Articles on World Bank

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The not-for-profit sector continues to grow in Africa and across the world. Shutterstock

The role of NGOs in Africa: are they a force for good?

Non-governmental organisations are criticised for pandering to the whims of the donor community at the expense of local populations. The real question is: can they bring about real change?
Johannesburg’s night sky with its most densely-populated suburb of Hillbrow in the foreground. Leon Krige

Johannesburg and Accra: inching their way up the urban food chain

Accra and Johannesburg have some way to go before making it onto anyone's top 20. Both cities have a desperate gap between rich and poor but inequality is not a uniquely African problem.
Both Donald Trump and his political opponents are on board the global infrastructure bandwagon. Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

Making sense of the global infrastructure turn

The trillions of dollars spent on infrastructure demands democratic transparency and accountability. This applies to both the investment and to the effects on cities, societies and the environment.
Those living through the first Renaissance recognised that their age offered blinding possibilities, but that any gains would have to be achieved amid relentless shocks. The same is true today. Shutterstock

Pessimism is rife, optimism naive. Activism is the best tool for now

The first Renaissance struggled with the same doubts and uncertainties and blinding possibilities that we face today. Any gains we make will have to be achieved amid relentless shocks.
Kenyans rally for a new constitution in 2010. The constitution guaranteed shared power and resources for 47 county governments. Reuters/Moses Eshiwani

Kenya’s glass-half-full experiment with transfer of power and resources

The Kenyan example illustrates the importance of constitutional guarantees for devolution. But it also shows that devolution is no magic bullet for the problems of corruption and ethnic politics.
The 82nd Airborne taking part in NATO exercises in Spain. Paul Hanna/Reuters

Clinton and Trump: different visions of America abroad

No election in recent times has so clearly presented American voters with such a stark choice when it comes to U.S. foreign policy. A guide to the major differences.
Major development banks are funding logging, mining and infrastructure projects that are having enormous impacts on nature. Here, forests are being razed along a newly constructed road in central Amazonia. William Laurance

Development banks threaten to unleash an infrastructure tsunami on the environment

Big new investors such as the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank are key players in a worldwide infrastructure, and that could be bad news for the environment.
High-rise buildings amid shacks in Luanda. President Dos Santo has announced plans to retire amid growing unease among Angolans over deepening poverty despite a recent oil boom. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Dos Santos maintains the status quo while suggesting change in Angola

Angola's Dos Santos is buying time. His promise to step down is an attempt to diffuse growing political tensions, as repression continues. He might relinquish his position, but not his power.
Arthur Lewis’ impossible mission was to make possible Kwame Nkrumah’s famous slogan: seek ye first the political kingdom … Reuters/Sahra Abdi

Ghana: lessons from Nkrumah’s fallout with his economic adviser

Nobel laureate and Kwame Nkrumah's economic adviser Arthur Lewis saw Ghana as a testing ground for his ideas on economic development. But he was met with fierce resistance.

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