The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is the $60 billion agency that’s supposed to catalyze investment to capital-starved countries, bolster job-creation in emerging markets, and support US foreign policy. The BUILD Act which created the DFC was a bipartisan bill, carefully crafted to overcome long-standing objections from both liberals and conservatives to its beleaguered predecessor agency. Recent actions from the Hill and the White House, each one arguably unobjectionable on its own, all add up to a highly worrying erosion of the DFC’s mandate—that threaten both the political bargain that sustains the agency and US strategic goals across Africa.
CGD Policy Blogs
The Biden administration’s policy anchors—responding to climate change, investing in American competitiveness, and supporting global economic recovery—must extend to US policy in Africa.
The Biden Administration May Join the European Union in a Ban on Financing Fossil Fuels with Development Dollars. Poor Countries Must Be Exempt.
Since taking office, the Biden Administration has taken several steps to address the climate crisis and plans to do more on the international stage. This trend will be in line with an earlier move by the European Union to “stop funding oil, gas, and coal projects at the end of 2021, cutting €2bn (£1.7bn) of yearly investments.” But a blanket ban on fossil fuels is likely to stifle economic growth and make poor populations in Africa even more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
As the virus spread and shut down life as we know it, global response became increasingly tainted by provincialism. From seizing masks and medical supplies en route to other countries to preventing vaccine exports, the world’s richest countries turned inward and neglected the global response effort. It is not too late to correct what has been an egregious failure in leadership.
On January 25, the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) and CGD convened a panel of seven experts, including from government, the private sector, and financing partners, to discuss the potential for increasing DRM in the aftermath of the COVID-19 health and economic crises.
The current state of migration cooperation between Africa and Europe is far from this ideal. True partnerships should focus on promoting economic opportunity in countries of origin and expanding legal pathways, both from Africa to Europe and within the continent. Currently, African governments are left responding to Europe’s short-term thinking without collaboration towards long-term mutual gain—a scenario that undermines the potential for joint initiatives that can benefit both Africa and the EU.
With both the United States and China emerging as spoilers in the international system, Africa’s efforts to increase its economic power will only succeed if met with a more expansive European foreign policy, backed by an increase in resources to match such ambitions.
It was bound to happen: the Covid-19 strain of the coronavirus has come to sub-Saharan Africa. Based on our experiences fighting Ebola in Liberia, here's what African countries need to do now.
Journalist Howard French on US perceptions of Africa, the business opportunities the US is leaving on the table, and how policy changes could benefit both the US and African countries.
I talk with Amaka Anku of Eurasia Group and Nonso Obikili of Economic Research Southern Africa about Nigeria's recent border closure. We discuss the history between Nigeria and Benin, the costs of the border closure for people living in poverty, and possible next steps for the Nigerian government.