Archive | April, 2014

Way to go, Japan!

1 Apr

Japan recently was ordered by the ICJ to stop whaling. The whole issue is considerably more complicated that that one sentence summary, but the minute detail that I am thrilled by is Japan’s decision to respect  the court’s ruling:

Japan said it would respect the ruling despite “deep disappointment” with the landmark decision.

“As a state that respects the rule of law … and as a responsible member of the global community, Japan will abide by the decision of the court,” Japan’s chief negotiator Koji Tsuruoka said…

After seeing so much flaunting of international law from other states, this respect for it by Japan (despite disagreement on the issue itself) makes me admire the county even more.

whaling decision


Factories are Pro-Poor: A Meditation on Huajian in Ethiopia

1 Apr

This is the kind of honest and non-romanticized look at poverty and development that the world needs more of.

Campaign for Boring Development

A guest post by Frances Pontemayor

Can there be something less glamorous than a factory? Industrialization is gritty, sooty, sweaty – it just doesn’t align with the “tragically beautiful” poverty that development practitioners in Europe and North America dream of fighting with organic farms and $50 laptops. But at what point do implicit (never explicit) aesthetic preferneces start to blinker us from what really works?

Take the Huajian Shoe Company. It’s one of China’s leading shoemakers. I’m sure you’ve never heard of it, but if you’ve ever bought a pair of Naturalizers, Clarks, Guess or Tommy Hilfiger shoes, you’ve probably worn shoes made at a Huajian factory.

In January 2012, Huajian became one of the first Chinese manufacturing companies to launch large-scale operations overseas, opening a big-time shoe factory just outside Addis Abeba, in Ethiopia. The company produces 2,000 pairs of shoes everyday and employs over 1,750 workers at its…

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