Whether it was giving business advice to a group of community members that included reformed gangsters and former drug addicts or witnessing two world renowned economists engage in a hot debate, the experience of being a participant in the inaugural 2013 LSE-UCT July School was certainly a unique one.
The LSE-UCT July School will take place on the beautiful campus of the University of Cape Town
Participants praised the “well-informed academics who challenged us to think beyond the literature” and enjoyed the opportunity to “further explore business from a social interest standpoint”. Another remarked that “the focus on discussion and debate made it an intellectually stimulating experience”.
This innovative two-week programme will run again in 2014 from 30 June to 11 July and is open to university students, graduates and professionals from all over the world. Continue reading
LSE’s Sakina Badamasuiy discusses how the 2014 LSE Africa Summit will play a key role in maximising awareness of key trends in African entrepreneurship.
It is the new buzzword. The media is grappling to define what it stands for. Richard Branson has declared this year all about it. Profiles of young record-breaking leaders in different fields grace the covers of Forbes regularly. Entrepreneurship, its various trends and permutations has been exhorted as the world’s biggest driver that is certain to power us through an increasingly transformative decade. We continue to grapple with new technologies, scarce resources and a burgeoning globalised young population, and thus the search for distinguished thought leaders – entrepreneurs – has never been more pertinent.
The creation of the tablet Way-C is one piece of evidence in a new boom in African entrepreneurship
Yet, we stand at the risk of glamourising an essentially broad term, ignoring critical debates on what entrepreneurship means. Indeed, one of the most important discussions to be had is distinguishing the characteristics of one group from the other – demographically, geographically, or via their impact. One of those groups will undoubtedly be Africans. In a continent that has been heralded as “rising” despite underutilised resources, increasing inequality and precarious democracies, African entrepreneurs are seen as especially resilient and innovative. It is therefore more important that we must ask in what ways the debate around African entrepreneurship must be held. Continue reading
Ellie Gunningham reviews a recent public lecture at LSE during which Professor Paul Collier discussed his new book Exodus: immigration and multiculturalism in the 21st century which focuses on the increasing rate of migration from poor to rich countries.
It is not globalisation, but rather a “temporary disequilibrium of epic proportions” in the income gap between rich and poor countries, which is driving the accelerated migration that we see in the world today. Professor Paul Collier was keen to point this out at the start of his lecture, proposing that if migration is left uncontrolled there will be “an exodus of people from poor countries”, and these countries will empty.
Paul Collier proposes that those who flee war should be given timed asylum rights which would end once the conflict is over
Is this a problem? Can there be too much migration as well as too little? Collier argues that there is an optimum rate of migration, both for countries of origin and host countries.
For developing countries, emigration can drive but also stunt political, social and economic growth. Continue reading
Simone Datzberger (LSE), Viviane Dittrich (LSE) and Luisa Enria (Oxford) review the recent Sierra Leone research workshop that took place at LSE.
Since the end of the civil war (1991-2002), Sierra Leone’s transition from conflict to peace and development has often been portrayed as a success story. Following three consecutive peaceful elections (2002, 2007, 2012), Sierra Leone was recently also classified as a “Low Income State” and is no longer considered a “Fragile State” by the International Monetary Fund. Moreover, the UN Security Council will be reviewing a report on the UN mission in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL), focussing on mission drawdown and transition to a UN country team. The Government of Sierra Leone is eager to continue this trajectory away from the country’s violent past to become a beacon of development. The Agenda for Prosperity, launched in July 2013, anticipates that Sierra Leone will become a middle-income country by 2035, and a net lender within 50 years, with 80% of its population above the poverty line. Despite significant achievements in Sierra Leone since 2002, various challenges remain.
Sierra Leone – Photo: Getty images
Against this background, academics, researchers and practitioners alike gathered on 6 December 2013 at LSE, to address and critically assess the challenges as well as emerging opportunities in the ongoing peace-building and development process of the country. Continue reading
Dr Kingsley Moghalu, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and LSE alumnus, was recently in London to promote his latest book, Emerging Africa: How the Global Economy’s ‘Last Frontier’ can prosper and matter and Africa at LSE met him to find out about his vision for a prosperous Africa.
The term “Africa Rising” is on the lips of many these days particularly as seven of the world’s fastest growing economies are believed to be African. But can this current wave of Afro-optimism bring genuine prosperity to the African continent? Dr Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu, the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria thinks not.
“Hope is good,” he says. “But hope must be based on concrete substantive strategy going forward, so I pour a little bit of cold water of the Africa Rising phenomenon. I think it could lead to illusionary thinking. I recall that when African countries became independent that there was a huge sense of euphoria around the continent that independence guaranteed economic growth, political development and stability. But this did not happen in the following 30 to 40 years.”
In his latest book, Emerging Africa: How the Global Economy’s ‘Last Frontier’ can prosper and matter, Dr Moghalu presents his own ideas on how Africa can become truly prosperous. He describes it as “a vision for Africa’s future based on a fundamental analysis of why Africa has fallen behind in the world economy”.
In doing so, the LSE alumnus discusses some fundamental misunderstandings about which African states need to revise their assumptions. Continue reading
LSE’s Jason Hickel argues that corruption is far from the sole cause of poverty in the Global South.
Transparency International recently published their latest annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), laid out in an eye-catching map of the world with the least corrupt nations coded in happy yellow and the most corrupt nations smeared in stigmatizing red. The CPI defines corruption as “the misuse of public power for private benefit,” and draws its data from twelve different institutions including the World Bank, Freedom House, and the World Economic Forum.
When I first saw this map I was struck by the fact that most of the yellow areas happen to be rich Western countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, whereas red covers almost the entirety of the global South, with countries like South Sudan, Afghanistan, and Somalia daubed especially dark. Continue reading
LSE’s Chris Suckling reviews Sierra Leone: A Political History by David Harris which takes a fresh look at the evolution of the West African country’s state and society.
In Sierra Leone: A Political History, David Harris convincingly draws out the policy implications of continuity and change in state-society relations. In doing so the book presents a nuanced critique of current liberal reform and democratisation in “post-conflict” societies. This is an empirically rich text with thoughtful conceptual reflection, one which does well to situate its arguments in a broader comparative-historical context. It will provide an excellent introduction to new scholars of Sierra Leone and is sure to stimulate discussion among development practitioners.
Sierra Leone’s visceral civil war has spawned a vast literature of books and articles dealing with its causes and consequences, suggesting reform efforts that have “tested the analytical powers of generations of scholars to the full” (p. 165). This is perhaps not surprising given Sierra Leone has figured historically as a “guinea pig” for various ideas on how state and society should work. From British colonial civilising missions to humanitarian intervention inspired by Robin Cook’s ethical foreign policy, Sierra Leone has figured as the “experimental case” par excellence. Continue reading