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Corruption Perception Index 2016
Corruption Perception Index 2016
February 7, 2017

No country gets close to a perfect score in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2016.

Over two-thirds of the 176 countries and territories in this year’s index fall below the midpoint of our scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). The global average score is a paltry 43, indicating endemic corruption in a country’s public sector. Top-scoring countries (yellow in the map below) are far outnumbered by orange and red countries where citizens face the tangible impact of corruption on a daily basis.

This year’s results highlight the connection between corruption and inequality, which feed off each other to create a vicious circle between corruption, unequal distribution of power in society, and unequal distribution of wealth.

In too many countries, people are deprived of their most basic needs and go to bed hungry every night because of corruption, while the powerful and corrupt…

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Aleppo: Russia-Turkey ceasefire deal offers hope of survival for residents
December 14, 2016

Aleppo: Russia-Turkey ceasefire deal offers hope of survival for resident – An agreement has been reached to evacuate civilians and opposition fighters from the besieged eastern districts of the city of Aleppo, a senior Turkish official and rebel officials have told the Guardian.

But as dawn broke in the city on Wednesday, reports from Syria said nobody had yet been able to leave.

Syrians leave a rebel-held area of Aleppo to go to the government-held side.

The deal offers some hope of survival to the people of east Aleppo, who the United Nations said on Tuesday had endured a brutal “meltdown of humanity” as forces loyal to the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, rampaged through newly reclaimed districts reportedly carrying out extrajudicial killings.

The agreement, which has effectively ended the battle for Aleppo after four years of fighting, capped…

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If the US Federal Government Won’t Lead on Climate Action, Who Will?
December 8, 2016

If the US Federal Government Won’t Lead on Climate Action, Who Will?To say the results of the US election cast a pall over climate negotiations in Marrakech is like saying Indonesian forest fires make Singapore a little hazy. In the appropriately named Blue Zone of the conference venue, participants went through the motions of formal talks and side events, while private huddles dwelled on the new shocking reality of a US President-elect who has pledged to withdraw the United States from the historic Paris Agreement, which concluded last year and which has already entered into force.

Implementation of that agreement was the theme of COP22 (short for the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the climate convention), with banners around the city of Marrakech proclaiming “A Time for Action.” Not surprisingly, a theme of post-election conversations there was how US action on…

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Italian PM Matteo Renzi resigns after referendum defeat
December 5, 2016

Matteo Renzi was roundly defeated in a referendum to change Italy’s constitution, marking a major victory for anti-establishment and rightwing parties and plunging the eurozone’s third largest economy into political chaos.

The prime minister conceded defeat in an emotional speech at his residence, Palazzo Chigi, and said he would submit his resignation to Italy’s president, Sergio Mattarella, on Monday afternoon.

“My experience in government ends here … I did all I could to bring this to victory,” Renzi said. “If you fight for an idea, you cannot lose.”

It was a not an unexpected defeat but it was nevertheless a humiliating one, with about 60% of Italians voting against the proposed reforms, which would have made sweeping changes to Italy’s constitution and parliamentary system. Pointing to the high voter turnout – about 68% of eligible voters cast ballots in the referendum – Renzi…

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Three more reasons why US education is ready for investment
Three more reasons why US education is ready for investment
December 1, 2016

Shifts in the education landscape are opening doors for investment.

The US market for educational products and services, across K–12, higher education, and corporate learning, is more than $1.75 trillion, and growing. While that figure alone warrants attention from investors, much of this market has historically been difficult for investors to access. K–12 and higher education are largely seen as public goods for the government to provide. Corporate learning has been the responsibility of employers, which often have little appetite for innovation. For-profit companies and investors have mainly played supporting roles and have found a few opportunistic ways to provide resources where providers of learning required support.

Today, because of stagnation in learning outcomes and other shifts in the education landscape, schools and corporations are rethinking how they teach and train—opening the door for private investors and for-profit education providers. In 2015, deal activity involving education companies hit an all-time…

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GE Africa and The USADF Launch 2017 Off-Grid Energy Challenge For Women in Energy
November 25, 2016

A lack of financial support for Africa’s power generation needs has several negative ramifications for the continent, with the most significant one being that it stalls Africa’s long-term economic development and growth, according to a recent McKinsey report.

Although the African continent is  well-resourced with fossil fuels and renewable energy resources, most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have electrification levels below 30%. Only seven countries – Cameroon, Gabon, Ghana, Cote d’IVoire, South Africa, Namibia and Senegal have electricity access rates that exceed 50%. At a grass-roots  level, there are still 600-million people in Africa who lack reliable access to electricity and this means that school children are unable to read after dusk, clinics cannot stock medication that needs refrigeration and small businesses cannot do business after sunset.

It is for these reasons that GE  Africa and the United States African Development…

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