Physical planning approach to reducing fatalities and managing aircraft disasters in Nigeria

By Olapeju Olasunkanmi

Social networking sites and their paraphernalia of smart phones have once again proven to be most effective in the delivery and sharing of facts; real time data; half truths; falsehoods; political mudslings,and cyber spatial assaults ,in the unfortunate Dana Plane mishap that happened last Sunday. From the eerie pictures, real time video files, tweets and re-tweets of the names on the manifest of the crashed plane to the very revealing details of John I. Nnorom-a former Executive Director for finance at Air Nigeria who warned Nigerians to stop flying Air Nigeria until they were sure its planes are properly maintained, the information appetite of a highly dynamic blogosphere population that will no longer wait to get its news from the dailies of the following day was satisfactorily met.

A rescue worker walks past the wreckage of a plane in Lagos, Nigeria on Monday, June 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
A rescue worker walks past the wreckage of a plane in Lagos, Nigeria on Monday, June 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

But shallow and mischievous minds will not rest. They will take advantage of the insufferable and curious mind state of the public to reducing the significance of the national introspection that should attend such national disasters to mere politics. This morning, the tweets I woke up seeing dominating the cyber space centered on the alleged closure of the nations’ airspace for Madam Goodluck Patience on that fateful Sunday. They are obviously the handiwork of such elements that do not know beyond politics. Unfortunately, the toxic tweets will spread more virally and linger more on walls, despite the fact that disclaimers have been logically written to refute them. My grouse with such misinformation is that they add to the toxic content in the minds of the ignorant and devilishly potent in hypnotizing professionals and technocrats who should rather be thinking of how to dispassionately but creatively fashion out solutions to our present challenges beyond regurgitating the old stories we are used to.

Now, let me state clearly that this piece is not about holding brief for the Government of Goodluck Jonathan,whose general performances in office have been short of expectations, for obvious reasons that mostly border on sabotage and the everlasting corruption endemic in our development delivery procedures across all tiers of government. It is rather about x-raying the problems of the aviation sector-especially aircrafts accidents beyond the platitudes of human errors,technical faults and systemic corruption that have been mainly established as the causative factors of air plane crashes in Nigeria,and presenting a wider professional perspective in fundamentally ameliorating the aviation challenges that appear to now abide with us forever.
In a recent study by commercial aircraft maker Boeing,of the 364 plane accidents that globally occurred between 1998 and 2007,87 were caused by technical or human error while landing,and 11% of the total 5147 fatalities were due to accidents borne out of problems in landing. According to the report titled ‘’statistical summary of commercial jet air plane accidents’’,1959 -2008,about 12% of plane accidents take place during takeoff,while 8% during the plane’s initial climb and 12% between the period of climb and cruises, accounting for 45% of total fatalities. While descending ,there were only 5% of mishaps whereas 10% of accidents occurred during the flights initial approach, and 9% during the final approach before landing,resulting in about 27% of total fatalities during the observed years.

The foregoing is to make the point that plane accidents are not only restricted to technical deficiencies that result in crashes during cruising, but that accidents due to taking off and landing of aircrafts are also statistically significant. This is of course is a major consideration in the locational criteria for airports in saner climes. It is definitely the strategic rationale behind the siting of 45 of the 50 busiest airports in the USA in locations that are contiguous to water bodies. Here in Nigeria,airports are sited without recourse to considerations about environmental impacts that relates to noise,resonance effects,and collateral damages and destructions that attend plane crashes. They locate in the heart of the cities,while coastal areas are left to either erode,and sometimes reclaimed by the rich to erecting posh buildings that dot littoral skyline,and command incredible market values.

What am I saying? There is a provable chance that we would have had survivors in the last Sunday’s Dana air mishap had Agbado –Iju,where the crash occurred, which is just seconds away from MMA, been within the radius of a coastal catchment for MMA. Global airplane water crashes statistics corroborate my reasoning. The story of the 155 passengers and crew of Airbus A320,a US airways flight that remained intact after crashing into the Hudson river,in Newyork on 9th January 2009 still remains a legendary testimony that owes more to rational planning and pilot’s ingenuity(let me be generous). We also have fair survival rates of 20 of 39 on board and 59 of 50 on board for Tuninter 1153(an ATR 72,which ditched off the silicon coast after running out of fuel in 2005) and Garuda Indonesia flights(a Boeing 737 which ditched into a river in Java island) ,respectively. As a matter of fact,a recent study done in the US puts ditching(intentional and controlled water landing of an aircraft) survival rate at 88%,though factors like the size of aircraft,type of waterbody for landing,and the speed at which the pilot eases the craft into water also account for survival rates.

