The Malawi Government desperately needs money to tackle poverty. Yet a 1955 tax treaty with the UK is tying their hands and making it nearly impossible to collect tax from UK companies operating there. The tax treaty is so old that it was signed by the British Governor on behalf of the British colonies of Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
From my experience, these billionaires will be well informed individuals who donate substantial sums to charity every year. I have nothing but admiration for what many of them have achieved, but goodness I would like to get them on a coach and take them on a magical mystery tour, sharing some of the sights I have witnessed in Africa.
Throughout history, girls and women have often been invisible outside the home. Even now, in 2016, there are countries where women are prevented from getting a job, from owning their own land and even from setting up a bank account. This strips them of their independence. For every aspect of their lives, these women are completely reliant on someone else. It's time to break these chains of dependency. Now we have the chance. Today, the UN Secretary General announced he is establishing an expert team of leading politicians, expert economists, charity heads and business leaders to jumpstart a global movement on women's economic empowerment. I'm privileged to be joining this High Level Panel, alongside the President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim and many eminent names who will be announced over the next few weeks.
Prime Minister Questions last week saw Conservative MP Philip Davies argue (sadly echoing the comments of an MP from our own benches over the Christmas break) that money should be taken from the international development budget to pay for the much needed extra resources to deal with the consequences of the recent flooding. This is a false choice - however, it is not the only threat to Britain's international development budget.
I know, I know, resolutions can sometimes feel a bit tired, but they can still be useful. At the start of 2015, I knew I wanted to volunteer, so I set myself some ambitious goals to make a difference by volunteering my time. By the summer, I had left the UK to work side-by-side with local volunteers in Uganda on international development projects with Restless Development.
With borders a constant flashpoint, International Alert undertook research on the needs of women cross-border traders in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The women identified the lack of storage for their fresh produce as a major problem. As a result, the World Bank is now building a cold storage there.
I started the original One Day Young project in East London back in 2008, photographing over 150 mothers at home with their babies in the first twenty-four hours of life. When invited me to extend this project to Malawi, to raise awareness about women giving birth without clean water or sanitation for their Deliver Life appeal, I was apprehensive.
We need to lay the foundations for a legally binding agreement that will limit global warming below 2°C - beyond which the more extreme and uncontrollable effects of global warming will occur. The plans submitted by 180 countries put us at about 2.7°C. This is a good start, but there is a way to go.
Imagine you needed to solve the greatest problem facing humanity; a problem that was universally acknowledged and whose solution was an urgent necessity. Most of us would do anything to save a person we love. Surely we would also spend any amount of money, mortgage our futures even, to save the planet, our life-support system, from catastrophic climate change? But with such commitment and devotion comes vulnerability. This is particularly so when it comes to the issue of climate finance.
At VSO, we recognise that technology is no magic bullet solution but can empower teachers to deliver their lessons effectively. Unlocking Talent is part of a broad strategy for improving education in Malawi that is also increasing the number of teachers trained in using child-centred teaching methods.
This week sees one of the most important events in Earth's recent history, so please pay attention... On Friday, world leaders will gather at the UN to ratify the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development, and set a path for 2030 to eradicate poverty, tackle inequality and fix climate change. Yep, it's pretty significant.