Justine Greening meets school children in Turkana, Kenya
The United Kingdom announced this week it is going to eliminate its aid to South Africa by 2015.
South Africa is one of the world’s ‘emerging’ — or BRICS — nations. The decision follows in the footsteps of Britain’s decision to wean India off UK aid in favor of promoting domestic development to take hold. The British government says it would rather refocus its energy toward investments in these nations.
South African officials, as well as some aid organizations, appear none too happy with this turn of events. Continue reading
A meeting of the major middle-income countries in South Africa garnered plenty of attention, but produced little in terms of actual policies.
Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) account for over 40% of the world’s population, 1/4 of the world’s GDP and are responsible for 55% of the global economic growth since 2009. The BRICS have raced onward in the face of the financial downturn and are poised to take a larger share of the global economy in the coming years.
What will this mean for development, for the global push to reduce poverty, inequity and the so-called north-south imbalance of power. Some experts think not much, because the BRICS are more a concept than a cohesive force. Continue reading
Jim Kublin provides an overview of AIDS vaccine science at Seattle HVTN meeting
Seattle is home to the world’s largest HIV vaccine research network and, as a scientitic meeting here this week indicated, they’re quite comfortable with not knowing where they’re heading.
“We actually don’t know what the agenda is,” said Dr. Jim Kublin, executive director of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) based at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
That drew a lot of laughs from the audience, since Kublin’s lecture title for the day was ‘Scientific Agenda, the Next Seven Years.’
“That’s the way science is,” Kublin told me after his talk. “Good science is based on uncertainty, on having an open mind and dealing with the unknown.”
But what makes it easier to laugh about not knowing where you’re going, he added, is that researchers today have a lot more tantalizing clues – beginning with the ground-breaking Thai vaccine trial known to this bunch as RV 144. Continue reading
The group of nations known (by wonks anyway) as BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — are fast moving away from being recipients of foreign assistance and toward taking a more active role as donors, drivers of aid and development.
It’s worth paying attention to this shift, what’s driving it and the broader implications beginning with the prediction that the U.S. will soon be second to China as a world economic power. These ‘development’ issues may soon be viewed less as charitable America sending help overseas and more about assuring that a globalized world doesn’t simply increase inequities everywhere.
Flickr, Blog do Planalto
BRICS 2011 meeting in China
At this group’s recent summit meeting in New Delhi, these countries which now represent half the world’s population said they want more of a say in how the world fights poverty, reduces inequities and who gets to make the decisions. As the Mail & Guardian online reported, the BRICS are reshaping a reluctant world order partly out of anger at the West’s historic dominance:
The BRICS grouping’s political clout has grown with its importance to the world economy and the latest summit declared its intention to set up (its own) development bank.