Earlier, we looked at some of the criticisms of Jeffrey SachsMillennium Villages Project. Now, let’s see if they stand up. (more…)


The first Millennium Village in Sauri, KenyaLast time – what seems like months ago, apologies for the delay – we looked at Jeffrey SachsMillennium Villages, a set of 12 village-clusters across Africa where extensive aid is funding targeted packages of interventions in health, education and agriculture. Sachs believes that the programme can see villages progress from heavy reliance on aid to self-reliance, and plans to expand the scheme to 100,000 villages.

And on looking at the figures, they seem a roaring success, with impressive achievements in crop yields and health outcomes. Yet the project has met with strong criticism. (more…)

The report of the Commission for Africa, summarised here and more heavily here, is an ambitious and sophisticated analysis of the problems plaguing Africa and the steps needed to solve them. But it isn’t without critics. Last time, I looked at those who criticised the Commission for being too conservative in its calls for Western action and in its criticisms of the role of rich countries and corporations in Africa. This time, let’s look at the other side: those who criticise the report for going too far in those same directions. You could call this the “right-wing” criticism, because its central point is that the Commission doesn’t put enough faith in markets. This is the view of a large number mainstream economists. (more…)

The report of the Commission for Africa, the brain trust of African and other leaders, economists and thinkers set up by Tony Blair, became one of the highest-profile “packages” of solutions for African put forward in 2005, during the Make Poverty History campaign in the leadup to the G8 summit in Gleneagles. We’ve summarised its findings at length, and at a little less length. Its program is heavily evidenced, and comprehensive. But I didn’t want to pretend there haven’t been criticisms of it, because there have. (more…)