A hell of a to-do list: 2014 in development

We may need it all
We may need it all

What’s in store this year for international development?

Here’s a bit of a preview, drawing from various publications (not very scientifically selected – mostly, those daring enough to make predictions). It’s also somewhat weighted to areas of my own interest – hence the Europe/Africa focus. (The great danger of the Internet: instead of widening your knowledge, you simply find evidence to back up your own theories.) Continue reading “A hell of a to-do list: 2014 in development”

The next China

Nigeria is set to surpass the US as the as the third-most populous country by 2050. By 2100, it could have more people than China. The populations of Burundi, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Somalia, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia are all projected to increase at least five-fold by 2100; overall the population of Africa is set to quadruple by the end of this century.

Revised UN figures published last month show that Asia’s population is set to continue to rise to a peak within about 50 years, and then decline, while developed countries, especially in Europe, will stagnate or shrink. (The Washington Post has some useful visuals here.)

Meanwhile, the population of the least developed countries is projected to double (from 902 million today, to 1.8 billion in 2050). This would mean that by 2050, 86.4 % of the world’s population would live in less developed regions, including 19.0 per cent in the least developed countries. Continue reading “The next China”

A mountain of clichés

Cheese
Not to mention the cheese

First, there’s a billboard featuring a blue-eyed, blonde girl with plaits sitting on a fence, welcoming you to the country. Then, a soundtrack of yodelling and cowbells plays softly as the monorail sweeps you off to the baggage terminal, where the only products being advertised are Swiss-made watches. As you exit, posters catch your eye: a landscape of mountains and rolling hills. Is Switzerland the one country that happily feeds off its own stereotypes?

The ad agency behind Swiss, the national airline, certainly think so: they run adverts with taglines referring self-deprecatingly – yet with a confident superiority – to the “cliché” of offering Swiss chocolate on board. Continue reading “A mountain of clichés”