‘Exploring the Horn of Africa’ – Week #1 of thePanel’s latest blog

In an effort to stimulate debate on Canada’s role in the Horn of Africa, in lead up to their October 1st event, thePanel launched a blog featuring articles from various foreign policy professionals and students that highlight, debate, and question the many challenges and opportunities that exist in the Horn of Africa.  Their curated list features a diverse and engaging set of perspectives: from a host of stories that challenge our current approach to aid in the Horn – to personal reflections on South Sudan’s struggles from an employee of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development – to an in-depth series that examines the complexities of large infrastructure projects in the region – to a four part series on the challenges in Somalia – to a personal account of the Sultanate of Awsa.  Articles will be published throughout the month of September.  
 
Below are excerpts from the first four articles…


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A Small Solution to a Big Problem

by Jesse Comeau, @jessecomeau
Solving world poverty. Can any objective be nobler? While few would dispute that pulling millions out of crushing poverty is a pressing issue, there is less consensus on how to go about such a task. In the 1980s, Muhammad Yunnas theorized that the fundamental reason the poor remained poor was due to a lack of available credit. In the wake of this discovery he founded the Grameen Bank, an institution meant to  provide impoverished individuals with small loans; and thus the practice of micro-financing was born. Since Yunas’s discovery, forms of micro-financing have been implemented across the globe, including in the Horn of Africa. While the practice has been criticized  due to its varying degrees of success, micro-financing in the Horn of Africa has so far proven to be an effective method of poverty alleviation. Looking forward, it holds the potential to be a crucial part of a wider solution to eradicate poverty in the region.  Read More…

 

Africa: Missed Opportunities for Canada

by Saief Mahmood, @saief14
There are many academic papers and policy briefs on China’s activities  in Africa, and a majority of them have critical of China’s . Similar opinion is expressed towards the activities by other BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries. However this article is not about that, it is about whether there is anything to learn from that and what Canada can do in Africa. Read More…

 

The Countless Headed Hydra: Canadian Aid in Africa 

by Carla Bragagnolo, @CarrrlaB
If you were responsible for distributing Canada’s entire aid budget for Africa, how would you do it? You might say ‘easy’ and allocate all of your funds to enriching government programs. Before you start spending, you should keep in mind the levels of corruption present in the government of each country. If a government was untrustworthy, there are thousands of other stakeholders you could support, such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or community-based organizations (CBOs). But how do you decide? It’s no secret that allocating aid can get very complicated very quickly.  Read More…

 

Build your Way to Middle-Income Status?

by Emily Savage, @emiliesavage 
In mid-2012, the Kenyan government announced plans to build a mega-port in the northern Lamu region in an effort to relieve the over-capacity port in Mombasa. The port is planned to be one of the largest deep-water commercial ports on the continent and is at the centre of the larger Lamu – South Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET). LAPSSET is a US $28 billion mega-infrastructure project that aims to develop economically marginalized regions of northern Kenya, South Sudan, and southern Ethiopia. LAPSSET includes airports, resorts, an oil refinery, and a pipeline with the potential to connect South Sudanese, Ugandan, and Kenyan crude. Read More…
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David Carment

David Carment is a full Professor of International Affairs at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton…
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