Like in many cases that we wound around the person of the President whose face we don’t like anymore,despite our knowledge of the fact that they have existed long before he came on board, the problems in the aviation sector are beyond superficial political dressings . The absence of a viable framework for national physical planning over the years, and the unseriousness of state governments in proactively preparing and implementing regional,urban,local,and subject plans in times past(since the supreme court judgment In the case between Lagos state and the FG now makes the monopoly state governments have in respect to land management and control lucid)is what is responsible for proliferations of major incompatible land uses and indiscriminate construction of buildings in special areas in our cities.

While we wait for the outcome of the black box investigations, and ruminate on how to improve aviation regulation and quality control, and reduce corruption in that sensitive sector, we should also consider the re-ordering of airport locations in ensuring better disaster prevention and management. It is not enough for planning authorities to merely restrict planning standards within a particular radius from airports to building heights regulation and telecommunication mast control. Rather, approval order for airports should emphasize strictly on littoral locations and several miles radius away from built up area. The coastal habitats and mangroves that will be left if such an approval order is sustainably implemented could also represent a gain in environmental management, eco-system and biodiversity protection, and afford the banking of vegetation-carbon sinks to help mitigate global warming. Planning authorities must be empowered to ensuring that their development control powers are not compromised. While government should seize this opportunity in facing the issues squarely, and achieving spatial re-engineering of our cities, the public should also be more sensitized that urban management is not just about scoring political points and making huge tax gains, but chiefly about the greater good of public safety, health, and environmental sustainability.

Who Should Pay For Higher Education?

By Ayodeji Abiola

BASIC EDUCATION, which is suppossedly free in Nigeria ends at the junior secondary school – the first 9 years of schooling. Privately owned schools on their parts are not free and it could be argued that the free education offered in the publicly owned schools is not of high qualitative value compared to the paid ones. At the basic education level, the primary benefit of learning is directly to the student. The lettered citizen will be able to conform reasonably well to the demands of the 21st century society without being a societal misfit. This is perhaps government’s motivation for paying for basic education, especially when cost could have been a hindrance.


Image by rmsbunkerblog

Beyond the basic level, the next years of schooling, three spent at the senior secondary level and then at least two years at the post-secondary level molds a learner into a professional in his chosen career. Presently, post-secondary education has become elusive to many citizens for various reasons. These reasons usually include cost and inadequate spaces at the schools. The cost factor is especially worrisome given that many institutions are publicly owned either by a state or the federal government and attended mostly by students from non-high income earning households. As such, these institutions do not usually charge high fees compared to the privately owned ones mostly attended by learners from more affluent households. The low earning capacity of the publicly owned institutions from low student’s tuition coupled with inadequate funding from the government exposes them to the plague of funding crises. The quality of learning from such poorly funded schools will no doubt impact negatively on the job such students take on. I cannot fully address the need for increased government funding for publicly owned institutions in this piece. However, I find a probable funding source for these institutions in the student’s potential employers.

I can boldly posit that poor quality of education is detrimental for productivity in the job market. Furthermore, such an unproductive job market is injurious to the economy. The extent to which one may argue on the danger of poor education to the overall society is a food for thought for readers of this article. The question at this moment is, “should employers then, go all the way to pay for quality education for students especially at the post-secondary level?” Professor Will Roberts and six other professors at McGill University in Quebec, Canada who recently wrote a newspaper opinion in solidarity with their striking students will answer this question in the affirmative. They argued that the university is no more than a training ground that employers are lucky enough to get employees to pay for1. The employees in this case are the students of the today who will no doubt become employees after they graduate. Technically, students are already on the job, they argued.

My answer to the question is also, “Yes, employers should start taking responsibilities in the funding of higher education in Nigeria”. If poorly educated graduates are continually produced, employers bear the brunt; well-educated graduates are the employers’ gain. Presently, top employers with deep pocket in Nigeria already re-train graduates before they are hired. For example, the Dangotes Industries established the Dangote Academy, which re-train graduates for 12 months before they are employed. According to Haruna Adinoyi, the head of the academy, “…most of our graduates are not employable”2. Nigeria’s largest oil corporation, Shell also run similar 12 months program called the Shell Intensive Training Program (SITP) for fresh graduates before they can be considered for employment. These are organizations, which are obviously established to maximize profit. Therefore, they would have preferred to transmit the money spent on these re-trainings into their annual profit balance, if it were not necessary and crucial for their successful operations.

To summarize and close, if quality education is important for quality job performance and by extension the economy; if majority of students in our higher educational institutions are largely unable to access quality education; if this lack of quality is partly but significantlyhinged on poor funding occasioned by low earning by the public institutions, perhaps employers, particularly the ones with deep pockets who are major beneficiaries of education should consider paying for higher education.

