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December 2014
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In Focus


In Focus is a refereed IGD blog spot providing snip analysis by IGD staff and external analysts on topical developments in Africa and the world. If you want to have your commentary considered, write an e-mail to info@igd.org.za. Older In Focus articles may be found in the archives section.


Please note the views and opinions expressed in the In Focus Blog are those of the individual authors may not necessarily be shared by the IGD or its affiliates.

The Effects of Violent Conflict on Development: A Gender Perspective

Anna XoyaneFrom assessing the successes and challenges of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the world has come to realize that peace and security are not only fundamental to the well-being of humankind but cornerstones to sustainable development. Therefore, development cannot be achieved without peace and neither can peace without development.1 Arguably, one of the most glaring omissions in the MDGs and African Union (AU) Agenda 2063, has been the role women and conflict play in development. Although the High Level Panel on post-2015 development agenda recognized the silence of MDGs on the impact of violent conflict on development as an underlying cause of failure for MDGs, it continues to overlook the significance of gender element in peace and security as a fast-track to development.

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Beijing and the Hong Kong democracy protest; what’s next?

dlaminiWhile the world eagerly waits to see the conclusion of the Hong Kong demonstrations engineered by pro-democracy protesters; it is important for Beijing to avoid what happened 25 years ago in the Tiananmen Square massacre. The Tiananmen protest became a spectacle of the international community when Chinese troops violently confronted the pro-democracy protesters which led to an unknown number of people dead with some estimates in the thousand. This was unfortunate and it shouldn't be the fate of the Hong Kong protest.

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New investment bank for Asia’ infrastructure development; a concern for the West

dlaminiOn the 24th October 2014, a group of 21 Asian nations came together to launch a new investment bank to operate outside the already existing Asian Development Bank. The new bank known as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a Chinese initiative, which is set to provide alternative options for funding infrastructural projects in developing nations throughout Asia. The AIIB seeks to challenge the influence of western backed institutions such as the Bretton Woods Institutions in driving developmental initiatives for developing nations.

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Ebola Virus Crisis: Time for African States to evaluate health diplomacy

ebolaThe ongoing Ebola virus crisis in West Africa is the stuff of nightmares. Images from the ground in the hard-hit areas of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone conjure snapshots from the 1995 Hollywood film Outbreak with health workers in Hazmat suits and militarised quarantine zones, not to mention the mass hysteria that has gripped the public as news of the disease continually stream in on mass media.

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