April 2008 Archives

The Steve Jobs story: follow your curiosity, not your curriculum!

Interesting analyses. We are going to see many more such mergers.

India and China are buying up brands.

We are going to see many more such mergers. These are "learning-acquisitions."

Let's see what Tata can teach Jaguar, and vice-versa. Value-engineering? Haven't heard that terms since the 1980s...

Go Al Go!

Here's how Twitter helped Team Tibet follow the secret torch route as authorities tried to hide the Olympic flame's dash through San Francisco. It's nice to see Twitter being put to serious use as a real-time communication tool for its customers.

You can add your voice to the chorus here >>

young

Bishop Tutu stands up and tells it...

Because resource-rich Africa has been left out of the development plans of most Western companies, doesn't mean that Africa won't find a way to join the wave of globalization sweeping the world from Asia to Eastern Europe and South America.

So how will Africa do it? Through China and India.

This is a not good news for democracy:

In February 2007, Hu Jintao proudly announced the creation of a new special economic zone complete with the usual combination of export subsidies, tax breaks and investments in roads, railways and shipping. However, this special economic zone was in the heart of Africa—in the copper-mining belt of Zambia. China is transplanting its growth model into the African continent by building a series of industrial hubs linked by rail, road and shipping lanes to the rest of the world. Zambia will be home to China's "metals hub," providing the People's Republic with copper, cobalt, diamonds, tin and uranium. The second zone will be in Mauritius, providing China with a "trading hub" that will give 40 Chinese businesses preferential access to the 20-member state common market of east and southern Africa stretching from Libya to Zimbabwe, as well as access to the Indian ocean and south Asian markets. The third zone—a "shipping hub"—will probably be in the Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam. Nigeria, Liberia and the Cape Verde islands are competing for two other slots. In the same way that eastern Europe was changed by a competition to join the EU, we could see Africa transformed by the competition to attract Chinese investment.

As it creates these zones, Beijing is embarking on a building spree, criss-crossing the African continent with new roads and railways—investing far more than the old colonial powers ever did. Moreover, China's presence is changing the rules of economic development. The IMF and the World Bank used to drive the fear of God into government officials and elected leaders, but today they struggle to be listened to even by the poorest countries of Africa. The IMF spent years negotiating a transparency agreement with the Angolan government only to be told hours before the deal was due to be signed, in March 2004, that the authorities in Luanda were no longer interested in the money: they had secured a $2bn soft loan from China. This tale has been repeated across the continent—from Chad to Nigeria, Sudan to Algeria, Ethiopia and Uganda to Zimbabwe.

Read more here >>

Africa's "imperialism challenges" will now come from the East.

Pranab Mukherjee, India's Minister of External Affairs, talks a good game.

So why all the fuss over Africa? And why now?

Do China and India really care about African development?

Or is it the news that Africa is the new oil frontier.

Apparently Africa will account for 12% of global oil supplies in the next few years. And that's not counting other mineral riches...

Don't be too eager, Africa. Trust, but verify - as someone once said. And heed this African saying: If a little tree grows in the shade of a larger tree, it will die small. But if a little tree stands side by side with a larger tree, you have the start of a forest.

see this >>

Stop Bush's Forest Giveaway

Idaho contains more unspoiled wild forest than any state outside Alaska, providing the last intact forest habitat for countless fish, wildlife, and plant species. These areas are enjoyed by hunters, anglers, hikers, and all who treasure the backcountry. Yet the Bush administration is making a play in its last days to hand this natural gem over to its friends in the oil, natural gas, timber, and mining industries by weakening the Roadless Area Conservation Rule protections that currently guard it.

The administration's proposal will open the door to logging millions of pristine acres, risk dangerous toxic contamination from mining, degrade clean fish-bearing streams and important wildlife habitat, and fail to live up to the public's overwhelming desire to protect all of these areas for future generations.

This forest giveaway could lead to 545 million tons of phosphate being mined on nearly 8,000 unspoiled acres near Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. Any increase in phosphate mining would worsen the already serious problem of selenium poisoning in local streams and aquifers. Selenium is an extremely dangerous contaminant known to cause birth defects, which bio-accumulates in the food web -- persisting for centuries after entering the environment.

Six million acres of wild forest or a toxic waste dump? The choice should be clear to any American who values our natural treasures and takes their responsibility to future generations seriously.

Stand up for this glorious and irreplaceable wild forest! Let the Bush administration know that you are against removing Roadless Rule protections for the forests of Idaho. And hurry! The administration is only accepting public comments until April 7th.

Go deh >>

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