Phases of the Moon: Considering the Possibility of China’s Rise
At a book signing at Princeton University on November 19, 2012, noted economist and former IMF research chief Arvind Subramanian [no relation] discussed some of the ideas presented in his new book Eclipse: Living In The Shadow of China’s Economic Dominance, in which Subramanian lays out his prediction that China will become the world’s preeminent superpower within the next twenty to thirty years. This prediction hinges on the sheer size of China’s economy and financial reserves as well as the author’s calculations that China will not reach its “ceiling of growth” for some time to come. Subramanian’s model takes into account the possibility that China’s growth will slow considerably as well as the assumption that American economic growth may rebound to pre-recession levels.
In South Africa, Apartheid-Era Education Persists
It has been twenty-two years since former Prime Minister F.W. de Klerk and soon-to-be-elected President Nelson Mandela jubilantly held their intertwined hands above their heads, marking the end of apartheid and the beginning of a new South Africa: a rainbow nation that would count each of its citizens as equals. But has this dream actually been realized? Driving through the slums of Soweto earlier this year, my mother quizzed my tour guide on race relations since the end of apartheid in 1994. “Things are getting better,” he said, “but some things aren’t much different.”
Last Thursday, Jonathan Jansen, prominent South African academic and vice-chancellor of the University of the Free State, spoke out against the current status of education, especially for blacks in his country. He likened many present-day schools to those that existed under the Bantu Education Act , the law that created racially segregated schools for South Africans that would teach them how to succeed in the world in which they lived—for blacks, a world in which they were second class citizens.
UN pushes for stronger efforts to end practice of female genital mutilation (by UNECOSOC)
Most Citizens Left Behind: Globalization and Industrialization in Mozambique
For the men and women of the African nation of Mozambique, the country’s current economic growth is not praiseworthy. Rather, for the citizens of this incredibly poor country, an abundance of natural resources and the resulting economic growth has led to a decline in median income and increasing poverty.
Mozambique’s coal, said to be the most valuable undeveloped coking coal in the world, has caused investors from around the world to flock to the nation’s shores. Vale, the Brazilian mining giant, has taken control of the industry, with plans to invest $6 billion in the coming years. This investment is meant to aid in the increasing the harvesting of coal from the present 4.6 million tons to 22 million tons per year. In the second quarter of 2012 alone, coal mining has grown 54%, leading to an increase of 8% of the nation’s GDP. Sadly, the vast majority of Mozambicans are not benefiting from this growth.