For the second time in less than six months, polio vaccine workers in Pakistan have come under fire. For the gunmen, killing health care workers has been seen as a legitimate response to a nefarious extension of Western power. And, for the CIA, faux vaccine campaigns have sometimes been justified as part of the war on terror. Both sides are wrong: denying or providing health care should never be an instrument of statecraft.
A Pakistani nurse administers polio vaccines in Peshawar, November 2001. (Courtesy Reuters)
Why the Pessimists and the Optimists Are Both Right
April 3, 2013
Shantayanan Devarajan and Wolfgang Fengler
Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP has grown five percent a year since 2000 and is expected to grow even faster in the future. Although pessimists are quick to point out that this growth has followed increases in commodities prices, the success of recent political reforms and the increased openness of African societies give the region a good chance of sustaining its boom for years to come.
Skeptics fail to grasp the extent to which Africa’s recent growth is a result of economic reforms.
Optimists underestimate the degree to which the region’s problems reflect deeply rooted political conflicts.
Recent reforms and the increased openness of African societies give the region a good chance of enjoying sustained growth.
Despite the claims of its champions, the fair-trade movement doesn't help alleviate poverty in developing countries. Even worse, it is just another direct farm subsidy of the kind most conscientious consumers despise. In the long term, the world needs free trade, not fair trade.
Fair-trade coffee beans dry in the sun in Nicaragua, 2004. (William Neuheisel / Flickr)
Fair trade is a form of protectionism, and it should not be allowed to hide behind the mask of morality.
Council on Foreign Relations
Friday, 05-17-13South Africa's Economic Fault LinesSouth Africa in the post-apartheid period has registered steady growth, but mounting problems over inequality threaten the continent's economic engine, explains this Backgrounder.
Wednesday, 05-15-13Escaping Nigeria's Cycle of ViolenceA state of emergency in Nigeria's northeast signals that Islamist violence and the government's brutal response have rendered the region ungovernable, says CFR's John Campbell.
Wednesday, 04-24-13Realizing Democracy: Lessons from South Africa and NigeriaIsobel Coleman hosts John Campbell, former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, for a discussion about the political and economic transitions of South Africa and Nigeria as part of a Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative series on Realizing Democracy: Lessons from Transitioning Countries.
Tuesday, 04-23-13Africa's Economic BoomSub-Saharan Africa's GDP has grown five percent a year since 2000 and is expected to grow even faster in the future. Although pessimists are quick to point out that this growth has followed increases in commodities prices, the success of recent political reforms and the increased openness of African societies give the region a good chance of sustaining its boom for years to come.
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