In my next article, I will discuss ways that employers (organizations, corporations, etc) should pay for higher education in Nigeria. Meanwhile, why don’t you leave your opinion/feedback below?


Image by rmsbunkerblog



About author: Ayodeji Abiola

Ayodeji is an Engineer and an Educator. He has a Bachelor’s degree from the Federal University of Technology Akure and a Master’s degree from University College London. He is currently a researcher and a teacher at Western University, Canada. As a trained educator, Ayodeji is interested in understanding how best students learn, especially students taking science and technology subjects. He will be chronicling his findings on his online portal for Teachers. He is interested in their applications to the Nigerian higher educational institutions, given his understanding of the many issues confronting them. Ayodeji was a collegiate member of the Junior Chambers International, a worldwide federation of young leaders and entrepreneurs where he developed many of his leadership instincts. He is presently the team coordinator of I am Nigerian – a platform for Nigerians bent of showcasing the positive images of the country to a global audience while leading the way out of many of the present societal quagmires. Social Media links Twitter: Facebook: Blog – for Teachers: BB PIN: 228D8D6A

Paradigm shift in university ranking: rates ‘best’ countries, not universities


A novel system of ranking 48 countries and territories said to be the ‘best’ at providing higher education was published on Friday by Universitas 21, the 15-year-old global network of 23 research-intensive universities.

The latest ranking system makes a welcome change from the efforts of a growing number of commercial organisations and other groups to rank individual universities according to their various abilities.

The top 10 countries claimed to be best at delivering higher education are the US, Sweden, Canada, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, Australia, The Netherlands and the UK.

Thomson reuters image

The Universitas 21 results were launched at an event at Lund University in Sweden, where the ranking system was described as a “benchmark for governments, education institutions and individuals”.

“It aims to highlight the importance of creating a strong environment for higher education institutions to contribute to economic and cultural development, provide a high-quality experience for students and help institutions compete for overseas applicants,” according to a release from the network.

The rankings were produced by researchers at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne.

They reviewed the most recent data from 48 countries and territories across 20 different measures grouped under four headings: resources (investment by government and private sector); output (research and its impact, as well as the production of an educated workforce to meet labour market needs); connectivity (international networks and collaboration, which protects a system against insularity); and environment (government policy and regulation, diversity and participation opportunities). Population size is also taken into account in the calculations.

The researchers found that government funding of higher education as a percentage of gross national product was highest in Finland, Norway and Denmark. But when private expenditure was included, funding was highest in the US, Korea, Canada and Chile.

Investment in research and development was highest in Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland, and although the US dominated the total output of research journal articles, Sweden was found to be the biggest producer of articles per head of population.

According to the Melbourne team, the nations whose research has the greatest impact are Switzerland, The Netherlands, the US, the UK and Denmark. While the US and UK have the world’s top institutions in rankings, “the depth of world-class higher education institutions per head of population” is best in Switzerland, Sweden, Israel and Denmark.

Countries with the highest participation rates were listed as Korea, Finland, Greece, the US, Canada and Slovenia, while those with the largest proportion of workers with a higher level education were Russia, Canada, Israel, US, Ukraine, Taiwan and Australia.

Finland, Denmark, Singapore, Norway and Japan had the highest ratio of researchers in the economy.

The U-21 report says international students form the highest proportions of total student numbers in Australia, Singapore, Austria, the UK and Switzerland. International research collaboration is most prominent in Indonesia, Switzerland, Hong Kong SAR, Denmark, Belgium and Austria.

China, India, Japan and the US rank in the bottom 25 per cent of countries for international research collaboration. In all but eight countries, at least 50 per cent of students were female, the lowest being in India and Korea. In only five countries were there at least 50 per cent female staff, the lowest being in Japan and Iran.

The U-21 report says the results represent an initial attempt to rate national systems of higher education for a relatively large number of countries covering different stages of economic development. While this widened the value of the exercise, it made the data collection more complicated.

The researchers hope the rankings will encourage improvements in data, both for included countries and to enable them to extend the range of countries in future updates.

“While there are a number of international rankings of universities, commencing with the seminal Shanghai Jiao Tong index in 2003, less effort has been put into quantitative rankings of national systems of higher education,” the report states.

“A notable exception is the policy brief for the Lisbon Council, in which Edereer, Schuller and Willms in 2008 developed a university systems ranking for 17 selected OECD countries.

“The international rankings of universities emphasise the peaks of research excellence. They throw no light, however, on issues such as how well a nation’s higher education system educates all its students, possessing different interests, abilities and backgrounds.

“Even for universities, [Jamil] Salmi notes that ‘what happens in the institution alone is not sufficient to understand and appreciate the full dynamics of their relative success or failure’.”

