Category Archives: Jamie

Week 13: Women’s Issues Parts A&B


According to the Women and Their Environments article assigned for this week, “a recent World Bank study (2002) found that gender equality is essential for countries’ economies…sustainable development is not possible without equity,” (11). If that’s the reality, why is gender equality such a looming issue for most of the world? Box 8 of that article points out that only seven developed countries have achieved high levels of gender equality according to MDG 3 indicators. Argentina, Costa Rica and South Africa are the highest, yet those countries have gender-related issues. For example, in Argentina, human sex-trafficking is a tremendous issue. If sex slavery is an issue in a country that is supposed to have one of the highest levels of gender equality, that is a giant red flag that the world must pay more attention to.

In 1945, the United Nations Charter reaffirmed the equal rights of women and men in its preamble (20). Fast forward to 2003, and the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development makes gender equality a cross-cutting issue in all forthcoming work up until 2015 (24). It’s 2014, and we know that equality has not been met. What more is it going to take? How much longer are women going to have to wait until we are equal to men?

Key points to equality include access to work, knowledge systems and education and access to and control over resources and their benefits. “Status, power and culture determine whether a person can realize her or his capabilities,” (25). Those rights are limited, or restricted, in too many places in the world.

The Women’s Rights article we read says that “a major global women’s rights treaty was ratified by the majority of the world’s nations a few decades ago.” It lists several bullet points of successes made for gender equality due to the treaty.

A few examples include:

  • Morocco gave women greater equality and protection of their human rights within marriage and divorce by passing a new family code in 2004
  • India has accepted legal obligations to eliminate discrimination against women and outlawed sexual harassment in the workplace
  • In Cameroon, the Convention is applied in local courts and groundbreaking decisions on gender equality are being made by the country’s high courts
  • Mexico passed a law in 2007 toughening its laws on violence against women

Despite of this, the article’s section about lack of progress made for gender inequality is noticeably longer than the success section.

“As Amnesty International also points out, “Governments are not living up to their promises under the Women’s Convention to protect women from discrimination and violence such as rape and female genital mutilation.” There are many governments who have also not ratified the Convention, including the U.S. Many countries that have ratified it do so with many reservations.”

Issues vary from place to place for women. I think rather than the U.N. having to implement policies, each country should have to look at their own data and issues, create laws protecting women accordingly, and pass those onto the U.N. for approval to the U.N. can see that those specific laws are implemented. “Women’s rights” is too big of an umbrella, containing so many issues, to not be further specified.

The video starts out by saying “a women has the same value as a man.” In Chad, it is one of the most difficult places in the world to be a woman due to lack of rights. Africare is helping women in Chad to create various economic initiatives geared toward women. Africare gave the women flour mills and helped them start a restaurant for economic independence. This has helped women in Chad become entrepreneurs. Extra income allows them to invest into their families, or even buying goats to buy and sell and have more food for their families. One woman discusses that she has been able to take in 5 orphans be cause of her extra income.

Women, Work and the Economy talks about benefits that can be achieved by societies where women have realized full economic viability. For example, it talks about how the equal-employment of women would allow companies to make use of the available talent pool and raise productivity of female-owned companies.

Africare also established literacy centers for women, open to any woman who wants to learn how to read and write. Education gives women more power. This can also help them develop their full economic potential. Literacy rates, as a whole, are still lower for women than men, especially in South Asia and East/North Africa.

*All sources used for this post were mentioned, and from readings on Blackboard*


Week 12: Girl Power in Nigeria


I was surprised to read about the social injustices, including barbaric acts, that women face in SSA still. Here in the US, we still have not reached gender equality, but SSA remains very far behind us in their progress of empowerment for women.

A big issue that we read about was female “circumcision” in Africa. Female Genital Mutilation is not only an act of torture-like pain proportions, it can permanently damage women’s health through scarring, inability to bear children, infection and disease.

