A Conversation with USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah and CGD President Nancy Birdsall
The Center for Global Development was pleased to host USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah for a discussion of the US partnership with Africa. Shah was just back from accompanying President Obama in Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania, where the president outlined a vision for US-Africa relations that puts a premium on economic opportunity, democracy, and African-led approaches to development.
Some video and Twitter highlights of the event are presented below. Please scroll down for the full video. Read the full Twitter story here.
On trade, investment, and business in Africa:
Nancy Birdsall brought up the pending renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which gives some African exports preferential access to US markets. "We would like to see the renewal period be far longer than five years . . . to lock in more investor confidence," she said. "Will this administration put some energy into the trade issue with Africa and the least developed countries, too?"
Our partnership w #Africa asks: What are the models of business that will accelerate African economies 4 Africans? - @rajshah #USAIDAfrica— USAID (@USAID) July 9, 2013
On energy and the Power Africa Initiative:
Much of President Obama's recent trip to Africa focused on the need for reliable energy for the continent. Nancy Birdsall noted some of the difficulties of that task. "Give us a little feel for how you see the challenge."
@rajshah : Limited access to consistent and low cost energy is the biggest obstacle for rural Sub-Saharan Africa #USAIDAfrica— CGD (@CGDev) July 9, 2013
On food security:
Feed the Future is a US government initiative to counter hunger and food insecurity, and has made progress in some countries. "Is it meant to be catalytic?" Birdsall asks. "How do you think about Feed the Future?"
.@rajshah: 40 impact assessments, in progress, should show significant impact in focus countries on hunger, poverty & nutrition #USAIDAfrica— Feed the Future (@FeedtheFuture) July 9, 2013
US food aid reform could do a lot to help the hungry and food insecure, but—as Birdsall notes—it has stalled in Congress. "Are you still hopefull?" she asks Shah.
On the future of and innovations in development:
"Where would you like to see the US development effort or system twenty years from now?"
new development model includes: mutual accountability, local partnerships & transparency @rajshah #USAIDAfrica— Krista Zimmerman (@KristaZimmerman) July 9, 2013
Takeaway @CGDev event on #usaidafrica: Turn large scale #globaldev aspirations to large scale partnerships that manifest them.— Gregg Rapaport (@GreggRapaport) July 9, 2013