The lead author, Professor Ross Williams at the University of Melbourne, said that in a globalised world, a strong higher education system was essential if a nation was to be economically competitive. Williams has previously produced rankings of Australian universities.

“While there are a number of well-regarded global rankings of individual institutions, these don’t shed any light on the broader picture of how well a nation’s system educates its students, the environment it provides for encouraging and supporting excellence,” he said.

“Students choose countries to study in as much as individual institutions and the Universitas 21 ranking offers clear data to support decision-making.”

Source of this Report is World University News

RESEARCH & DEVT: Nigeria makes electric car, power bike

By Ebele Orakpo

As the issue of environmental pollution rages and nations are seeking alternative energy sources devoid of carbon emission, Nigeria, as a major oil-exporter, will be hard hit if nothing is done. To this end, Professor James Omoleye of the Department of Chemical Engineering and former Director, Centre for Research, Covenant University, Ota Ogun State, began a series of researches with his team which culminated in the making of an electric automobile and a power bike. In this chat with Vanguard Learning, Omoleye says Nigeria is far ahead of some nations in this area. Excerpts:

Electric car made in Nigeria

For Professor James Omoleye: “Nigeria is an oil-exporting country and today, the green revolution which is trying to promote mobility without atmospheric pollution, is driving the whole world to look for alternative way of transportation and that has led to some research on electric automobile.

“Electric automobile is not a new thing. In fact, somebody said it was there before fuel combustion engine came but was not efficient at that time. The use of petrol engine took over because it was more efficient. Now, because of pollution and electronic advancement which has made electric automobiles very efficient, there is a kind of shift. People want to look into electric automobile as a means of mobility.”

Reducing pollution by 80 per cent:
If you can reduce the amount of pollution in the air coming through automobiles, then you would have reduced pollution by almost 80 per cent and life on earth will be safer. So there is now a tendency to move towards electric mobility, not only automobiles, even boats and trains. In advanced countries, the number of electric automobiles in use is on the increase.

Of course, many are now using what we call hybrid which is electric engine and fuel combustion engine together. This reduces the amount of fuel you burn. But the ultimate is electric automobile so that we can do away with pollution of the atmosphere. That is already gaining ground now in countries like the US and China. In China, electric bikes are common and a number of their taxis are electric. So very soon, electric mobility will take over from fuel combustion.

Electric car and power bike
“I started in 2005 to research into electric automobiles. Our electric automobile came on the road on July 1, 2010 and I have been using it but not continuously being the only one we have made, we don’t just use it any how. What we did was to buy a fuel combustion engine car, removed the engine and designed and assembled the electric engine inside it.

Electric Power bike made in Nigeria

We have also advanced in the sense that the first one we did, we brought in the parts but between then and now, we have worked on two of the three major components which are the speed regulator and the charging system because after running about 70km, you charge for six hours continuously.

Today, we have successcfully designed and assembled our own speed controller. We have tested it by mounting it on a four-wheel cycle and it is moving very well. We have almost perfected the charging system. Of course, since September 2007, we have been able to come up with a charging system but it was not as efficient as what we have now. We are replacing the one we did in 2010 with the one we have now which is a lot faster and more reliable.

The only component we have not started to do here is the electric motor itself. But that is not a big deal because there is no vehicle company that manufactures all the parts. You get some parts from one company and then you design some,” said the professor of chemical engineering.

Ahead of many nations
“We have gone very far and I think we are ahead of many other nations. We are ahead of Australia because they are not yet making those things and they are the ones in the forefront of electric automobile. An Indian man that came for business in Abuja saw my programme on television and came all the way to look for us here.

He said he came because they also have interest in electric automobile and that his company was given approval by the Indian Government to start introducing electric mobility into their taxi system. By the time we talked, I found out that we are ahead of them. They don’t make any parts and yet, they have got to the point of changing their taxi system to electric automobiles but we have gone to the point of producing the controller and the charger,” he said.

What Nigeria must do

Prof Omoleye - maker of electric car
Prof Omoleye - maker of electric car

“Even as an oil-exporting country, we cannot help encouraging something that will not consume fuel for two reasons: One, we are not making even the fuel combustion vehicles, we are importing them so if in the next five or six years the whole world is changing into electric automobile, you say ‘oh we are not going to go into that,’ you will be forced to import the electric automobiles they are making and good enough, petroleum is not only used for fuel combustion by automobiles, there are hundreds of products today that are made from petroleum just that Nigeria is only focusing on exporting crude.

Our clothes are from petroleum. When you talk of petrochemicals, the basic raw material is petroleum. So all we need to do is for us to try to focus on petrochemicals and start to divert the crude we cannot export to produce other things that can be exported.

