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    If Africa Is So Rich, Why Is It So Poor?

    by  • May 18, 2015 • BOOKS • 
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    Coltan mining in DRCMining coltan, a mineral used in the fabrication of cell phones, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo by Responsible Sourcing Network

    They call it the Curse of Riches. Although the African continent is blessed with gold, diamonds, oil, coltan, bauxite, uranium, iron ore and other valuable resources, its inhabitants have long numbered among the world’s poorest. While a few sub-Saharan African nations are doing relatively well, most are mired in poverty. That a country’s abundant...

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    China in Africa: When Is a Win-Win Deal a Loser?

    by  • January 1, 2015 • BOOKS • 1 Comment
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    A Chinese-built light-rail system under construction in Lagos, Nigeria. JOE PENNEY

    Chinese officials often describe their growing economic involvement in Africa as a “win-win” arrangement. As they see it, African nations gain investment and infrastructure, make progress toward development goals and benefit from the creation of jobs and other economic activity. China lands contracts for its state-owned enterprises, enhances its image as a global leader,...

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    Islamism and Politics: Going in Circles

    by  • July 3, 2014 • BOOKS • 
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    It must be a drag to live in a strict Islamist regime: the legal system stems entirely from Islamic — sharia — law, in which adulterers are stoned to death, thieves have their hands chopped off, and the renunciation of Islam, or apostasy, is punishable by death. Liberal democracy? Gender equality and women’s rights?...

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