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An Emergency for Whom? The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa - migratory routes and development aid in Africa

November 14, 2017

In 2015, the EU and its member states set up the 'EU Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa' to promote stability and economic opportunities and to strengthen resilience.An Oxfam analysis of all the projects approved under the instrument shows that its flexible nature has generated both opportunities and risks. This briefing argues that the Fund lacks sufficient checks and balances to ensure that European interests do not take precedence over the needs of the people that aid is intended to help.

Starting with People: A human economy approach to inclusive growth in Africa

April 27, 2017

High levels of inequality across Africa have prevented much of the benefits of recent growth from reaching the continent's poorest people. To combat inequality in Africa, political and business leaders have to shape a profoundly different type of economy. It must start with the needs of Africa's women and young people for good quality sustainable jobs, rather than the needs of the richest and of foreign investors. Leaders must use economic policy, taxation policy and social spending to build a human economy for Africa.

A Climate in Crisis: How climate change is making drought and humanitarian disaster worse in East Africa

April 25, 2017

Nearly eleven million people in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia are dangerously hungry and in need of humanitarian assistance. The worst drought-affected areas in Somalia are on the brink of famine.There is growing scientific analysis suggesting that the impacts of current and recent droughts in East Africa are likely to have been aggravated by climate change. Climate change is not a distant, future threat. As this briefing explains, it is helping fuel this emerging catastrophe in which poverty, chronic malnutrition, weak governance, conflict, drought and climate change have combined to create a perfect storm.Governments across the region and around the world need to take responsibility and provide humanitarian assistance to save lives now. Humanitarian aid needs to be coupled with longer term support to promote the resilience of pastoralists and smallholder food producers. Without global efforts to reduce emissions and to help the world's poorest people cope with the effects of climate change, this crisis will continue to repeat itself.

From Aspiration to Reality: Unpacking the Africa Mining Vision

March 7, 2017

The Africa Mining Vision (AMV) is a policy framework that was created by the African Union in 2009 to ensure that Africa uses its mineral resources strategically for broad-based, inclusive development. Eight years after its inception, implementation has been slow and there is a low level of awareness of the framework among key stakeholders in the mineral sector.This paper shows that the AMV has specific weaknesses that should be addressed through its national implementation, in order to enhance the benefits for African citizens. Africa's leaders and citizens must act now to ensure that the goals of the AMV are realized. It is a transformative policy that can drive sustainable development on the continent. 

Digital Development: What is the role of international NGOs? ICT for Development programmes and opportunities in the Horn, East and Central Africa

February 17, 2017

Development is going digital and INGOs like Oxfam have a vital convening role to play. This paper draws on ICT for Development in Oxfam's programmes in the Horn, East and Central Africa to consider what this role is.  In order to realise the opportunities associated with the digital landscape, Oxfam will need to build internal and external capacity to implement ICT in programmes to enhance quality, accessibility, and efficiency.

'The Longest Lean Season': How urgent action is needed to counter the devastating humanitarian impacts of the El Niño drought in Southern Africa

November 18, 2016

Although the El Niño weather event has ended, the humanitarian needs resulting from the drought in Southern Africa remain huge, and are still deepening. With the next harvests not due until March/April 2017, governments, donors and humanitarian actors must urgently provide food and other assistance to support people through this long, hard lean season. Farmers desperately need seeds and fertilizers if they are to take advantage of predicted rains and produce better harvests next year; a critical shortage in Malawi could lead to a cereal shortfall of nearly one million tons. In addition, all actors must be ready to respond immediately to the damaging impacts of heavy rains forecast across the region.

Making Maize Markets Work For All in Southern Africa

September 9, 2016

In most of sub-Saharan Africa, maize is a staple food crop - grown on some 33 million hectares of the total 194 million hectares of cultivated land. Southern African also has some of the highest malnutrition rates in the world. Small-scale maize producers in the region face numerous obstacles and are both buyers and sellers of maize. So how maize markets work is fundamentally important - and currently they work badly.This paper explores some of the reasons why and argues that a major reason markets fail is because there is so little trust or cooperation between governments and private traders, both large and small. It concludes that unless the trust deficit is addressed, markets will continue to operate at woeful levels of inefficiency, no matter what other reforms are undertaken. 

Hot, Hungry and Starved of Investment: Supporting smallholders to build a climate-resilient agricultural sector in southern Africa

May 24, 2016

As the African Development Bank meets in southern Africa, one of the strongest and most sustained El Niño events on record - turbocharged by climate change - is causing severe drought, failed harvests and a hunger crisis across the region. This is being made worse by record high temperatures as a result of global warming. Women farmers are on the front line of climate change, yet are also the region's first line of defence against food insecurity. With smallholder agriculture being critical to both food security and inclusive growth, governments - supported by donors and international organizations - must urgently implement plans to better support smallholder farmers and increase resilience. This paper outlines the current situation in the region and presents recommendations to help work towards this. 

The Time is Now: Building a human economy for Africa

May 6, 2016

Africa faces economic challenges not seen for many years. Growth is slowing and commodity prices have fallen. Inequality is high and growing fast in many countries. Africa's greatest natural resource, its young people, risks being squandered. Africa is losing billions to corruption, poorly negotiated deals and tax dodging. Citizens are becoming more outspoken and more active - unhappy with the deals their leaders are striking. Leaders must listen to their people. They must crack down on tax dodging and maximize progressive revenues to invest in the classrooms, clinics and crops that will create a more human economy for Africa.

Africa: Rising for the few

May 29, 2015

Multinational companies cheated Africa out of US$11bn through just one of their tax dodging tricks - trade mispricing - in 2010. Africa is growing economically, but billions of dollars a year are flowing out of the continent. This deprives governments of vital potential investments in healthcare and education for all, and sustainable agriculture.Securing Africa's economic rise will be top of the agenda at the 25th World Economic Forum-Africa in Cape Town. Oxfam is calling on business and political leaders to demand an intergovernmental tax body to reform the global tax rules so that multinational companies pay their fair share of tax in Africa.

Investing for the Few: The IFC's Health in Africa initiative

September 3, 2014

The Health in Africa initiative of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) is at odds with the World Bank Group's welcome commitment to universal and equitable health coverage and to shared prosperity. This paper argues that the $1bn initiative, which promotes private sector healthcare delivery, is extremely unlikely to deliver better health outcomes for poor people. The IFC's failure to measure the extent to which Health in Africa impacts on people living in poverty is inexcusable.Instead of investing in risky private sector solutions, the World Bank Group should focus on supporting African governments to expand publicly provided healthcare - a proven way to save millions of lives worldwide and to drive down inequality, abolish user fees and help governments to strengthen their capacities to regulate the private sector.

Promises, Power, and Poverty: Corporate land deals and rural women in Africa

April 8, 2013

The rush to invest in farmland in Africa is having an immediate impact on women's land-use options, on their livelihoods, on food availability and the cost of living, and, ultimately, on women's access to land for food production. These are only the economic impacts. Women's knowledge, socio-cultural relationship with the land, and stewardship of nature are also under threat. Too often ignored, rural women's voices and perspectives need to be heeded urgently if a robust rural economy and food for all are to be guaranteed.