Of course we will still be selling our crude but not as much as before. This is one reason why we should not say we are not going to encourage electric automobile production. Two, for now, we are only importing vehicles, when you join the race of electric automobiles manufacturing; you become one of the countries that will be earning revenue from exporting your own electric automobiles.

So while the fuel is not used for fuelling cars again, generators for the charging the automobiles will still be using fuel . You will now join them in also exporting vehicles and so you can increase your revenue base more than what it was before. We have gone very far and I think we are among the top five countries,” he noted.

First published in the Nigerian Vanguard May 10 2012.

Data show Nigerians the most educated in the U.S.

Data show Nigerians the most educated in the U.S.

In America, Nigerians’ education pursuit is above rest – Whether driven by immigration or family, data show more earn degrees
LESLIE CASIMIR, Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
Published 05:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 20, 2008
David Olowokere
Nigerian David Olowokere, chairman of TSU's engineering technologies department, says the goal for his children is to do "as good as us — if not better." Photo Credit: ERIC KAYNE, CHRONICLE / HC
  • For Woodlands resident David Olowokere, one of Nigeria’s sons, having a master’s degree in engineering just wasn’t enough for his people back home. So he got a doctorate.

His wife, Shalewa Olowokere, a civil engineer, didn’t stop at a bachelor’s, either. She went for her master’s.

The same obsession with education runs in the Udeh household in Sugar Land. Foluke Udeh and her husband, Nduka, both have master’s degrees. Anything less, she reckons, would have amounted to failure.

“If you see an average Nigerian family, everybody has a college degree these days,” said Udeh, 32, a physical therapist at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. “But a post-graduate degree, that’s like pride for the family.”

Nigerian immigrants have the highest levels of education in this city and the nation, surpassing whites and Asians, according to Census data bolstered by an analysis of 13 annual Houston-area surveys conducted by Rice University.

Although they make up a tiny portion of the U.S. population, a whopping 17 percent of all Nigerians in this country held master’s degrees while 4 percent had a doctorate, according to the 2006 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. In addition, 37 percent had bachelor’s degrees.

In comparison

To put those numbers in perspective, 8 percent of the white population in the U.S. had master’s degrees, according to the Census survey. And 1 percent held doctorates. About 19 percent of white residents had bachelor’s degrees. Asians come closer to the Nigerians with 12 percent holding master’s degrees and 3 percent having doctorates.The Nigerian numbers are “strikingly high,” said Roderick Harrison, demographer at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a Washington, D.C., think tank that specializes in researching black issues. “There is no doubt that these are highly educated professionals who are probably working in the petrochemical, medical and business sectors in Houston.”

Harrison analyzed the census data for the Houston Chronicle.

Stephen Klineberg, a sociologist at Rice University who conducts the annual Houston Area Survey, suspects the percentage of Nigerian immigrants with post-graduate degrees is higher than Census data shows.

Of all the Nigerian immigrants he reached in his random phone surveys 1994 through 2007 — 45 households total — Klineberg said 40 percent of the Nigerians said they had post-graduate degrees.

“These are higher levels of educational attainment than were found in any other … community,” Klineberg said.

There are more than 12,000 Nigerians in Houston, according to the latest Census data, a figure sociologists and Nigerian community leaders say is a gross undercount. They believe the number to be closer to 100,000.

Staying in school

The reasons Nigerians have more post-graduate degrees than any other racial or ethnic group are largely due to Nigerian society’s emphasis on mandatory and free education. Once immigrating to this country, practical matters of immigration laws get in the way.The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 made it easier for Africans to enter the U.S., but mostly as students or highly skilled professionals — not through family sponsorships, Klineberg said.

So many Africans pursue higher levels of education as an unintended consequence of navigating the tricky minefield of immigration, said Amadu Jacky Kaba, an associate professor at Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J., who has done research on African immigrants in the U.S.

“In a way, it’s a Catch-22 — because of immigration laws you are forced to remain in school, but then the funny thing is you end up getting your doctorate at the age of 29,” Kaba said. “If you stay in school, immigration will leave you alone.”

Although Kaba, who teaches Africana Studies, is not from Nigeria (he is Liberian), he said he, too, found himself pursuing a master’s and then a doctorate to remain in this country legally.

But not all Africans have to go this route. Some say their motivation is driven by their desire to overcome being a double minority: black and African.

Take Oluyinka Olutoye, 41, associate professor of pediatric surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. He came to this country already as a medical doctor but decided to pursue his doctorate in anatomy to help set himself apart.

“Being black, you are already at a disadvantage,” said Olutoye, whose wife, Toyin Olutoye, is an anesthesiologist at Baylor. “You really need to excel far above if you want to be considered for anything in this country.”