In addition, rape and sex-trafficking for both females and children are issues in existence in SSA. It makes me sick to think that humans can do these horrendous acts to other humans. SSA needs trailblazers to bind together and make these issues not only not accepted by society, but totally eliminated. Women make up half of the population, so by educating them and making them realize they have the power to stand up to this issues is vital.



Others realize the power that education could bring to women, and will go to extreme measures to make sure it doesn’t happen. On April 15 in southern Nigeria, dozens of heavily-armed terrorists part of a Muslim group called Boko Haram (which translates to “western education is a sin”) opened fire on the dormitory of a boarding school for girls. The girls, between the ages of 15 and 18 and a mix of Christians and Muslims, had been asleep in the dormitory, and then were herded out by the terrorists, a massive act of human-trafficking. While 50 girls escaped, 276 of them vanished to an unknown place and remain missing. Sickeningly, the Nigerian government has done nothing to find these girls.

The attack in Nigeria is part of a global backlash against girls’ education by extremists. The Pakistani Taliban shot Malala Yousafzai in the head at age 15 because she advocated for girls’ education. Extremists threw acid in the faces of girls walking to school in Afghanistan. And in Nigeria, militants destroyed 50 schools last year alone.

Nigeria has an organization in place whose entire focus is to protect gender, health and human rights for not only Nigeria, but all of SSA, called Women’s Consortium of Nigeria. This is a non-political and non-profit association, “committed to the enhancement of the status of women and related feminist goals and ideals” which is committed in helping women obtain peace and equality. The WOCON was started in 1995 by someone who is surely rendered as a cheetah, Bisi Olateru-Olagbegi, because she was concerned about women’s rights in Nigeria and the gender persecution and the violations of their human rights that they face.



The organization uses Pro Bono services, which offer free legal services for victims of gender abuse. The organization is a member of the Transition Monitoring Group, a coalition of NGOs in Nigeria that focus on elections in order to achieve sustainable Democracy in the country.

Steps are being taken elsewhere, too. In the video we watched for this week, it talked about how a Dutch organization caught 20,000 men trying to have sex with what they thought to be a 10-year-old girl on the internet, which was actually a computer program. The names of those individuals were given to the police to investigate.


Kristof, Nicholas. “‘Bring Back Our Girls’.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 03 May 2014. Web. 09 Nov. 2014. <;.

“Gender Rights.” Welcome. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Nov. 2014. <;.

Week 11: Women in the Workforce


This blog prompt reminded me of a tweet I read a couple weeks ago that said:

Average publishing CEO salary, male: $288,500. Female: $46,000. Yes, you read that correctly. No, it’s not missing a digit.

Sure, that’s one job in one industry, but virtually every other job reflects the same glass-ceiling. It’s crazy to think that in 2014, equal pay is still an issue, especially prominent in yesterday’s elections, that needs to be addressed, even though the Equal Pay Act was enacted in 1963. In addition, the U.S. is one of the only one of the powerful, developed Western nations to not have paid maternity leave.



In Nigeria, women also face discrimination in the workforce. As of 2007, 66% of Nigerians were in the country’s labor force. Of the entire labor force, only about a third, 38.7%, of that consisted of women. Compare this the the labor force here in the U.S., which consists of 47% women. In Nigeria, women have higher rates of illiteracy than men. Only 6.9% of Nigerian House of Representative members are female, and only 8.3% of the Senate members are female. Sexual harassment in the workplace is a big issue.

Women in Nigeria, recently, had had some gains:

The Coalition of the Campaign acknowledges the adoption of several laws and policies aimed at improving respect for women’s rights, including:

  • The passage of the Gender and Equal Opportunities Law 2007 by the states of Anambra and Imo, providing for affirmative action measures to redress under-representation of women in appointive and elective positions and prohibiting discrimination in areas such as education and employment.
  • The adoption of laws protecting the rights of widows in several states: Enugu (2001), Oyo (2002), Ekiti (2002), Anambra (2004), and Edo (2004). However, implementation of these laws remains inadequate.

