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How Congress Is Turning DFC into an Agency Serving Poland and Israel but not Senegal or Ghana

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.

Close-up of a French passport

Good News: Africa Needs More Jobs While Europe Needs More Workers

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.

Shipping containers stacked at a por

Multilateral Trade Agreements Should Constitute the Cornerstone of Biden’s US-Africa Policy

The ongoing negotiations over a US-Kenya trade agreement embody the contradictions and likely pitfalls in the Biden Administration's Africa policy. Despite assurances from its promoters, the potential agreement remains unpopular in African states. Many observers view such a deal as potentially undermining the AfCFTA and African economic unity. As the region’s population and economies continue to expand, African multilateralism is most likely going to get stronger over time. Therefore, for any trade deal to work in strengthening US-Africa ties in the long run, it must be seen by citizens in various African states to be mutually beneficial and consistent with African multilateral initiatives like the AfCFTA.

Chart showing that the actual pass rates and the rates of our sample, with the same students sitting for multiple tests, show almost identical variation year-to-year

Can Ghana Maintain School Quality After Abolishing Secondary School Fees? We May Never Know.

Each year over two million secondary-school students across Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and The Gambia sit coordinated tests known as the WASSCE. In a new CGD working paper, undertaken by researchers from CGD and IEPA-Ghana, we look at English and maths papers in West Africa’s leading high-stakes exams and show that they can vary significantly in difficulty from year-to-year. If exams are not comparable over time then this has implications for countries that rely on results as they make education policy and for fairness for the candidates who sit them.

An image of digital mainland's of Africa as seen from space.

Why Digitalization and Digital Governance Are Key to Regional Integration in Africa

On January 1, 2021, the long-anticipated African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) became a reality. But AfCFTA’s potential might not be fully realized without stronger digital connectivity and effective policies that promote the free flow of data and information across member states to facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration and reduce trade integration costs and address existing structural barriers to intra-regional trade in Africa.

A traffic jam on the Ojuelegba Under bridge in Lagos, Nigeria

Africa’s Crisis Recovery Requires Upgrading the Global Financial Safety Net

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a significant toll on African economies. Despite the significant support for COVID-19 response provided by their bilateral and multilateral partners, African countries continue to face significant financing needs to protect lives and livelihood and bolster prospects for a stronger and more resilient economic recovery. In this light, the time for the international community to go big on supporting Africa’s pandemic crisis recovery is now.

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