Family expectations

All this talk of education creates high expectations for children of Nigerian immigrants. The eldest child of David Olowokere, chairman of the engineering technologies department at Texas Southern University, for example, is already working on her master’s degree in public health in Atlanta; the middle child is pursuing a bachelor’s in pre-medicine. His youngest, a son, attendsThe Woodlands High School. He already has aspirations to go into engineering, just like his parents, Olowokere beams.”The goal is for them to do as good as us — if not better,” he said.

Oluyinka Olutoye put it another way.

“The typical saying in a Nigerian household is that the best inheritance that a parent can give you is not jewelry or cash or material things, it is a good education,” he said. “It is expected.”

Secondary source HERE

Africa Malaria

Africa Malaria Control day

The African Union has established April 25 as a day to raise awareness of the damage caused by malaria in Africa. Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease that disproportionately affects poor and vulnerable populations on the African continent. Approximately 90 percent of global malaria cases occur in sub-saharan Africa.

Africa Poverty Stats

Statistics on Poverty in Africa


1. Absolute numbers
2. Relative numbers
3. Alternative numbers
3. International vs national numbers


According to the World Bank poverty estimates, Africa hasn’t seen much progress in terms of the absolute numbers of poor people. Compared to China, for instance, the number of poor people has grown steadily in Africa:

poverty in south and east asia, compared to Africa


The numbers almost doubled from 200 million in 1981 to 400 million in 2005, although in 2008 it fell by 12 million (source).


However, a lot of the growth in the absolute numbers is due to population growth. If you look at the relative numbers, the percentage of poor Africans has actually been falling during the last decade. Less than half the population is now extremely poor:

poverty in Sub Saharan Africa


poverty in africa



This paper tells the same story but with an alternative and even more optimistic set of numbers. In the graph below, the rate of the population surviving on less than $1 dollar day has fallen to 32% in 2006 from a high point of 45% in the late 1980s. How come? As you can also see in the graph, at the time poverty began to decline around 1995, GDP began to grow (after three decades of zero or negative growth). The graph shows a striking correlationbetween poverty reduction and economic growth (something I have written about before in another context, see here and here).

one dollar a day poverty and gdp growth in subsaharan african


Of course, poverty reduction isn’t the automatic result of GDP growth only. Other factors are at work as well.

What’s interesting is that this African growth spurt since 1995 (probably briefly interrupted by the current recession) isn’t just caused by growing oil prices. If that had been the case, we would have seen increasing income inequality, since revenues from the oil industry are typically appropriated by elites. But that’s not the case. Poverty reduction in Africa has gone hand in hand with a reduction in income inequality. You can see the extent of this reduction in the following two graphs:

income inequality in Africa

african income distribution 1970-2006


This means that growth has benefited the poor.

It’s a development that is remarkably general across African countries and that is not just explained by good news in a few large countries. Poverty is falling even in countries which are believed to burdened by geography, bad agricultural prospects, a history of slave trade, war, or lack of natural resources.


Notice the often large discrepancies between the World Bank poverty estimates and the different national estimates using a national poverty line:

poverty in Africa World Bank and national poverty line


Credit for the content of this page goes to  Filip Spagnoli. See HERE

Harvard Executive Training

Executive Education Programs By Date

Executive Education at Harvard Kennedy School offers programs for leaders from around the world. We bring together experienced professionals, a world-class faculty, and a dynamic curriculum in a setting where the common denominator is a shared commitment to public value. The result is a lasting transformational leadership experience. We have developed the most comprehensive range of executive education programs in public leadership available anywhere in the world.

Below is a listing of program offerings by date for the upcoming year– please click on the program name for a more detailed overview of each program.


Driving Government Performance: Leadership Strategies that Produce Results

3/18/2012 – 3/23/2012

Provides a number of explicit strategies that public executives can use in a variety of complex circumstances to establish and implement performance improvements in their organizations and agencies.

Strategic Management for Leaders of Non-Governmental Organizations

3/25/2012 – 3/30/2012

Designed for senior executives in non-governmental organizations committed to improving the performance of their organizations.

Leadership in Crises: Preparation and Performance

4/1/2012 – 4/6/2012

Whether it’s a natural disaster, an industrial accident, or a terrorist attack, or other catastrophe, a crisis usually hits with no warning.

Strategic Management of Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies

4/1/2012 – 4/6/2012

Designed to examine the distinctive strategic and managerial challenges that surround government agencies’ regulatory and enforcement functions.

Strategic Frameworks for Nonprofit Organizations

4/9/2012 – 6/15/2012

An online program designed to help nonprofit and non-governmental organization leaders in the developing world use strategic management frameworks to improve their organizations.

