UNCTAD releases Economic Development in Africa report 2010

UNCTAD release.

Two weeks ago the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released the “Economic Development in Africa Report 2010-South-South Cooperation: Africa and the New Forms of Development Partnership” report. The report examines the recent trends in the economic relationships in Africa with other developing countries, as well as new forms of partnership that have emerged in the past years.

The report argues that South-South cooperation has the potential to enhance Africa’s capacity to deal with the challenges of poverty and poor infrastructure, the development of productive capacity, and emerging threats associated with climate change, as well as the food, energy, financial and economic crises. In this regard, the report argues that there is a need for African countries to mainstream South–South cooperation into their development strategies to ensure that it further contributes to the achievement of national and regional development goals.

Highlights of the report can be found here

What is the effect of Finland declaring broadband a basic right?

The news services are alive with reports that Finland has declared broadband of 1mb/s a basic right for all Finns.  Quite interestingly commercial service providers will be obliged to provide this service from 1 July to all households. No I can hear you all say “but that is a developed country, we have different priorities in a developing nation!“. And you would all be right. I agree completely with you. We have huge unemployment here in South Africa and the rest of Africa. Apparently, we (South Africa) have more people receiving grants than we have employed persons(also reported internationally today).

However, you have to wonder what the potential effect on our and other developing countries may be. Exactly what happens to the levels of innovation and of course comparative advantage when a whole society gains access to the internet at high speed for free? Will this affect our economy? In which way? How will this affect the so-called knowledge gap between industrialised and emerging economies?

Any ideas?

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