Mobile cash transfers help fight drought in Zimbabwe

By Farai Matebvu [MUTARE, ZIMBABWE] A new mobile phone technology that enables cash transfers on a large-scale has helped vulnerable households tackle drought, poverty and hunger in Zimbabwe, a report says. The cash transfer programme, which involved the provision of cash or vouchers through mobile phones, was implemented in the country from August 2015 to …

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Alternative currencies are the future and matter for development

Lorenzo Fioramonti, University of Pretoria When I began to teach in 2012, I decided to start my course with an analysis of how money affects social order. What my students found particularly fascinating was the then-nascent world of cryptocurrencies, which I described at length as a crucial feature in the future of money. Some colleagues …

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Western leaders take their eyes off Africa at wrong moment

Stephen Chan, SOAS, University of London Almost none of the Western world’s leaders have paid much attention to Africa in recent months. One exception was France’s newly-elected president, Emmanuel Macron, who visited Mali shortly after his inauguration. His trip was partly a show of solidarity with his country’s military effort there, and partly a gesture …

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Brutalising food vendors hurts Africa’s growing cities

Danielle Resnick, The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) In January this year, the Harare City Council in Zimbabwe accused informal food vendors of spreading typhoid. The council then attempted to confiscate, and destroy, all perishable food items that were being hawked in the central business district. Many vendors fought back, resulting in deadly clashes …

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Why Africa Should Worry Less About Income Inequality

by Stacy Ndlovu Early this week, the South Africa Daily Maverick published an op-ed titled, “It’s not Zuma that we need protection from, it’s the market.” While the author rightly calls out the role of cronyism in destroying ordinary South Africans’ economic mobility, she doesn’t seem to make a distinction between economic freedom and crony …

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