Click for Details.

Mastering Negotiation: Building Agreements Across Boundaries

4/15/2012 – 4/20/2012

Addresses the challenges of negotiating across cultures, organizations, and sectors in a world of various economic, political, and social problems, where sustainable solutions require consensus among multiple stakeholders.

Click for Details.

Senior Executive Fellows

4/16/2012 – 5/11/2012

Designed to help promising senior officials prepare for promotion to Senior Executive Service. Focuses on OPM’s Executive Core Qualifications.

Click for Details.

General and Flag Officer Homeland Security Executive Seminar

4/24/2012 – 4/27/2012

The General and Flag Officer Homeland Security Executive Seminar is designed by Harvard Kennedy School’s Program on Crisis Leadership specifically for the National Guard and the United States Coast Guard.

Click for Details.

Women and Power: Leadership in a New World

5/6/2012 – 5/11/2012

Women and Power is designed for senior executive women from the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. It is an intense, interactive experience designed to help women advance to top positions of influence.

Click for Details.

Art and Practice of Leadership Development: A Master Class for Professional Trainers, Educators, and Consultants

5/11/2012 – 5/18/2012

Designed to engage participants as learners, teachers, and as leaders. Experienced professionals analyze a variety of leadership teaching methods and techniques.

Click for Details.

Global Change Agents: Leading with Commitment, Creativity and Courage

5/12/2012 – 5/19/2012

Designed to challenge fundamental assumptions about how we can courageously and effectively exercise leadership and authority for the purposes we care about most.

Click for Details.

The Cutting Edge of Development Thinking

5/14/2012 – 5/18/2012

Develop the tools needed to formulate growth strategies and development policies.

Click for Details.

Innovation for Economic Development (IFED)

5/28/2012 – 6/2/2012

Provides leaders with a unique opportunity to integrate science and technology into a national development policy. Focuses on meeting human needs, participating in the global economy, and making the sustainability transition.

Click for Details.

Performance Measurement for Effective Management of Nonprofit Organizations

5/29/2012 – 6/1/2012

Designed to help senior leaders of nonprofit organizations think about new strategies for creating and sustaining high organizational performance. Offered jointly by Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School.

Click for Details.


5/29/2012 – 10/12/2012

With the guidance of APL+ faculty, facilitators deeply immersed in the APL material, and your APL colleagues, you will begin by designing your own experiment for applying adaptive leadership practices into your work.

Click for Details.

Public Leaders in Southeast Europe

6/3/2012 – 6/7/2012

Designed to provide critical skills, knowledge, and strategy to leaders operating in an era of global uncertainty and complexity.

Click for Details.

Senior Executives in State and Local Government

6/4/2012 – 6/22/2012

provides a balance of traditional and hands-on learning experiences to help seasoned public officials meet the changing needs of their constituents and communities.

Click for Details.

Leaders in Development: Managing Change in a Dynamic World

6/4/2012 – 6/15/2012

Designed for senior leaders in public affairs from developing, newly industrialized, and transitional economies who face complex economic, political, and social challenges.

Click for Details.

Comparative Tax Policy and Administration

6/18/2012 – 6/29/2012

Examines the design and implementation of tax systems around the world. Provides practical tools to help formulate appropriate tax policies and tax administration.

Click for Details.

Using Evidence to Improve Social Program Effectiveness

6/24/2012 – 6/29/2012

Addresses the challenge that managers face in identifying useful strategies for evaluating and improving program effectiveness.

Click for Details.

Infrastructure in a Market Economy: Public – Private Partnerships in a Changing World

7/8/2012 – 7/20/2012

Designed to help officials from public and private sectors develop public-private partnerships in infrastructure that are technically defensible, economically feasible, and politically acceptable.

Click for Details.

Senior Executives in State and Local Government

7/9/2012 – 7/27/2012

provides a balance of traditional and hands-on learning experiences to help seasoned public officials meet the changing needs of their constituents and communities.

Click for Details.

Senior Managers in Government

7/22/2012 – 8/10/2012

Designed for senior government officials and their counterparts in international government, the military, and the private sector. Focuses on policy development and performance management.

Click for Details.

Financial Institutions for Private Enterprise Development (FIPED)

7/29/2012 – 8/3/2012

Designed to aid in the sustainable provision of financial services for micro, small, and medium enterprises. Focuses on the management skills and operational tools needed in a market economy.

Click for Details.

Shaping Healthcare Delivery Policy: Understanding the Challenges, Managing the Change

8/5/2012 – 8/10/2012

American healthcare is changing. Understanding, managing, and leveraging change in the healthcare sector are at the center of this one-week program.

