In 2019, Ghana paid an estimated $620 million for electricity that the country did not need or use. That’s a sign of the damage done by secret deals for power.
CGD Policy Blogs
We look at the challenges that Europe faces with an aging population, and ask if the challenges that Africa faces with a burgeoning working-age population might be a mutually beneficial part of the answer. We think they might, but not under “business as usual” immigration policies. Current forecasts as well as some we make ourselves suggest migration will fill only a small part of Europe’s looming labor shortage, and African migrants will be a comparatively minor component of that migrant flow. That’s a huge lost opportunity for both continents.
Less than 45 percent of the area of Tanzania is covered by any form of cell phone reception. Telecom providers target high-population areas first, so the percentage of the population covered by the cell phone signal is 83 percent. But the problem is that the remaining 17 percent of the population, or 9.2 million people, is spread over 55 percent of the country—meaning the density of potential users is low. Especially because rural populations tend to be poorer than city dwellers, the revenue generated per cell tower may be too low to justify rollout.
Twenty-five years ago, travel writer and journalist Robert Kaplan wrote an article for The Atlantic, headlined “The Coming Anarchy.” It was an apocalyptic account of Kaplan’s visit to West Africa and his dark vision that much of the world would end up looking like war-torn Sierra Leone. Kaplan suggested recently that he thought “The Coming Anarchy” had stood the test of time. I disagree, and think the fact that Kaplan was wrong matters: global jeremiads are a force for isolationism. I discussed why with The Atlantic’s Matthew Peterson on a new podcast.
Female genital mutilation/cutting rates have fallen in some countries but risen in others, despite a global ban. A new paper looks at the success story of Burkina Faso and the role of legal reform in decreasing FGM/C.
February 6 is the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Unfortunately, in many parts of the world, FGM is still actively encouraged.
President Obama is wheels up to Kenya and Ethiopia. Likely his last trip to the continent as president, Charles Kenny and Todd Moss each take this moment to assess his legacy in Africa thus far—and identify where there are still opportunities.
Here is Charles in Bloomberg.
Here is Todd in CNN.
They’re worth reading in tandem. Both see the president’s legacy on the continent thus far as lacking, if for somewhat different reasons, and both identify different possibilities for driving a lasting legacy. But it’s safe to say both are hopeful there will not be another soccket…
Momentum seems to be building on Capitol Hill for some kind of West African travel ban as an anti-Ebola measure. It sounds like a simple solution. But here’s why a travel ban is pointless—or could even make us less safe.
This is a joint post with Erin Collinson.
President Obama will deliver his 2014 State of the Union speech Tuesday, January 28. We polled CGD experts to find out what they’re hoping to hear when the president addresses Congress and the nation. Check out their oratorical contributions below and read about the development-related decisions and policies they would like to emerge in support of the rhetoric.
My new book The Upside of Down: Why the Rise of the Rest Is Good for the West is published today. Here’s a one-sentence summary: a wealthier, healthier, better educated, more democratic, and more peaceful developing world is fantastic news for Europe and America — so the West should be doing everything possible to ensure the Rest gets even better off in the future.