In the News: An Expression of Agency

Kibera: Hope and human dignity rising in the slums of Africa,” published in the Daily Maverick, is an expression of the agency from the grassroots – a subversion of the conventionalised marginalisation of the poor and an exciting critique of the dominant conceptions of charity/aid as espoused within the Kenyan/African context.

In the News: International NGOs at Risk?

Is funding bypassing NGOs from the U.S. and Europe and going directly to organizations based in the Global South? This is one of the theories described in a Guardian article that discusses how financial constraints are restructuring the landscape of international NGOs. The article also credits the shift to technology and reduction in government aid, and all of the changes are forcing the NGOs to examine their role in development and humanitarian aid.

In the News: World Bank Accused of Supporting Land Grabs

A new report from The Oakland Institute details how the World Bank’s desire measure the “ease of doing business” can cause “many developing-country leaders to deregulate their economies in hopes of attracting foreign investment. But what the World Bank considers beneficial for foreign business is very often the exact opposite for existing farmers and herders.”

Read Willful Blindness: How the World Bank’s Doing Business Rankings Impoverish Smallholder Farmers.

In the News: Poverty is a Moral Problem

The interview with William Easterly in Christianity Today raises important issues around morality, aid, and the rights of people who are supposed to benefit from aid. While Easterly has been a long-time critic of aid, this piece puts the ethics of aid in the forefront, challenging actors throughout the “aid industry” – religious and secular alike – to think through their responsibilities and the larger system of which they are a part. Stay tuned as we ask religious leaders, NGOs, and academics within and outside of Africa for comments. In the meantime, we welcome yours.

In the News: Climate Change and the Slave Trade

What climate change and slave trade in Africa have in common,” by Kofi Adu Domfeh in Luv News, looks at similarities between climate change and the slave trade in Africa. In the past, Africans had to endure the ignominy of the slave trade. Now, Africa has to contend with the problems of climate change, which is on the rise because polluter countries, mostly in the global North, do not comply with obligations of climate treaties. The Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism “allows developed countries to pay for emissions-cutting projects in developing countries in lieu of reducing their emissions” (Council on Foreign Relations). With scientific reports indicating that Africa is the continent most affected by climate change and yet contributes the least to greenhouse gases that cause climate change, this article argues that history is repeating an injustice by putting Africans at the losing end of the rope that leads to industrialization in the global North.