Click for Details.

Senior Executives in National and International Security

8/12/2012 – 8/24/2012

Provides a setting for senior executives to deepen their understanding of current security issues in an intellectually stimulating, non-attribution, academic environment.

Click for Details.

Mastering Trade Policy: Understanding and Acting in Today’s Economy

8/26/2012 – 9/7/2012

Designed to enable trade practitioners at all levels to analyze, formulate, negotiate, and implement effective policies and practices in the field of trade.

Click for Details.

Leadership for the 21st Century: Chaos, Conflict and Courage

9/9/2012 – 9/14/2012

Designed to challenge fundamental assumptions about how to courageously and effectively exercise leadership and authority for the purposes you care about most.

Click for Details.

Expanding Impact: Non-Governmental Organization Legitimacy, Advocacy and Partnerships

9/10/2012 – 11/16/2012

In a world of highly constrained resources, the ability of a nongovernmental organization (NGO) to optimize its impact on society requires both clarity of purpose and flexibility.

Click for Details.

Senior Executive Fellows

10/14/2012 – 11/9/2012

Designed to help promising senior officials prepare for promotion to Senior Executive Service. Focuses on OPM’s Executive Core Qualifications.

Click for Details.

Nonprofit Financial Stewardship: Concepts and Techniques for Strategic Management

10/15/2012 – 12/7/2012

An online program designed to help nonprofit and non-governmental organization managers improve their financial literacy.

Click for Details.

Creating Collaborative Solutions: Innovations in Governance

10/21/2012 – 10/26/2012

Designed to help senior officials think about new ways of working together across traditional political and organizational boundaries in order to solve complex public problems.

Click for Details.

Leadership Decision Making: Optimizing Organizational Performance

10/28/2012 – 11/2/2012

Leadership Decision Making: Optimizing Organizational Performance offers important new insights into leadership based on breakthrough scientific discoveries about decision making.

Click for Details.

Investment Decisions and Behavioral Finance: Identifying and Capitalizing on Irrational Investment Practices

11/15/2012 – 11/16/2012

Designed to help participants understand the common biases and irrational investment behaviors that significantly influence the behavior of financial markets and produce suboptimal outcomes for investors.

Click for Details.

Senior Executives in National and International Security

11/25/2012 – 12/7/2012

Provides a setting for senior executives to deepen their understanding of current security issues in an intellectually stimulating, non-attribution, academic environment.

Click for Details.

Leadership for the 21st Century: Chaos, Conflict and Courage

1/27/2013 – 2/1/2013

Designed to challenge fundamental assumptions about how to courageously and effectively exercise leadership and authority for the purposes you care about most.

Click for Details.

Leading Economic Growth

2/10/2013 – 2/15/2013

Enables participants to diagnose their current municipal, regional, or national economies and develop new investment promotion strategies for optimal growth.

Click for Details.

Driving Government Performance: Leadership Strategies that Produce Results

3/10/2013 – 3/15/2013

Provides a number of explicit strategies that public executives can use in a variety of complex circumstances to establish and implement performance improvements in their organizations and agencies.

Cambridge Advanced Leadership

Highly recommended leadership training.
Note: This training provider has no affliation whatsoever with the NDi. The training is only being recommended because it was selected by a member of NDi who earlier benefited from the training.


This three week general management and leadership programme offers the opportunity for seasoned general managers and senior executives to step back from their professional and personal lives and dedicate time for themselves in a learning environment second to none. Aside from refreshing their thinking and fine-tuning their leadership agenda, participants will benefit from discussions and exchange with top Faculty members and outstanding speakers from Cambridge Judge Business School and Cambridge University, as well as from other top business schools.

Innovative and leading-edge

All Cambridge Advanced Leadership Programme delegates receive an iPad 2 *.

This unique and exciting technology enabler allows our ALP delegates instant and exclusive access to important programme materials. Providing programme materials in this format significantly reduces the amount of paper printing and handouts, and allows delegates to easily and simply view their programme material in the most up-to-date, electronic format.

* included within programme fees

Programme Structure

Three major themes span the programme, helping to weave the discussion and debate into a coherent fabric on which participants can chart their next moves. Please click on the + signs below in order to expand the content around each programme theme:

Making sense of turbulent times

Taking the lead through innovation

Leadership into action

Would you like to learn more?

For further information and an in-depth discussion about the programme please feel free to contact Allison Wheeler-Héau, Director of the Cambridge ALP. She would be delighted to speak to you, and help you decide whether this programme is the right choice for you and your professional development.

Allison Wheeler-Héau
Director of the Cambridge Advanced Leadership Programme
Tel: +44 (0)1223 765855
Mobile: +44 (0)7879 116776