Tunisia’s Economic Woes: Memories of the Arab Spring
“Remember, we made revolution for work, dignity, and freedom. Now we can talk freely – but as for dignity, there are still no jobs.” For men such as Abderrahman El Heni, Tunisia’s post-Arab spring has not fulfilled his expectations for a brighter future. As a result, El-Hani joined thousands of Tunisians in a march demanding a brighter economic future.
The economic figures for Tunisia are frightening, to say the least. Unemployment is currently at seventeen percent, GDP declined 1.8 percent this year, and the country has just accepted one billion dollars in loans from the World Bank and the African Development bank. The money will be used for facilitating investment, improving government transparency, create financial regulation, and helping to educate youth as the country moves forward.
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)