Ideas to Action:

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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

An image of a fossil fuel refinery

The Biden Administration May Join the European Union in a Ban on Financing Fossil Fuels with Development Dollars. Poor Countries Must Be Exempt.

Since taking office, the Biden Administration has taken several steps to address the climate crisis and plans to do more on the international stage. This trend will be in line with an earlier move by the European Union to “stop funding oil, gas, and coal projects at the end of 2021, cutting €2bn (£1.7bn) of yearly investments.” But a blanket ban on fossil fuels is likely to stifle economic growth and make poor populations in Africa even more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

A shoe factory in the Eastern Industrial Zone of Ethiopia. Photo by UNIDO, via Flickr

Technology or Labor Costs? Why Has Africa Missed Out on a Manufacturing Takeoff? And Is Manufacturing Still a Viable Path to Development?

Debates on Sub-Saharan Africa’s development path and prospects often focus on two questions. Looking back, why have countries not experienced the structural transformation towards labor-intensive manufactures that has played such an important a role in the rapid development of Asian countries? And, looking forward, can poor countries still jump onto the escalator of manufactured exports development?

Makhtar Diop speaks into a microphone in front of an orange backdrop

An Agenda for Makhtar Diop at the IFC

Makhtar Diop, former minister of finance in Senegal and current vice president for infrastructure at the World Bank, has been tapped to be the next head of the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank Group’s private sector investment arm. This is welcome news: Diop’s experience and talents can help steer IFC towards greater development impact during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

CGD logo on a white background

Stephan Klasen Postdoctoral Fellowships for the Global South

Last week, the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Göttingen posted a call for two postdoctoral fellowships in honor of Stephan Klasen, a development economist who has written extensively about gender inequality in the Global South. The fellowships celebrate a truly distinguished economist and a wonderful human being whose career has been cut short by illness but whose contributions to economics are enduring.

A hand with a magnifying glass looking at financial papers. Adobe Stock

IFC Must Implement the Recommendations of its External Accountability Review

In late July, we had called for the immediate release of the IFC/MIGA report, and we are pleased that the report has now been disclosed. The review is comprehensive and exposes serious problems in IFC/MIGA’s accountability system that have led to its dysfunction. The process for implementing reforms should be open and transparent and should address the following shortcomings:

A chart showing that IFC spend is concentrated in middle-income countries

Making the International Finance Corporation Relevant

Philippe Le Houerou, the Chief Executive of the IFC has announced his intention to step down in September. His legacy will include a significant effort to focus the work of the corporation on development impact and the world’s poorest countries. Le Houerou has had some success. But a look at IFC’s portfolio suggests how far the institution still has to go to have the biggest impact.

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