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The global community must focus its attention and efforts on Africa if we are to achieve the SDGs by 2030. Since its inception, CGD has engaged in extensive research on Africa. In our work on energy access, development impact bonds, debt relief, and many other topics, Africa problems and solutions have always been a focus. Cognizant of the SDG challenge, CGD is redoubling its efforts to conduct research and convene African and other political thought leaders to work on solutions to the development challenges Africa faces in the 21st century.
Through this work stream CGD aims to:
Give more prominence to its ongoing work on Africa;
Initiate new work related to development finance, macroeconomics, and fragile states;
Partner more closely with Africans in doing our work; and
Convene international forums for exchange of ideas and policy discussions focused on Africa.
CGD’s work on Africa crosscuts many of CGD’s other work streams. Some of the topics that researchers at CGD are investigating include:
Domestic resource mobilization in fragile and conflict-affected African countries
Energy prospects in Africa;
The impact of automation on workers;
How differential aging and migration will play out;
How graduation from global health aid programs will affect different countries in Africa;
The risks of growing debt levels in some African countries
New results from a famous experiment in Kenya have sparked heated debate over whether lump-sum cash transfers have any long-term benefits for those who get them, or even do harm to neighbors who don’t.
Over the last several years, the United States and other major donor countries have supported a historic initiative to write down the official debts of a group of heavily indebted poor countries, or HIPCs. Donor countries had two primary goals in supporting debt relief: to reduce countries' debt burdens to levels that would allow them to achieve sustainable growth; and to promote a new way of assisting poor countries focused on home-grown poverty alleviation and human development. While the current "enhanced HIPC" program of debt relief is more ambitious than any previous initiative, it will fall short of meeting these goals. We propose expanding the HIPC program to include all low-income countries and increasing the resources dedicated to debt relief. Because debt relief will still only be a first step, we also recommend reforms of the current "aid architecture" that will make debt more predictably sustainable, make aid more efficient, and help recipient countries graduate from aid dependence.