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…)


In my last post, I talked about the Africa Commission’s┬áproposals for preference agreements, that give selected developing countries access to selected rich-world markets on a country-by-country basis. The Commission praises the US for loosening its agriculture preferences so that poor countries can export clothing they’ve manufactured to the US without punitive tarrifs – even if the original cloth was sourced from elsewhere. (more…)

African trade beadsThe discussion of how economic growth can help Africans out of poverty has often become a row between those who focus on the steps Africans and their governments can take to improve growth rates, and those who focus on the steps rich countries must take. As we saw last time, the Report of the Commission for Africa has much to say about the steps African countries can take to improve their economic performance. However, it has plenty to say about what rich countries must do too. (more…)