Phnom Penh has followed the clichéd patterns of newly emerging nations almost to the letter with the urban poor shouldering many of the downsides. What few people recognise is that most of it could have been avoided.
With over 150,000 residents displaced since 1990 the story has been far from positive and in many cases has compounded and exacerbated what was already a very precarious existence.
Latest stories from Quick Reads + Development
On April 7, Niger inaugurated in the capital Niamey its first train station ever [fr]. The authorities already projected the construction of the train station 80 years ago but the project never took off. The event will kick start the construction of railroads between Niger, Benin, Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire. Twitter user Tanoussou in Niamey posted a photo of the train station :
— tanoussou (@ismaousmane) April 7, 2014
The new president of Madagascar Hery Rajaonarimampianina was elected president on December 20, 2013. A few months later, he's yet to name a prime minister for his new government. Many observers wonder what is taking so long. Malagasy blogger Michael Rakotoarison has a different take on the situation; he argues that maybe the president taking his time is not such a bad thing [fr]:
J’étais dans l’attitude ambiante de celui qui doute, moi qui de base n’ai jamais soutenu le Président [..]. De source sûr, le président missionne à l’étranger une poignée d’hommes discrets chargés de débusquer des compétences. Le pari est donc de dégager la politique, pour ne se soucier que de l’économie.
I was one of of skeptical ones especially since I have never shown any support for this President [..]. However a reliable source told me that the President has currently commissioned a handful of men to discreetly identify people who possess specific skill sets. The challenge is to get rid of the political side of the equation and to focus on the economy.
From critical thinking to more public data, T3CHTT compiles a list of what the region is lacking when it comes to Information and Communications Technology.
Rising Voices will be launching a microgrant competition next month for digital citizen media projects in the Amazon region which is home to many indigenous communities. Thanks to Avina Americas, Fundación Avina, and the Skoll Foundation, we'll be offering this support with ongoing mentorship from the Global Voices community.
Citizen media has played an important part in many cultural, political, social and environmental struggles in the region. See some of our past coverage of Amazon communities on the special coverage page: Forest Focus: Amazon.
People are angry and tired, and media houses often publish news about the connection between political leaders and goons but no one takes to the streets to protest corruption – an anomaly for a country where people have Nepal Bandhs, country-wide strikes for every distress.
Siromani Dhungana posts an analysis on United We Blog! for a Democratic Nepal highlighting that corruption in Nepal is becoming mainstream and acceptable.
South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) blog reports that as many as 12 dams are either being planned or are under construction to satisfy the increasing water demand of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) in India. The Tribals and other affected groups have long been strongly opposing these projects but most people in Mumbai seems to be unaware of their struggles or impacts of these projects.
All of these dams fall in eco-sensitive region of the Western Ghats. They will together submerge more than 22,000 hectares of land, including nearly 7000 hectares of forests, lakhs of trees and more than 750 hectares of Tansa Sanctuary. They will affect a minimum of 100,000 tribals who depend on the forests and their ancestral lands for livelihoods. These dams include Kalu, Shai, Balganga, Susari, Khargihill, Bhugad, Pinjal, Gargai, Middle Vaitarna, Barvi and Poshir, among others. These are in addition to the dams already constructed for MMR water supply.
Water shortage has been reported in Selangor, Johor, Negri Sembilan, and Kedah in Malaysia. The Sin Chew Daily explains the cause of the problem:
…the drought and water shortage in the Peninsula are both natural and human-induced disasters. The government as well as the people have an inescapable responsibility.
Over-emphasising development while ignoring environmental protection has led to such man-made disasters while exposing the weakness of improper management. With proper management, floods could actually be reduced and water shortages could be avoided.
Une petite discussion avec ces Africains suffit pour se rendre à l´évidence que la communauté n´est ni menacée, ni totalement intégrée. Comme fille africaine, il est quasi impossible de trouver un travail conséquent [..] En général, les Tchèques sont un peuple renfermé, ils sont cependant gentils et tolérants. «Il n’y a absolument aucun problème à être noir à Prague, personne ne vous fera de remarque, ce serait un comble!» garantit un des matelots originaire de la Côte d´Ivoire. Mais cette tolérance n´est pas non plus le gage d´une acceptation totale.
A quick chat with Africans here is all you need to realize that the community here is not under any pressure but it is not fully integrated either. As an African girl, it is almost impossible to find a real job.[..] In general, the Czechs are reserved but very tolerant. A sailor from from Côte d'Ivoire affirms that ”There is absolutely no issue with blacks in Prague, nobody will say anything untowards to you, to the contrary!”. Yet, this tolerance is in no way a guarantee that one will be fully integrated in the society.
Le continent africain apparaît comme la nouvelle frontière mondiale du développement numérique. Ce développement provoque une nouvelle impulsion entrepreneuriale en Afrique, et notamment en Afrique francophone. Mais ce potentiel reste très largement méconnu en Europe ainsi qu'en France.
The African continent appears to be the new global frontier of digital development. This development has caused a new entrepreneurial impulse in Africa, particularly in Francophone Africa. But this potential remains largely unknown in Europe and in France.
To change this, Samir, author of the blog Startup BRICS [fr] that specializes in start-ups in the emerging countries, organized a field mission called the TechAfrique project to identify and list technology initiatives, start-ups, Fablabs projects, and other co-working places of tech creativity in Francophone Africa and Kenya.