In Gayle Lemmon’s Ted Talk, she talks about women entrepreneurs from around the world before and after conflict.She said microfinance is a powerful tool, but we need to aim bigger than micro hopes and micro ambitions for women. She said how usually, only small loans are given to women looking for money to start up a business. How is this the case when women are so important to the economy? On a positive note, Lemmon said by 2018, 5 million jobs will be created by businesses owned by women. Women are called “the emerging market of the emerging market.” $500 billion has gone into this market. Increase economic competitiveness draws the gender gap closer together. For empowering women, that is extremely important.


Onyejeli, Ngozi. Nigeria Workforce Profile. 2010

“Africa for Women’s Rights: Nigeria.” – N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2014. <;.

“Women’s Bureau (WB) – Quick Facts on Women in the Labor Force in 2010.” Women’s Bureau (WB) – Quick Facts on Women in the Labor Force in 2010. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2014. <;.

Week 9: Combatting Poverty by Working Together


Sachs suggests that “…the richest of the rich, not the average taxpayers, but taxpayers with incomes at the very top of the charts,” (289) should be taxed higher or “a burst of large-scale philanthropy commensurate,” (289). I agree with this. Sure, they may have worked hard for that money, but the small increase that Sachs is talking about isn’t anything that will cause a huge dent in their wallet, or really any sort of dent at all.

According to Sustainable Governance Indicators, “higher taxes tend to coincide with lower deficits and low debt.” The article used public data of Western Europe, North America, Oceania and Japan to study the connection between tax levels and public debt-to-GDP. It even goes so far to say that there is a strong correlation between countries with higher income inequality and their likeliness to have unstable budgetary policies. Willy says that there are many reasons that there are correlations between high taxes/income equality and fiscal sustainability. One is that high-tax countries may be less prone to dramatic boom-and-bust cycles because there is added friction to monetary activities. He says that if political leaders want budgetary sustainability for the long-term, they should promote income equality and higher taxes for the rich.

From SGI Article

From SGI Article (listed in references)

Sachs discusses how specific needs of individual countries require specific costs. For example, Tanzania looks for about 45% of funding to go toward health and population. Their other major needs include “other social sectors”, economic infrastructure and services, production and multisector. The U.S. is the biggest source of international aid to Tanzania, but I don’t think it’s fair to answer how long the U.S. can sustain Tanzania for when we can’t even sustain ourselves completely. In 2004 when Sachs wrote his book, predicted for 2015 that “…most of the world will have been freed from the poverty trap onto a path of self-sustaining growth,” (303). He says that the poverty level in SSA will drop from 40 percent to 20 percent by 2015.

Looking at Nigeria, their poverty level was 48.4 percent in 2004 and when it was last measured in 2010, according to the World Bank, it was still at 46 percent. I doubt in four years that that level is around the area of 20 percent.

In Chapter 16, Sachs discussed the “myth” that extreme poverty will eventually take care of itself because the growth of the global economy. He proves this wrong by saying how if one thinks globally, they will see that poverty is a global issue, not just something that should be faced by individual countries. I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s a global issue, but it is something that wealthier nations should help poorer countries with, while simultaneously helping out their own poor populations. Thinking globally is pushing nationalism aside and trying to have a symbiotic relationship with the world around us.


Willy, C.J., 2013, ‘Tax The Rich, Give To The Poor,” Sustainable Governance Indicators,

World Bank,

Week 8 Parts 1 & 2: Poverty Reduction Strategies, SSA Economies and More Moyo


On page 270, Sachs points out the poverty reduction strategy plans of Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal and Uganda. I wanted to look at Ghana and Kenya’s plans in more details.


Ghana: Ghana’s poverty reduction strategy plan is called Ghana’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS). This plan stresses to reduce poverty through agriculture and rural development, focusing on agriculture, fisheries, small and medium-sized businesses and sanitation. This article notes other important aspects to look at:

  • Food security and emergency preparedness
  • Improved growth in incomes
  • Increased economic competitiveness and enhanced integration into domestic and international markets
  • Sustainable management of land and the environment
  • Applied sciences and technology in food and agriculture development
  • Enhanced institutional coordination.

