Why has Burkina Faso dumped Monsanto?

The thorny topic of genetically modified (GM) crops was recently thrust into the global spotlight again. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Bill Gates said that GM crops are a necessary tool to fight hunger and poverty in Africa. But something Gates did not discuss was the news that the largest and most significant African adopter of GM crops – Burkina Faso – recently began a phase out of Bt cotton. Bt cotton is the most widely grown GM crop by poor farmers in Africa. Why would Burkina Faso, a nation that struggles with hunger and poverty, turn … Continue reading

Is Africa’s success story over?

The most impressive person I met in Botswana barely said a word. She was an older woman, small in stature. We were sitting next to each other at a table during lunch at a conference about Botswana’s economic model. In a quiet voice, she told me that she was a former government minister. We talked briefly about the conference, neither of us saying anything particularly memorable. Then we were both drawn away by other conversations. I learned later that Gaositwe Chiepe was the first woman to serve as a government minister in Botswana, the large but sparsely populated country just … Continue reading

Africa and India “speak in one voice”.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his address to the India-Africa Forum Summit on Thursday: “Today, it is not just a meeting of India and Africa… Today, the dreams of one-third of humanity have come together under one roof. Today, the heartbeats of 1.25 billion Indians and 1.25 billion Africans are in rhythm.” Meeting with 41 African heads of state in New Delhi on the sidelines of the summit, Mr. Modi went on to announce plans to invest $600 million in African development projects. A portion of this money will be allocated to the India-Africa Development Fund and the … Continue reading