Stories about Development from August, 2012
Combatting Cocaine Production in Bolivia, Colombia and Peru
Drug production and trafficking is a major issue in Latin America that governments are constantly trying to deal with. However, as the continent leaders gathered last April in Colombia for the Summit of the Americas fully agreed, the so far US-led war on drugs has failed in the Region. Peru, Colombia and Bolivia are the three largest illegal cocaine producing countries in the world. What are these Andean Countries doing to combat illegal drugs?
Central African Republic: Less than 3% have Access to Electricity
Louis Philippe Wallot writes in Journal de Bangui [fr]: According to the statistics of the ministry of energy, only 3% of the capital city Bangui has access to electricity and it is even at times less than 1% in some of the provincial cities. This is unacceptable.
Controversial Tibet Theme Park Project Launched
Tibetan dissidents have described the USD 4.7 billion Chinese project as the “Disneyfication of Tibet.“ The park will first be used to shoot 'Princess Wencheng', a film about the niece of a Tang-dynasty emperor who married a Tibetan king.
Tracking Counterfeit Medicines in the Developing World
Some 700,000 people die annually from fake malaria and tuberculosis drugs alone. The WHO reports that the annual earnings from substandard or counterfeit drugs stand at about USD 200 billion. More important than its economic impact, counterfeit medicines pose a significant global public health problem.
Hungary: Shantytown Destroyed to Help Real Estate Investment
Some 45-50 people have been living in their makeshift shacks in the abandoned woods of District X in Budapest. Some of the residents have built up self-supporting farms, but in June 2012 the local municipality started to move them out, which is not a unique phenomenon in Hungary's capital.
Assessing Quality of Life in African Cities
One study on the quality of life in cities across the world reports that, of the ten least liveable cities, six are situated in Africa. However, another finds that the populations of certain African cities are happier than those of several European counterparts. So what exactly is the reality of quality of life in Africa's cities?
Trinidad & Tobago: Independence & Governance
Afra Raymond uses the recent firing of a junior minister in the Ministry of National Security, Colin Partap, and Trinidad & Tobago's upcoming 50th anniversary of Independence to think about issues of governance, responsibility, and fitness for high office.
Chinese Style Romance
Jing Gao from Ministry of Tofu has translated a Chinese video that explains the material conditions of love relation in China.
Philippines: List of National Roads
The Philippine government has uploaded a spreadsheet identifying the quality of the country's national roads. It's also a mechanism for citizens to report and monitor badly paved roads
Angolan Tourists Spend Big Bucks in Portugal
'Little by little we see Angolan money starting to dominate businesses and the economic sectors in Portugal.' According to a netizen this is in stark contrast to 70% of Angola's population which 'is barefoot, have empty stomachs, (and) live in a slum.'
Caribbean: The Number Portability Game
. . . there has been considerable buzz around [Number Portability], and several countries across the Caribbean have embarked upon activities that ultimately should lead to its implementation. Yet, how many countries have successfully launched a NP scheme?
Portugal: The Dark Side of the National Dam Program
The dams in the Programa Nacional de Barragens (National Dam Program) will cost the Portuguese government €16 billion, to be spent on construction, subsidies and interest on loans. Together with wind farms, they are going to make Portuguese electricity the most expensive in the world.
Hong Kong: Campaigning Against Cattle Relocation Policy
Agriculture was vibrant just decades ago in Hong Kong in rural areas, and yellow cattle were a particular feature. Pressure from local government to relocate 8 cattle in Mui Wo Lantau Island has been met with fierce protest by animal rights activists and local residents.
Brazil: Company Continues Construction of Belo Monte Dam
Instituto Socioambiental informs [pt] that despite a judge order to halt [pt] construction work in Belo Monte, the company responsible for the construction of the dam, Norte Energia, continues its work, claiming that it hasn't been officially notified. Last Friday, August 17, 2012, netizen Simone Gomes had reported on Facebook...
Brazil: Belo Monte Halted, but for How Long?
When it seemed that all was already lost, the movements opposing the Belo Monte hydroelectric power plant were surprised by an order suspending the works, which were being carried out on the Xingu River in the state of Pará. News of the decision, which was made on the night of the 13th of August, spread like a wave of hope for the activists, who inundated social media with exuberant reactions.
Armenia: Reflections on National Psyche
Life in the Caucasus, a blog by Peace Corps volunteer John, posts reflections on Armenia as his service comes to an end after two years. The blog summarizes a few key points and opinions on how Armenia's potential is often clouded by the country acting as its own worst enemy,...
Madagascar: Neglecting Endemic Medicinal Plants at Its Own Peril
Reflexiums laments that for a country so rich in endemic medicinal plants, Madagascar has yet to fully develop this sector [fr]. “Isn't the whole point of fair trade to take advantage of the knowledge of its endemic natural plants from the local population instead of purchasing costly medications from large pharmaceutical companies...
Cameroon: Contesting Magazine's “Failed States” Report
Francois-Xavier from Cameroon wrote: “Foreign policy in collaboration with the Fund For Peace has issued the eight annual failed states index and a joint photo essay which they titled Postcards from Hell. The report has stirred much controversy and citizens mostly from the countries topping the report have reacted negatively to...
Brazil: Belo Monte, the Film
The film Belo Monte, Announcement of a War was recently launched in the Internet. It is the result of a collective effort that involved the independent producer, Cinedelia, and a crowdfunding campaign mobilized by Catarse. The film shows the reactions of indigenous people, inhabitants of Altamira, Pará, Brazil, and activists against...
Video: What Egypt, Congo, Uganda and Colombia Have in Common
The search for justice in the wake of conflict is what Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Colombia have in common. The Case for Justice is a series of videos debating on the relevance of what is known as transitional justice, a set of systems that is put into place to allow for accountability in the wake of massive human rights violations.