Specifically, the plan points out how important it is to invest in:

  • Enhancing the competitiveness of Ghana’s private sector
  • Accelerating agricultural development and natural resource management
  • Improving infrastructure, human resource development and job creation
  • Consolidating transparent, accountable and efficient governance.


Kenya Map

 Kenya: According to the World Bank, Kenya’s economy saw a growth rate of 5.7 percent in 2013, solid number that “is attributed to a stable macroeconomic environment, the peaceful elections in March 2013 and smooth transition of political power. Still, Kenya does face issues that the Bank urges the country to fix. For example, Kenya’s poverty issue, in which the World Bank suggests the government to focus on job creations, enhanced productivity in agriculture and targeted public spending programs in order to improve education, water, sanitation and access to electricity for the poor in rural areas.

Kenya’s specific poverty reduction strategy, called Kenya Economic Recovery Strategy Support Credit (ERSSC), is summed up in this article:

The Kenya Economic Recovery Strategy Support Credit (ERSSC) aims to:
1. Expand fiscal space for public infrastructure and health. Towards that end, reform budgeting and execution to ensure that public expenditure is well aligned with explicitly stated national priorities and is efficient;
2. Further improve economic governance by strengthening financial management, procurement and audit institutions and ERS monitoring and evaluation;
3. Improve agricultural productivity and food security; and
4. Lower the cost of private business and barriers to investment.

The project has three components:
Component 1. Budgetary and financial management;
Component 2. Rural Development; and
Component 3. Private sector competitiveness.

The World Bank (WB) estimates the total project cost at US$ 75 million.

The IFC’s website discusses the financial strategy of SSA as a whole by explaining the role they have played there. The IFC made $4 billion in investments in 2012 for projects across the region. They center their efforts on the ideas of improving the investment climate, encouraging entrepreneurship and transforming key markets and industries.

The World Bank’s Africa’s Pulse reported that, “the regions’ economy grew at 4.5 percent per year on average between 1995 and 2013. Its medium-term prospects are positive, with GDP growth projected to rise from 4.7 percent in 2013 to 5.2 percent in 2014, strengthening further to 5.4 percent in both 2015 and 2016.”

In 2013, net foreign direct investment in SSA grew by 16 percent to add up to $43 billion.

On page 82 of Moyo’s book, she referred to the J.P. Morgan Emerging Market Bond Index, so I wanted to take a look at it myself. This links to a table showing SSA’s Bond Index growth.

I wish I knew how to understand the data better, but there is a definite, noticeable increase from where the table begins in 1993 at 100, to 2014 at 564.995.

On another website I looked at GDP growth rates. The only SSA countries it listed were Kenya, Tunisia, Ghana, Angola and Nigeria. Luckily, both of my countries were listed, presumably due to their natural resources. Nigeria’s GDP growth rate was 4.18 percent and Angola’s was 7.4 percent.

Moyo discusses that African countries could benefit from FDI, and in order to receive it, they must “woo” investors. They also need to build a regulatory and legal structure that supports businesses (99-102).

She also talks about the fact China needs natural resources that are in Africa in order to continue achieving their industrial success. Moyo does critique China’s approach to invest with no strings attached. By doing this, African leaders can keep ruling with their own, corrupt, motives, rather than trying to compromise with Western policy makers. Chinese investment is making an impact in the minds of African civilizations though. Moyo says how many Africans have a more positive view toward China than they do toward the U.S.


“Rural poverty approaches, policies & strategies in Ghana”, Rural Poverty Portal,

“Time for Kenya to Shift Gears to Accelerate Growth and Reduce Poverty,” The World Bank,

“Kenya Economic Recovery Strategy Support Credit (ERSSC)”, devex,

“Strategy”, IFC,

Week 7: Exploring Moyo Part 2


I was surprised at how young Moyo is, according to the picture posted on her website. For a young woman, she has an extremely impressive resume that includes: an undergraduate chemistry degree and MBA in finance from American University; a masters degree from Harvard and PhD in economics from Oxford University; contributing editor to CNBC and contributing writer to the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal; obviously, an author; a board member of Barclays Bank, the financial services group, SABMiller, the global brewer, and Barrick Gold, the global miner; an economist at Golman Sachs; consultant to the World Bank; and was named by TIME Magazine one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World”. This gave me more trust in what she said in her book, even though it seems like it stems from political views opposite of mine.


