The recent tour of King Mohamed VI of Morocco of a number of African countries was packed with symbolism. It was a reflection of the kingdom's recent drive to expand its economic and political influence across sub-Saharan Africa, and it showed how Morocco makes use of both historic ties in the region and the kingdom's trump card - the spiritual authority of the Moroccan throne.
For obvious reasons, many Paulistanos still consider this megacity’s decrepit old center a no-go zone. Carjacking and kidnapping gangs preyon motorists at stoplights. Squatterscontrol dozens of graffiti-splattered apartment buildings. Sinewy addicts roam through the streets smoking crack cocaine in broad daylight.
Yesterday saw the announcement that foreign aid has defied economic and political gravity and reached a record high of $135bn in 2013. The news came as I headed off for a fascinating discussion on reforming the aid system at the ODI.
In December 2012, Shaun Donovan, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, was on vacation in Berlin when he decided to detour to the Netherlands. He wanted to get a firsthand sense of the famed Dutch approach to water management.
The seventh session of the World Urban Forum, started Saturday, is set to discuss a wide range of urban issues facing the world today inColombia’s second largest city and 2013′s most innovative city of the year, Medellin.
Cities are the future of the world. Over half the world's population lives in cities, and by the middle of the century more than seven in 10 people will live in cities, according to the United Nations. Almost all this urban growth will take place in emerging economies.
The roughly 2.5 billion people in the world who live on less than $2 a day are not destined to remain in a state of chronic poverty. Every few years, somewhere between ten and 30 percent of the world’s poorest households manage to escape poverty, typically by finding steady employment or through entrepreneurial activities such as growing a business or improving agricultural harvests.
A lot of my diplomatic counterparts in Havana look completely bemused when I talk to them about Twitter or tell them what my last blog was about. That’s not because they don’t know what Twitter or blogging is but because they don’t really see social media as playing a role in their daily diplomacy.