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Regional News Thu, 25 Sep 2008

Blog for sharing ideas on Africa's development online launched

Accra, Sept. 25, GNA - The World Bank Africa Region has announced the launching of a new blog from its Chief Economist Shanta Devarajan. The blog, AfricaCan.org, will serve as an online forum for the sharing of ideas about Africa's development, a release from the Accra office of the Bank said.

The objective of the AfricaCan blog is to create a platform for conversation around the issues of sustainable growth and development in Africa, and serve as outreach to help to promote analysis and evidence about what is working and what isn't on the Continent. The blog would include guest commentary from Devarajan's colleagues at the World Bank and would feature posts in English and French. "There is no shortage of economics blogs out there, but this is one of the very few you will have to turn to if you are interested in a serious debate on African development," said Dani Rodrik, the Rafik Hariri Professor of International Political Economy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Rodrik's own popular weblog features "unconventional thoughts on economic development and globalization."

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Devarajan invites comments from students, academics, fellow economists and bloggers, members of government and civil society, and anyone interested in ending poverty in Africa. Journalists are encouraged to quote Devarajan directly from the blog. "Africa Can is a place for all those who care about Africa's economic development to gather and comment. The debate on Africa's economic growth and poverty reduction should not just be held in boardrooms and parliament halls but in classrooms, tea shops, and village meetings, where the people, who are most affected, can contribute," Devarajan said. Devarajan joined the World Bank's Africa Region as Chief Economist in January 2008 after five years in the Bank's South Asia Region. While in South Asia, he launched End Poverty in South Asia, a blog aimed at creating a conversation around how South Asia could end poverty in a generation.

"The End Poverty in South Asia blog was a great success for the region. It drew together many voices on South Asia's development, voices not just of assent but also of discord and debate. It livened up the discussion and drew a whole new audience for the Bank," said Praful Patel, Former World Bank Vice-President for the South Asia Region.

Source: GNA
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