As Zimbabwe continues to collapse, most of the world’s attention has been on the cholera outbreak , a painful (and thoroughly avoidable) reminder of how far the once-thriving country has fallen.
CGD Policy Blogs
The U.S. rescue package is (rightly) focused on shoring up our domestic financial markets, ground zero in the global credit crisis. Even if this effort is successful, the United States and other global financial leaders cannot ignore the impact on emerging markets. As the crisis has now spread to Latin America, Asia, and elsewhere, we need to ensure that all available tools are used so that the downturn doesn't eventually boomerang back to us.
Yesterday, I spoke at the 2008 U.S.-Africa Infrastructure Conference, Connecting the Continent, organized by the Corporate Council on Africa. I spoke about the infrastructure constraints faced by the private sector in Africa, particuarly the lack of a reliable supply of electricity.
This is a joint posting with former CGD special assistant Rena Pacheco-Theard
Last week, CGD was honored to host Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete and senior officials in his government for a discussion with a small group of development experts on Tanzania's recent education and malaria control activities.
The importance that the government places on core social sectors is unmistakable – and continues a long Tanzanian tradition. Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Jumanne Maghembe, noted that, "Education is the highest priority, and the foundation of any social development venture." In fact, the education sector – primarily teacher salaries – accounts for a full 17% of the national budget. Over the past few years, the country has consolidated progress toward universal primary education and has increased secondary school enrollment by two and a half times (from a very low base). The Minister also reported on expansion in post-secondary education, including universities and vocational training centers. Attention is also being given to the early years. Zanzibar's Minister of Education, Haroun Ali Suleiman, stressed the importance of pre-primary education.
As the sector expands, the challenges are profound. The most obvious is the shortage of teachers. Historically, secondary schooling has been so limited that there simply aren't enough graduates to train as teachers. In response, at least for the near term, the government has implemented programs to bring in teachers with non-traditional training, and is looking at distance education technologies.
Do You Have Your Job because of Your Merit or Your DNA? For Many Migrants from Poor Countries, DNA Makes the Difference
If you're not a black person, suppose you were. Suppose you were also born in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward, which was already in poverty before it was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. So you sought to better your life by getting a job in Chicago. But then US government officials forced you not to take the job, because DNA tests proved that you are not closely related to any white person.
The MCC Board of Directors approved $304.5 million compact with Namibia, the fourth and final compact to be completed in FY08 based on agency funding levels. Namibia is the second lower-middle income country (excluding those countries that graduated from lower to lower-middle income status after signing compacts) to receive an MCC compact.
Once again the G8 has come up tragically short on climate change and a host of urgent problems affecting poor people in developing countries. The good news is that they are at least discussing the right topics. The first Hokkaido G8 document, on the World Economy spills lots of ink on relations between rich and developing economies, including for example, reaffirmation of support for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.
One of the great underexplored areas in economic development research is rigorous investigation of how bad leaders affect development. A series of actions by Robert Mugabe's regime have coincided with an epic collapse of Zimbabwe's economy, erasing half a century of income growth and bringing on four million percent inflation.
In today's Financial Times, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan makes a strong case for collective action on the situation in Zimbabwe. Mr Annan argues that "if the government, which many claim to be the author of violence, cannot ensure a fair vote, Africa must hold it accountable. The victor of an unfair vote must be under no illusions: he will neither have the legitimacy to govern, nor receive the support of the international community."
A new GAO Report on international food security (International Food Security: Insufficient Efforts by Host Governments and Donors Threaten Progress to Halve Hunger in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2015) gets it almost completely right when it points to the feeble, self-defeating, and confused U.S. policies on world hunger. The report diplomatically states: