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Excerpts from "The New Harvest" by Calestous Juma

The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa Oxford University Press December 2010

Author: Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development; Director, Science, Technology, and Globalization Project; Principal Investigator, Agricultural Innovation in Africa Harvard University

African agriculture is currently at a crossroads, at which persistent food shortages are compounded by threats from climate change. But, as this book argues, Africa faces three major opportunities that can transform its agriculture into a force for economic growth: advances in science and technology; the creation of regional markets; and the emergence of a new crop of entrepreneurial leaders dedicated to the continent's economic improvement.

Filled with case studies from within Africa and success stories from developing nations around the world, The New Harvest outlines the policies and institutional changes necessary to promote agricultural innovation across the African continent. Incorporating research from academia, government, civil society, and private industry, the book suggests multiple ways that individual African countries can work together at the regional level to develop local knowledge and resources, harness technological innovation, encourage entrepreneurship, increase agricultural output, create markets, and improve infrastructure.

The New Harvest is a product of the Agricultural Innovation in Africa Project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Visit the Belfast Center Havard University for the Extracts 

They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky

by Benjamin Ajak, Benson Deng, Alephonsian Deng, Judy Bernstein

Across Sudan, between 1987 and 1989, tens of thousands of young boys took flight from the massacres of Sudan's civil war. They became known as the Lost Boys. With little more than the clothes on their backs, sometimes not even that, they streamed out over Sudan in search of refuge. Their journey led them first to Ethiopia and then, driven back into Sudan, toward Kenya. They walked nearly one thousand miles, sustained only by the sheer will to live. They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky is three boys' account of that unimaginable journey. With the candor and the purity of their child's-eye-vision, Alephonsion, Benjamin, and Benson recall by turns how they endured hunger and strength-sapping illnesses. How they dodged the life-threatening predators-lions, snakes, crocodiles and soldiers-that dogged their footsteps. How they grappled with a war that threatened continually to overwhelm them. Their story is a lyrical, captivating portrait of a childhood lost to war, and of the perseverance of the human spirit.



Entrepreneurial Solutions for Prosperity in BOP Markets. By Eric Kacou from Ivory Coast

The book seeks to help people in the region to change their mindset from being caught in a “survival trap” to solving problems by providing entrepreneurial solutions.
“It is all in the mindset. We need to start solving our problems with an entrepreneurial mindset,” he said during an interview with Business Daily in Nairobi ...Mr Kacou said that entrepreneurs and other people in the region need to move from statements such as; “if I had money, I would do…” and instead utilise what is around them.This he calls utilising “intelligent capital”, which goes beyond financial capital to ideas on how to use what one has around them.
The book equips entrepreneurs, managers, and leaders with skills to better understand and tap into the BOP market.BOP stands for Bottom of the Pyramid which is the largest though poorer socio-economic group in a society.

For more


A report prepared by the Foreign Policy and the Fund for Peace. Sadly, African states are identified as top 5 in the rankings as the most failed states.

  1. Somalia
  2. Chad
  3. Sudan 
  4. Zimbabwe
  5. Democratic Republic of Congo
For more

How to do Business in Africa by Ntebo Rajuili
Pocket-sized guide to doing business in sub-Saharan Africa will give you the information and skills you need to succeed.

• Understand African business culture, run remote teams and achieve your business goals in this relatively untapped market
• Tips, checklists and ‘Ask yourself’ features show you how to establish a presence and build lasting business relationships
• Tables, illustrations, fact boxes and real-life case studies enable you to understand the African market and the challenges that may be faced

Ntebo Rajuili completed a bachelor of journalism at Rhodes University. She majored in financial journalism and politics and has a keen passion for economic history. As a television producer, she covered business and economics and produced a number of shows focused on African markets. 

