CGD Policy Blogs
Over the past few months, quite a bit of high-level rhetoric has surrounded World Bank funding of coal projects in developing countries. On one side, Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, stated that “it is no longer necessary [for the World Bank to invest in coal projects] because we have many other technologies that can come forward.” On the other side, World Bank president Jim Kim stated that “we will look for everything we can possibly do to avoid [coal projects] but look, poor people should not pay the price with their lives of mistakes that people have been making in the developed world for a very long time.”
Seeing Africa as Business Partner, Not Charity: Todd Moss and Scott Morris on Obama’s Trip to Africa
To get a sense of what this trip means for Obama’s African legacy and the expectations of his hosts, I invited CGD vice president Todd Moss and visiting fellow Scott Morris to be my guests on this week’s Wonkcast. Todd and Scott served as deputy assistant secretaries in the George Walker Bush and Obama administrations, respectively, Todd in the State Department (where he was oversaw US relations with west Africa) and Scott at Treasury (where he was responsible for the US role in multilateral institutions, including the African Development Bank). I’m eager to hear whether or not their views differ on how Obama can best build a stronger relationship with Africa.
LBJ did it. So did Bill Clinton. Gerald Ford did it twice, Jimmy Carter did it just five weeks before being voted out of office, then Ronald Reagan turned around and did it the following year, and three more times after that.
Goals Are Good (Whether You’re Running a Marathon or the World Bank), But It’s the Strategy That Really Matters
I have a goal of running a faster marathon at 47 than I did at 27. It helps that I wasn’t exactly a world class runner twenty years ago, and I still have a few years to reach my goal. But if you wanted to place a bet on me, you would probably want to know what my plan is for getting there.
As expected, the president’s budget includes a request for Congress to approve US participation in the 2010 IMF quota reform agreement. There’s a very strong case for approving the request, and I’ll simply point you here, here, and here to read it in detail. Suffice it to say, the IMF is a bargain for US taxpayers, promoting growth and stability globally in ways that directly benefit the US economy and often working in support of US strategic interests around the world.
The World Bank just wrapped up a public consultation on the Doing Business report as part of a closely-watched independent review of the report led by Trevor Manuel.
I’ll tell you what I think about Doing Business, but first I need to let you in on a little secret about policymakers. Here it is: you need to keep it simple for them.
Will donors be able to “go big” on the African Development Fund (AfDF) this year, even if they want to? Here in the United States, budget austerity and restrictive funding rules stack the deck against any bold moves when it comes to multilateral contributions. But I think boldness in support of smart multilateral investments like AfDF may still be possible, and the United Kingdom’s multilateral aid review just might offer some clues on how to get there.
Morris, a newly arrived CGD visiting policy fellow, was previously the deputy assistant secretary for development finance and debt at the U.S. Treasury Department, where he led US engagement with the multilateral development banks.