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CGD in the News

In Defense of Susan Rice (Reuters)

December 11, 2012

Former Senior Fellow Steven Radelet's book Emerging Africa is mentioned in a Reuters piece on Susan Rice.

From the article:

The accusations against Susan Rice, the United States ambassador to the United Nations and potential nominee for secretary of state, continue. They took a new turn on Monday as an Eritrean-American, Salem Solomon, wrote for the New York Times op-ed page about Rice’s supposed affections for a new generation of strongmen of Africa.

Solomon asserts that Rice has been too close to autocratic rulers in six countries: Ethiopia, Eritrea, Rwanda, Uganda, Ghana and South Africa. He uses this contention to conclude that she should not be secretary of state.

But leave aside the nuance in Rice’s various positions toward these countries over the years, as well as her tough stances toward the leadership of Sudan. Leave aside as well the fact that in many African countries, with their weak political systems, there are no great choices to support. Solomon’s argument, however, fails even before getting into such complexities.

Of the countries he mentions, for example, five have done well in recent years. They are five of the 17 African states now making major headway, as Steve Radelet of the Center for Global Development explains in his important 2010 book, “Emerging Africa.” Their economies are doing better, they are generally at peace internally and their governments, while flawed, are generally much improved compared with their own pasts or those of their neighbors.

Read it here.