African Statistical Yearbook 2010

As a result of the global economic crisis, which started in 2008, the growth of the majority of African countries’ economies weakened in 2009. The extent of the slowdown is clearly illustrated by the real GDP growth of the continent, which declined to only 2.5% in 2009, as against 5.6% a year before and an annual average of 5.4% during the period 2000-2008. In this context, Southern Africa was the subregion that was most severely affected, with GDP of the region recording negative growth of 1.1%. This was due essentially to the technical recession,
which affected South Africa during the first half of the year, reducing the positive average growth of 3.7% achieved in 2008 to a negative 1.8% for the year 2009 as a whole (Graph 1). Furthermore the deceleration in growth was uneven across countries and subregions, depending on various factors such as their vulnerability to the external shocks and the economic structure of the countries. The slowdown was relatively less severe in East Africa, with growth in the region falling to 5.8%, benefiting from the modest recovery of 2.5% of the Kenyan economy and sustained growth of 5.5% in Tanzania and 9.9% in Ethiopia.

About African Statistical Yearbook

The Joint African Statistical Yearbook is a result of these concerted and coordinated efforts among the three main continental institutions (AfDB, AUC, and UNECA) in their quest to provide users with quality statistical information to inform Africa's development initiatives.

Read more here

Tanzania Affairs issues by the British and Tanzania Society

Contents include:
2010 Election Results
Ongoing Corruption Cases
Dar es Salaam Construction Boom
Five book reviews

Does the dual-citizenship recognition determine the level and the utilization of international remittances?
By Christian Ebeke

This paper shows that countries which allow a dual citizenship status for their international migrants receive on average more remittances than others. Using a cross-section of 104 developing countries with data averaged over the period 2000-2008...The paper shows that countries which have already allowed getting a dual-citizenship perform better in terms of more investment motivated remittances.

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Website with interesting Publications some of which touch and concern Africa.

Read more here

AfDB Launches Report on Migrant Remittances

Development Financing Models should be reviewed - Donald Kaberuka

Leveraging Migration for Africa
International migration has profound implications for human welfare, and African governments have had only a limited influence on welfare outcomes, for good or ill. Improved efforts to manage migration will require information on the nature and impact of migratory patterns. This book seeks to contribute toward this goal, by reviewing previous research and providing new analyses (including surveys and case studies) as well as by formulating policy recommendations that can improve the migration experience for migrants, origin countries, and destination countries.

The book comprises this introduction and summary and four chapters. Chapter 1 reviews the data on African migration and considers the challenges African governments face in managing migration. Chapter 2 discusses the importance of remittances, the most tangible link between migration and development; it also identifies policies that can facilitate remittance flows to Africa and increase their development impact. Chapter 3 analyzes high-skilled emigration and analyzes policies that can limit adverse implications and maximize positive implications for development.

Chapter 4 considers ways in which Africa can leverage its diaspora resources to increase trade, investment, and access to technology. Trends in African Migration According to official statistics, about 30 million Africans—about 3 percent of the population—have migrated internationally (including within Africa). This figure—which includes both voluntary migrants and international refugees—almost certainly underestimates the size and importance of migration from and particularly within Africa.

  • Remittance inflows to Africa quadrupled in the 20 years since 1990, reaching nearly $40 billion (2.6 percent of GDP) in 2010.
  • Remittance flows are likely significantly underestimated: only about half of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa collect remittance data with any regularity, and some major receivers of remittances report no data at all.
  • Policy makers need to increase the transparency and efficiency of the markets for remittance services.
  • The emigration of skilled workers can generate substantial benefits for origin countries through remittances, contacts with foreign markets, technology transfer, enhanced skills of returning emigrants, and perhaps increased demand for education in the origin country. However, high-skilled emigration can also impair development by reducing the supply of critical services; limiting productivity spillovers to both high- and low-skilled workers; reducing the potential for innovative and creative activities that are at the core of long-term growth; and limiting contributions to the health of social, political, and economic institutions. The loss of workers educated at public expense can represent a substantial fiscal drain, and the many university-educated African emigrants who fail to obtain skilled jobs in high-income destination countries represent a lost investment in human capital
About half of Africa’s emigrants live outside Africa, primarily in Europe.

  • International migration has tremendous potential to improve development and welfare in origin countries. African governments can play a significant role in securing the benefits of migration by strengthening ties to diasporas, improving competition in remittance markets, designing educational policies in light of the challenges surrounding high-skilled emigration, and providing information and protection for emigrant workers. But limited fiscal and technical resources in African origin countries constrain the effectiveness of such policies and reduce the gains from migration while exposing migrants to severe risks.

Read more here

And here
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