The spectacular GDP growth recorded by some West African countries in the past 5 years is all of a sudden undermined by the spread of the Ebola virus. The epidemic has put under the spotlight the poor conditions of health systems in the region, but also the fragility of economic models measured only by Gross Domestic Product.
In a taped recording he left to be played in the event of his assassination, Harvey Milk, America's first openly gay elected official, left a message for our times. "All young people," he said, "regardless of their sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment to achieve their full potential." Nowhere is the world further from that goal than in Africa.
Rising early means beating the unbearable heat that makes her journey on foot with a heavy load of maize on her head even more arduous. It means getting to the border crossing before custom officials - who frequently ask her for a bribe or worse - and securing a place at the market ahead of her competitors.
The support of multilateral agencies for basic education is slowing compared with other sectors and bilateral donors. Unless multilateral aid is increased, there is a danger that growing support to new areas such as skills development will squeeze the scarce resources for basic education even further, to the detriment of the most disadvantaged.
The Doing Business project ranks countries' business regulations and laws across ten key indicators, but the group of experts led by Former South African Minister of Planning and Finance, Trevor Manuel, who reviewed the project, found that many of these indicators were a poor tool for policy-makers.
What do Ethiopia, Mozambique and Angola have in common? Well just under two decades ago, the stories that emerged from these three countries pretty much summed up the state of most of the African continent at the time. Two decades later, the same countries are not only in the news, but on every economic analyst's list.
The United Kingdom, which is now the largest bilateral donor to basic education in sub-Saharan Africa, has shown admirable leadership in meeting aid commitments and making basic education a high priority. Having assumed the presidency of the G8 this year, we encourage the UK to ensure that other G8 countries follow its lead.
Over the years I have worked with, and met, some amazing and inspirational women who have offered me insight into the control and power dynamics, inequalities and prejudices that perpetuate violence against women and girls. Of course, these variants will differ from country to country, culture to culture, but one variant remains constant - MEN.
Every day, rapid growth and urbanization increase the exposure of people and assets to earthquakes, floods, storms and other natural hazards... While disasters affect everyone, it is the poor and vulnerable - women, children, the elderly, and those recovering from conflict - who are most exposed. When hazards strike, their homes in fragile and often low-lying environments take the brunt of the impact.