This is shaping up to be a big year for US trade policy. Most eyes are on potential deals with the Pacific Rim and Europe (and reeling from Senator Reid’s latest blow to their prospects). Those of us concerned with trade as a driver for development should also be watching Congress’ and the Obama Administration’s review of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
CGD Policy Blogs
Before investigating the source of the below quote, read it and guess to what it refers – it might surprise you how broadly applicable it is.
It’s a classic American dilemma: How does a superpower fix problems in a faraway country without dictating policies in a way that ultimately enfeebles the very people we are trying to help?
Last week, the leaders of the Group of 8 pledged 20 billion dollars in agricultural aid, with the purpose of boosting agricultural productivity -- especially in Africa. But will $20 billion over a three-year period help to feed many of the 1.02 billion people on earth who suffer from food insecurity?
I had the privilege of speaking at Dambisa Moyo’s first Washington DC event, held recently at the Cato Institute (watch the webcast here). Her book Dead Aid is a full-frontal attack on aid to Africa (and has attracted an extraordinary amount of media attention). As much of my own work has been highly critical of the aid business, it was somewhat unusual (and a little awkward) to find myself mostly defending foreign aid.
Five years after Africa was centerstage at a meeting of the G7 heads of state in Gleneagles, it has all but vanished from the priorities of policymakers from the rich and emerging economies. At the G20 Summit in London this week, heads of state will debate new resources for the IMF, in the range of $250 billion. But these resources will likely be deposited in the New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB) facility, which will be far too expensive and out of reach of most African countries.
Today the Volcker Commission released a report with a set of recommendations about how the World Bank can strengthen its anti-corruption procedures by reforming its Department of Institutional Integrity. This is an important and timely conversation and the report will no doubt receive a high level of attention. But it is equally important that the Bank does not put corruption ahead of its central task—the alleviation of poverty.
From D.C. to Dhaka, scores of people gathered around live broadcasts of President Bush to play CGD State of the Union bingo and watch the president’s first address to a new Democratic majority in Congress. The rules are simple: listen for key policy terms in Bush’s address and be the first to mark your bingo card. The point: U.S.
Global poverty and development are notably absent from the new Democratic Congress’s agenda for the first “100 hours” of leadership, and possibly through the 2008 campaigning season.
There have been many many bad ideas over the years about how to help Africa, but here’s my vote for the worst one in a long while: UNCTAD’s proposal to create a new UN agency to manage a doubling of aid flows to the continent.
Before we get to the proposed solution, the analysis of the problem is deeply flawed. According to the press release: