More Los Angeles than Berkeley

The thing you notice most flying in to Addis Ababa is the amount of construction everywhere.  This part of Addis, the Bole area, is full of shops and restaurants, and new houses and hotels are being built everywhere. Addis has always benefited from having plenty of great coffee shops (coffee did, by some accounts, originate [...]

Der Spiegel: Developmental Aid Workers Are Killing Africa

Thilo Thielke in Der Spiegel yesterday: Development aid is a planned economy, even if it doesn't have a plan. The belief that food shortages can be overcome in a planned economy is one that has already proved disastrously wrong in the former Soviet Union, North Korea and Cuba. One has to feel sorry for the [...]

People who do (Marie Stopes)

I'm in Tanzania accompanying my partner to the gathering of all the Marie Stopes Country Directors and honchos from headquarters. These people are seriously impressive. People like me write policy papers, attend conferences, and have opinions about how things work, or should work. These people, by contrast, set up and run clinics - navigating their [...]

The Royal Prerogative : will Gordon give up the power?

According to Mary Riddell in The Observer Gordon Brown is thinking of transferring to parliament some or all of the powers currently exercised under the Royal Prerogative: The reform programme he is hatching will give some prerogative powers of the head of state to Parliament standing above government and the crown. The monarch will be [...]