Moyo conducting a TED Talk

When Moyo quotes a critic of the western aid model and says, “my voice can’t compete with an electric guitar.” (27), the issue she is discussing is about the rise of glamour aid, or aid when celebrities or other prominent people like the Pope or philanthropists, which people use to be credited to an influx in aid to Africa. Moyo sees this as a problem because these people don’t live in Africa, they merely go visit, donate money and get to leave, while the people effected stay there and have to suffer. As we had seen in George Ayittey’s TED talk, the government in Africa at the moment is ineffective and corrupt. So, what good is it going to be for celebrities to hand off money to these “governments” when they’re so bad at functioning? Rwanda’s President, Paul Kagme, agrees with Moyo and Ayittey. He said that aid went toward “geopolitical and strategic rivalries and economic interests,” and not used for “developmental outcomes” in Africa. When he mentions geopolitical rivalries, I think he means that aid causes more conflict and rivalry between African economies, instead of making them get along and work better together.

Moyo says geography, history and climate (among other things) for aid not working. Two reasons she says that aid hasn’t worked is because:

  1. People believe SSA countries are rich in natural resources, but don’t realize that this doesn’t mean innate success for the countries. It just gives the countries another reason to be more corrupt and have an influx in crime. Think of my oil-rich countries, Angola and Nigeria. In Adrian Gonzalez’s journal, “Petroleum and its Impact on Three Wars in Africa: Angola, Nigeria and Sudan”, Gonzalez studies how wars within those countries are directly effected by their oil supplies. He says:

“Firstly, it will portray how oil has prolonged the Angolan civil war through one side’s control and subsequently the revenue of this resource. Secondly, through an examination of Nigeria it will explore how oil has precipitated a low-intensity clash between local people’s claims to oil revenues on the one hand and the national government and multi-national oil corporations on the other.”

  1. It is not the first time in history that Africans are being blamed for not being able to develop their own countries. Moyo describes what seems like is the same idea as Cheetahs vs. Hippos. She said aid will keep Africans in their perpetual hippo-like state, with waiting for others to give aid and doing the work for them.

A couple weeks ago, when I discussed the Cheetah leaders in both Africa and Angola, it seems like more of those types of people are what SSA countries need, to bind together, and work for the greater good of their countries, without getting so many outside sources involved.

Sachs describes the poverty trap as something that should have a clear end in sight and lumps Africa together in one group, rather than different groups or different countries. That, indeed, is a fault of his theories, but I think his ideas with aid, at this time given the current state of Africa, is more viable than Moyo’s. He quotes Moyo in this Huffington Post article, saying:

“Finally, with respect to Mr. Sachs’ remark that I would see nothing wrong with denying US$10 in aid to an African child for an anti-malarial bed net — even labeling me as cruel; I say, if working towards a sustainable solution where Africans can make their own anti-malaria bed-nets (thereby creating jobs for Africans and a real chance for continents economic prospects) rather than encouraging all and sundry to dump malaria nets across the continent (which incidentally, put Africans out of business), then I am guilty as charged. Don’t forget that the over 60 percent of Africans that are under the age of 24 need jobs not sympathy.”

I’m not really certain that Moyo’s suggestion is a viable alternative for breaking the poverty trap Africa faces at this point. Sure, Africans can be physically capable of working a job, but there aren’t enough jobs in SSA to work right now given the size of the countries’ populations. She is posing a right-wing view, with no stable economies to work with.

Sources (besides Dead Aid by Moyo):

Gonzalez, Adrian, “Petroleum and its Impact on Three Wars in Africa: Angola, Nigeria and Sudan”, 2010,

Sachs, Jeffery, McArthur, John. “Moyo’s Confused Attack on Aid for Africa,” 2011.

