing this by establishing a European military service doesn’t seem to me the most appropriate was of promoting the EU’s founding principles of peace and mutual tolerance. Nor am I sure I want to model Europeans’ sense of citizenship on the US’ idea of patriotism…!
- DJ Nozem contemplates a proposal by French MEP Alain Massoure that would reform the CAP in exchange for the UK giving up it €7.5 billion-a-year rebate…
- … and Clive Matthews reports on Timothy Garton Ash’s latest (and super-heroic) plan to construct Europe’s identity by letting its citizens tell its story. Could be interesting, but could also be incredibly messy, judging by the first vitriolic exchanges.
- Joseph Nye explains on the Huffington Post’s blog the four reasons why Russia will not be a major power in 2020 [via Siberian Light]
- … but this didn’t stop the Economist Intelligence Unit declaring it the 10th largest economy in the world [also via]
- Hugo Chavez declares the start of maximum revolution, and is given full powers by Congress to turn Venezuela in a socialist country. Not a good sign, given Latin America’s legacy… [via Patrick]
- The Foundation for Development Cooperation – Australia’s only international development think tank! – has published a report on the role remittances from migrant workers can play in many coutries’ economies, and arguing that financial products urgently need to be developed to make it easier to send, receive and manage international money transfers [via Africa Unchained].
- Ethiopia takes on Starbucks while Papua New Guinea sues mining giant BHP Billiton: which one will be the next mediatic frenzy ‘a la Blood Diamond‘ on how the Western corporations are destroying the world?
Information Technology and Innovation
- Chris Anderson discusses hyperlocal journalism and the vanishing point theory of news in a throught-provoking piece about the future of information [via Juan Freire]
- And finally, the European eGovernment Society launches a call for papers for its 6th international conference, which will take place in the lovely town of Regensburg, in Germany [via Spartakan]!