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Enabling Africa's Next Growth Decade: The G-20's Role in Supporting Infrastructure Development and Global Food Security

Friday, April 15, 2011 - 9:00am to 12:00pm
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Introductory Remarks by
Henri de Raincourt
Minister for International Cooperation and Development
Republic of France

Nancy Birdsall
Center for Global Development

Panel #1 – Africa Infrastructure
9:20 am–10:30 am

Featuring
Elizabeth Littlefield
President and CEO
U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation

Bobby Pittman
Vice President for Infrastructure, Private Sector, and Regional Integration
African Development Bank

Remý Rioux
Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Financial Affairs and Development
French Ministry of Economy, Industry and Employment

Moderated by
Ben Leo
Center for Global Development

Panel #2 – Global Food Security
10:30 am–11:40 am

Featuring
Will Martin
Research Manager for Agriculture and Rural Development
Development Research Group, World Bank

Sujiro Seam
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Food Security and Economic Development
French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs

Moderated by
Kimberly Elliott
Center for Global Development

Concluding Remarks by
Lael Brainard
Under-Secretary for International Affairs
U.S. Department of Treasury

This November, France will host the sixth G-20 Summit in Cannes. Over the coming months, the G-20 will be exploring a range of coordinated actions to advance its agreed development roadmap – with a heavy focus on two central pillars: Africa Infrastructure and Global Food Security. In advance of the highly anticipated Cannes Summit, CGD will host a half-day conference focusing on these two important pillars. This CGD event will consist of two interactive panel discussions with leading policymakers from G-20 member governments and international financial institutions.

Africa Infrastructure: Over the last decade, Sub-Saharan African economies grew by an average of nearly 5 percent annually. To maintain and even accelerate growth and economic opportunities going forward, countries must address the binding constraints posed by the region’s lack of infrastructure. Nearly every African country faces serious challenges in providing a steady, reliable supply of electricity. And, many African businesses continue to have tremendous difficulty transporting their products to local, regional, and overseas markets. Africa’s infrastructure deficit is not simply a matter of financing. Governments must also take concerted steps to address low public sector capacity, poor business climates, and a prohibitively high degree of risk associated with large-scale investments. This panel will explore possible areas for G20 action, such as the creation of new investment vehicles and risk mitigation instruments required to complete large-scale projects.

Global Food Security: For the second time in just three years, food prices are spiking to their highest levels since the 1970s and threatening millions of people with hunger, malnutrition, and, for some, a fall back into the poverty they only recently escaped. Two price spikes of this magnitude so close to together – both caused in part by extreme weather events – highlight the increasing volatility that climate change is likely to bring to agricultural markets. The spikes, along with other signs that the long-run trend of falling commodity prices is reversing, also underscore the fact that public policies need to address food security across multiple dimensions. This panel will discuss policies to promote food security ranging from ensuring that families have enough of the right kinds of food to maintain health in the face of price spikes, to maintaining adequate global supplies to feed a growing and richer population.

Click here to see slides from the event by Will Martin on Food Price Volatility, Trade and Food Security.

Location, Date & Time

Center for Global Development
1800 Massachusetts Avenue, NW First Floor
Washington, DC

Friday, April 15, 2011
9:00am - 12:00pm