Ghana Wants to Provide African Coast With Closer Port of Call - Atlanta Blackstar

The Atlantic waters off the west African coast teem with oil rigs and support vessels, most a very long way from home. Ghana, a new entrant to the energy game, wants to provide them with a closer port of call.

Like many resource dependent countries, Ghana wants to grow its economy beyond raw material exports – and hopes a new port and rig repair depot will help it to do just that.

This year, groundbreaking begins on the Atuabo Free Port, a US$1 billion facility on the western side of Ghana’s coastline. Here, oil rigs will be towed to be serviced, saving the almost 10,000 nautical mile journey to the Far East where the work is usually carried out.

Atuabo will also serve as a free trade port for energy-related industry.

The project is being driven by Lonrho, a UK-based corporation that has invested in African projects for more than a century. Lonrho and its investment partners will hold 55 percent of the venture, with another 35 percent taken up by Ghanaian investors; the government will have a stake of 10 percent.

In April, the China Harbour Engineering Company was awarded a $600 million contract for the project, which is sited 326 kilometres west of Ghana’s capital, Accra, and just 100km west of Takoradi, the centre of the country’s emerging oil industry.

Dedicated free trade ports are something of a fashion among developing economies which see them as a way to encourage investment.

Earlier this afternoon, Republicans in the Senate filibustered the Rebuild America Jobs Act. It would have invested $60 billion in projects to rebuild roads, airports, and bridges and put a lot of people back to work. If you’re as sick of GOP obstructionism as we are, take a minute to find your Republican senator on Twitter today using our Tweet for Jobs tool and tell them we can’t keep waiting for action on jobs.
Crazy Contraption Is Part Architecture, Part Water Filter | WIRED
COSMO is a temporary Rube Goldberg–esque structure erected in the MoMA PS1 courtyard.

“The divorce between infrastructure and biodiversity has come to an end. COSMO is kind of an anticipation of what will be the future of machinery.” Architect Andrés Jaque, winner of this year’s Young Architects Program at MoMA PS1, discusses his design, COSMO, with WIRED.


Arctic Food Network

Regional Food-gathering Cabins
Baffin Island region, Nunavut, Canada /// 2011-12

By architects Lola Shepard and Mason White at Lateral Office, Canada.

“Some of the greatest challenges facing northern communities are physical isolation, economic marginalization, youth disenfranchisement, and loss of traditional knowledge. The younger generations of Inuit find themselves caught between traditional and contemporary cultures.The traditional Inuit diet, which is centered on hunting and fishing, has been slowly compromised by an influx of southern manufactured food products, leading to increased obesity and diabetes levels.

The Arctic Food Network (AFN) addresses an urgent need for a snowmobile accessed regional network of arctic farms, freezers, and camp hubs. The AFN encircles the large body of the Foxe Basin in Nunavut, Canada, home to a richly diverse wildlife, along the coast of Baffin Island and some 30,000 Nunavummiut.

Ultimately, AFN seeks to enhance the production and exchange of local food, to create small-scale local economies.

Food highways and hubs provide social infrastructure – adapted to the unique geography and culture of the Arctic.”


Mozambique: Maternity Ward Health Workers

Mozambique has had a severe shortage of surgeons for years. Today, there are fewer than 20 practicing surgeons for a population of 25 million people.

The country has come up with a pragmatic approach—it trains health workers, called technicians, who are not doctors, to do a range of lifesaving surgery. These technicians, who focus on either obstetrics or general surgery, perform the vast majority of operations in the country, particularly in rural areas. Studies have shown their patients are no more likely to have complications or infections than those treated by Mozambican surgeons.

At the 100-bed Chokwe District Hospital, two technicians, Victor Muitiquile and Nilza Munambo, handle all of the surgery. They often lack basic supplies and medications. Even the electricity is spotty.

See the photo essay by Pulitzer Center grantee Bridget Huber on our Untold Stories page.

“How to See Infrastructure: A Guide for Seven Billion Primates” | Rhizome

Our studies of infrastructure must do what infrastructure itself has failed to do, creating situated knowledges that teach us what is underneath our society, rather than simply metering information as commodity through more optic tubes. We do not need a snatching away of the shroud, a techno-monster captured and paraded on stage. Not like an animal or person harnessed to a profit-generating machine. Not a big board of big data, constantly tweaked by a wizard’s wand. But a description of what the shroud is doing, and why it is there. To discover who it is hiding, why, and how they came to be there. The efforts of researchers and artists to discover what is going on with our infrastructure is not about commanding god-like powers, but about speaking with the spirits, wherever they chose to haunt us.

this is excellent
Remove 2% cap on funding for on reserve programs: committee
'Embarrassing that we have a population in Canada living in third-world conditions,' says Carolyn Bennett

The Aboriginal Affairs department should remove the two per cent cap on annual funding increases for reserve programs and services, a Senate committee recommended Tuesday.

In its findings, the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples said reserve funding needs to account for inflation in First Nations communities and the growing aboriginal population.

Aboriginal people remain the fastest-growing population in Canada.

The committee’s recommendations also include a call to create a new ministerial loan guarantee program to help pay for infrastructure on reserves. The report acknowledges that federal funding alone won’t allow First Nations to meet infrastructure needs, but said the government could make more progress if it can help communities leverage financing.

Continue Reading.

We need to invest towards fixing our crumbling infrastructure of our country. It is estimated this will create 13 million good paying jobs for Americans that will help everyday people for years to come with safer and more efficient travel.

Join the political revolution today:

A tuberculosis clinic in Ho Chi Minh City. Image by David Rochkind. Vietnam, 2014.

Marginal Changes, Massive Effects: Better Aid for TB and Ebola

Aid organizations and governments spend billions on public health aid in developing countries. Why do so many Ebola and TB clinics still lack basic resources? 

“….When it comes to healthcare in developing countries, lack of basic infrastructure can prove as fatal as the diseases themselves. These changes require little money to implement, but all too often, countries awash in aid money fail to direct funds to their highest potential.

The distribution of Ebola aid, for one, has been extraordinarily inefficient. Maxmen points to a case in which the UK government reported it had spent $12 million on staff salaries and living expenses in a single clinic, which treated a mere 280 people. The New York Times reported in April that, of the 11 costly Ebola clinics that the U.S. government built in West Africa, nine have gone unused….”

Read the full story by Pulitzer Center intern Anna Ziv on our blog.