Week 7: Exploring Moyo Part 1



Dambisa Moyo (pictured above) describes four alternative sources of funding for African economies in her book Dead Aid:

  1. African governments should learn to resemble Asian emerging markets.
  2. African governments should, “encourage the Chinese policy of large-scale direct investment in infrastructure.”
  3. Establish free trade of agricultural products. This way, African countries could increase their earnings from primary product exports.
  4. Encourage financial intermediation in the sense of spreading micro financial institutions.

In these cases, I feel like they are easier said than done. It’s almost impossible to build something out of nothing, which is the case in many SSA countries. I think these countries would benefit from aid because they could use it to build upon these sources that Moyo suggests. I’m not sure if it’s feasible for an extremely weak economy to set up international trade agreements or encourage investment or establish free trade or start up micro financial institutions when they have such little capital. Moyo’s suggestions are from a very conservative standpoint, in my opinion. In the article, “’Dead Aid,’ Dead Wrong” by Michael J. Gerson, he critiques Moyo’s ideas, saying that she “does not detail the possible outcomes” of her suggestions.

In the history of aid, Moyo discusses three different types: humanitarian, charity-based and systematic. Humanitarian aid is given after a natural disaster, such as the earthquake in Haiti. Charity-based aid is given out through charitable organizations to those affected by whatever they work to help, for instance America’s AIDS and malaria programs. Last, but not least, systematic aid includes bilateral and multilateral transfers, according to Charlotte Flaujac .

Gerson says in his article that Moyo has said her book is “not concerned with emergency and charity-based aid.” Moyo does discuss systematic aid, but usually critiques it. For example, Flaujac says that Africa was receiving the most aid in the time period between the early 70s right up until the start of the new millennium. Quite surprisingly, “…during this period, poverty jumped from 11 percent to 66 percent in the African continent,” (Moyo, p.47). Even though multilateral agencies such as the U.N. and World Bank were promoting good ideals such as democracies, government corruption occurring in SSA countries caused the aid to fail. Moyo proposes that these governments need in a stronger economy in order to end poverty, not more aid, but I don’t really understand how that is achieved, and Moyo doesn’t express how to achieve that in what I think to be plausible ways.

 After doing a quick search of the “Washington Consensus” (because I didn’t know anything about it before), I found the following:

“The concept and name of the Washington Consensus were first presented in 1989 by John Williamson … Williamson used the term to summarize commonly shared themes among policy advice by Washington-based institutions at the time, such as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and U.S. Treasury Department, which were believed to be necessary for the recovery of countries in Latin America from the economic and financial crises of the 1980s.

The consensus as originally stated by Williamson included ten broad sets of relatively specific policy recommendations:

  1. Fiscal policy discipline, with avoidance of large fiscal deficits relative to GDP;
  2. Redirection of public spending from subsidies (“especially indiscriminate subsidies”) toward broad-based provision of key pro-growth, pro-poor services like primary education, primary health care and infrastructure investment;
  3. Tax reform, broadening the tax base and adopting moderate marginal tax rates;
  4. Interest rates that are market determined and positive (but moderate) in real terms;
  5. Competitive exchange rates;
  6. Trade liberalization: liberalization of imports, with particular emphasis on elimination of quantitative restrictions (licensing, etc.); any trade protection to be provided by low and relatively uniform tariffs;
  7. Liberalization of inward foreign direct investment;
  8. Privatization of state enterprises;
  9. Deregulation: abolition of regulations that impede market entry or restrict competition, except for those justified on safety, environmental and consumer protection grounds, and prudential oversight of financial institutions;
  10. Legal security for property rights.”


This sounds like a very laissez faire approach in attempting to build economies, something that Moyo would probably agree with. There are many critiques to this topic, which I could probably do an entire blog post about. They are listed here (but I am sure there are many, many more…I’m already over word count),


Gerson, Michael J., “Dead Aid,” Dead Wrong,

Flaujac, Charlotte, Critic of systematic development aid and evolution of measurement of poverty,