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Jun 14, 2016

The Guardian | World | Home | Development | Global Development - June 14, 2016: Rapid Urbanization in Africa, and the Cost of Conflict and Terrorism

With more than half of all Africans expected to live in cities by 2050, can rapid urbanisation act as a catalyst for development and growth? The latest African Economic Outlook says it is possible, but only if authorities prioritise inclusive growth, jobs, better housing and social safety nets, and improve links with rural areas. “To seize this ‘urbanisation dividend’, a number of bold policy reforms are necessary,” the report says.

Conflict and terrorism cost the global economy $13.6tn (£9.3tn) last year, according to the global peace index. It rated Syria as the least peaceful county, followed by South Sudan and Iraq. Iceland, Denmark, Austria and New Zealand were among the world’s most peaceful countries.

Elsewhere on the site

Mafia at a crossroads as Nigerian gangsters hit Sicily’s shores
Jordan’s first self-defence centre for women boosts fight for rights
Experts sound alarm over mental health toll borne by migrants and refugees
‘Free, local and special’: argan oil co-ops booming in Morocco
Indonesia’s forest fires threaten Sumatra’s few remaining Orang Rimba
The lonely struggle of India’s anti-nuclear protesters


Inequality is the biggest obstacle to eradicating Aids, says Lilianne Ploumen, Dutch minister for foreign trade and development cooperation. Despite innovations in diagnosing and treating HIV and Aids, last year, 19.7 million people living with HIV were not receiving antiretroviral treatment. Ploumen says social, cultural, economic and gender-based inequality is to blame.
The UN has failed to prevent the bombing of schools and hospitals in Yemen, by removing Saudi Arabia from a blacklist of those violating children’s rights, writes Rob Williams, CEO of War Child UK. “The UN appears to be acting as a club for the rich and powerful, pointing the finger at rebel groups and obscure militia but covering up for the violations committed by its member states,” Williams says.
And what can Africa learn from China’s economic boom? Allow elites to have a stake in development and poverty reduction, argues Jonathan Glennie.


Globally there are 168 million child workers. Take a look at some of the everyday items that may involve child labour in their production, from smartphones to cigarettes.
Myanmar’s Chin state is experiencing an exodus as young women migrate to countries including Saudi Arabia and Singapore to work and send money home to their families. But many become trapped in exploitative work conditions and are unable to return. Watch their story.

What you said

On the growing threat to activists and indigenous people defending the environment, DogsLivesMatter wrote:
The activists who are out doing the dangerous work are the true heroes. All activists and aid workers should be protected by their respective governments. It’s a sad state of affairs that corporations are given carte blanche to ride roughshod over the environment and those risking their lives to protect the environment.

Highlight from the blogosphere

Do middle-income countries really get more aid than low-income countries? Owen Barder, writing on the blog Owen Abroad, investigates.