Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
(Serious) broadband is finally coming to Africa. It is expected that the speed of connectivity will increase and the price of connectivity will drop. This brings local infrastructural challenges, but on average is expected to increase business opportunities in especially the IT sector (See How Seacom will change SAs world). A recent analysis by InfoDev and the World Bank highlighted the high prices of broadband in sub-Saharan Africa, highlighting the need for better service and more competition in broadband services in this part of the world.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Dark blue: Montreal, Riga
Green: Cape Town, Belgrade, Paris
Yellow: Jerusalem, Hong Kong, Beijing
Red: London, New York, Sydney
Orange: Vancouver, Shanghai, Rome
Magenta: Toronto, Kiev, Istanbul
Light blue: Athens, Barcelona, Tokyo
Brown: Taipei, Gdynia
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
However, if tourism forms part of a multidimensional development strategy rather than an intended “miracle” solution for poverty, it can certainly be interesting for development. This is especially interesting on a local level in communities with a certain set of basic conditions. To mention a few:
· A reason for tourists to visit.
· Reasonable access from existing tourism centers.
· A group of people committed to invest many working days with low or no short-term returns.
· A real interest in offering sustainable and responsible tourism.
· An understanding of the concept of quality service.
· Social cohesion and internal organization.
· An understanding of the importance of communication and promotion.
(Ignoring these last two so often leads to failure that they are worth looking at in more detail in a future blog entry)
Friday, August 15, 2008
This week I had the opportunity to work with a progressive provincial department on the nature of policies and policy making processes for the environment. This is a summary of the paper we are writing on the issue:
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
In a recent post on 'The wisdom of water restrictions in Cape Town' the point was made that certain response options are more costly then others. Sydneysiders are starting to feel the pinch of an expensive desalination plant.
The alternative to building a desalination plant is to price water flexibly so that when water storages are low households pay more, and when water storages are high households pay less. In other words - just like we do with items such as bananas - we should pay more when it is in short supply. The extra revenue from charging higher prices when there is less water in the dams could be used to decrease fixed water charges and/or provide assistance to low-income households independent of their water consumption.
At current dam levels, flexible pricing would mean a water price for consumers of $1.30 per thousand litres. Postponing this investment generates very big savings for water consumers and avoids environmental losses that may occur from operating the plant. Provided that water is priced flexibly, we show that the desalination plant would only need to be built when water storage in the dams was at 21 per cent capacity. This has a less than one in three chance of occurring over the next 15 years.
With an estimated 12 million South Africans on welfare, persistent poverty and increased pressure on expanding the welfare system, an important question is how future 'care' will be financed. Will the private sector come to the rescue?