Post #3 – Moving Forward

cheetahs

Part 1:

Explain the meaning of a “Cheetah” and a “Big Man” also called the cheetah generation and the hippo generation? Explain how these terms refer to a different way of looking at democracy and civil society?

The Cheetah generation is Africa’s new generation of thinkers and leaders that are ready to lead Africa into the future. They want to do this by embracing democracy, stimulating the private sector as well as making connections with other nations around the world. The Cheetah generation is a break from the Hippo generation, which represents the older generation of Africans who are “stuck in the past.” Leaders that the Hippo generation lived through consolidated power into the hands of a few, so transparency and accountability were lost in the process, isolating the people from their leader. Many members of the cheetah generation are using new technology along with specialized business skills to open up businesses like internet cafes and restaurants while others are reaching high positions in companies in the private sector as well as moving into governmental positions in order to impact policy. The Cheetah generation is looking at the future of Africa in a much different way than their hippo counterparts by inducing real change into the economy and government. In terms of governing, they have access to better technologies, which provides greater transparency. They post information quickly and provide information on budgets and policies as to not confuse citizens. Overall, the Cheetah generation represents the hope that Africa possesses,

Part 2:

  1. How is nutrition a problem for the poor? Why do we need to rethink food policy?
  2. Why are witch hunts still occurring?

In Poor Economics,  Banjeree & Duflo argue that there is this inbred connection that has always associated food and poverty. People often define poverty as not having enough to eat and thus the solution to poverty is to “feed the world.” Food aid, while seemingly beneficial, is a very inefficient process. The authors estimate that in India, more than one-half of the wheat and over one-third of the rice gets lost along the way or eaten by rats. The reading also talks about food-based poverty traps. This theory states that the poor cannot seem to climb out of poverty because they do not have enough sustenance to make them employable, productive members of society. This is disproven by showing that poor people don’t necessarily spend all of their money on food alone, but on other expenses as well such as clothes, tobacco, etc. If they were near starvation, then surely they would spend every last dollar on food. In terms of food supply, there is currently enough food in production to feed every citizen of the world, yet starvation still exists because of the way this food is shared among us. Because of this, it seems that instead of focusing on how to feed the world and produce a greater quantity of food, we should focus on how to disperse food locally. Although food aid has not proved successful, there are tremendous benefits to giving supplements and nutrient rich food to pregnant women and children, who benefit from receiving these nutrients that they otherwise lack.

Even though the authors talk about how food scarcity is not necessarily the main component of poverty, it does still exist in some form. Witch hunts as described in the past are still occurring today, but at specific times, like during a drought. In Tanzania, when resources are scarce, if there is an older woman living with a family, they will claim that she is witch, so that she gets chased away or killed, so that there is more food for everyone else. This proves that surely there are families experiencing food scarcity.

Part 3: Angola

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Capital city of Luanda in Angola

Angola is a country in the southern part of Africa, with a population of 24.3 million people, 59% of which live in urban areas. While Angola has a wide range of natural resources including gold and oil, it remains one of the poorest countries in Africa with a GDP of $4,100 per capita. The Gini coefficient is used to measure inequality in a nation by analyzing income distribution. A coefficient of 0 represents total equality, while 1 represents rampant inequality. In Angola, the Gini coefficient is 42.7, which means there is still a long way to go in terms of lessening the income gap.

Jose Eduardo dos Santos has been in power since 1979 and is a polarizing figure, with his proponents crediting him with pulling the country out of civil war in 2002 and rebuilding Angola’s economy with oil production. His opponents believe that he has been in power too long and that the success from the oil boom was not well distributed. In terms of freedom, the state controls all forms of media and has recently been cracking down on social media to weed out political dissenters and prevent activism.

In terms of the SDGs set forth by the United Nations, Angola has pledged full participation and in June of 2016, Angola participated in an SDG training workshop in Johannesburg with other African nations. In addition, an expert met with Angola’s Ministry of Planning in order to properly budget the SDGs and put them into the national plan.

While Angola has giant strides to make if it wants to meet the 17 goals set by the UN, the nation is making progress. One of the projects that has been set forth is called the Smallholder Agriculture Development and Commercialization Project for Angola. This project, according to the World Bank, is set to increase smallholder agriculture productivity, production and marketing for selected crops in the project areas. This 95 million dollar project will hopefully benefit 150,000 small farmers. This project aligns with number of SDG goals, including SDG 8, decent work and economic growth, as well as SDG 12, responsible production and consumption. Because this project was approved in July of 2016, there are no results as of yet.  There are many environmental concerns that Angola is currently facing, including deforestation, soil erosion and loss of biodiversity, so hopefully similar projects that address these issues will allow Angola to move forward as a nation.

 

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