Monthly Archives: June 2011

America’s Next Great Restaurant, an Africa Concept?






I have occasionally thought about opening my own coffee shop, or bookstore, or restaurant…  Not that any of these things are likely. And not that any of these ideas are that original. However, one idea that I have had that I think might be a bit more unique is to open up a chain of…

Ghana: Waste, lagoons, and deserts






Besides some concerns about oil’s impact on the environment in Ghana, there have been a number of other recent stories that remind us that Ghana’s environmental problems are far more widespread and diversified. Waste Disposal One of the biggest issues is the problem of waste disposal (or the lack thereof).As Fiona Leonard mentions in her…

The WTO’s Doha Round






The Doha Round still limps along. You know the WTO is in trouble when… … The Financial Times says negotiations are dead. In 2008 they argued that leaders should admit the talks are over. They haven’t really been optimistic since. … We start to argue that an assassination will save it. Jagdish Bhagwati, one of…

News: Skimming the Surface – Inside Higher Ed






This is such a common problem in student writing!  When I ask students how they go about writing a research paper I find that a common practice is to begin by creating an outline and paste lots of material–found online–into the outline.  It’s no wonder that the result is a lack of original ideas (as…

Bad Ideas: Using Gbagbo for email fraud






I’ve seen some bad email pitches before, but this has to be one of the worst that I have seen. I’m not quite sure how anyone can think that using the name of Gbagbo to perpetrate fraud would work. Am I really supposed to trust the son of an egoistic dictator responsible for all sorts…

Join the Conversation






A (new to me) source for information about contemporary issues on the web is “The Conversation”. This Aussie website has the taglines: “Academic rigour, journalistic flair” and “For curious minds”. The website covers a number of themes, from Business to Health to Politics. Right now–and what initially brought me to the site–they are sponsoring a…

Ghana: Oil






Oil Ghana has received a lot of attention over the past few years for the offshore oil finds. As the BBC reported earlier this year, Ghana’s economic growth rate is expected to double due to this find. Some of the most recent news on this: The debate as to whether Ghana will “escape” the oil…

Ghana: Debates about homosexuality






I try to follow news and blogs about my former host country (Ghana) on a weekly basis (at least). One of the latest themes concerns homosexuality. Homosexuality on the continent has been a major international news item this past year. Most notably, Uganda considered introducing legislation that would make homosexual sex a crime worthy of…

African Cinema






I remember hearing about the “Ougadougou Film Festival”when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Northern Ghana. I thought I might go. But I never did. Hopefully, I someday will. A recent film I saw and a couple recent news items reminded me of this festival. The film I recently saw was “Rêves de poussière”…

China and Africa: Some of the Latest






As many friends and colleagues know, one of my two core research agendas considers Africa’s changing relationships with rising powers in the world, and in particular China. Here are some of the latest (well, I was on vacation a couple weeks so some of this may not seem very recent to all of you!) items…