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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.

 

A chart showing that commodity prices fell rapidly during the Ebola outbreak

An Epidemic and a Commodity Price Rout at the Same Time? It Happened in 2014

The COVID-19 health crisis has been paired with sharply lower global demand and a Saudi-Russian price war in the oil market that has reduced commodity prices by around a third. While this seems unprecedented, a concurrent economy-halting epidemic and commodity price rout has happened before, in Liberia, West Africa during the Ebola outbreak of 2014.

Word cloud of most commonly used words in the book

A Review of “South African Schooling: The Enigma of Inequality”

South African Schooling: The Enigma of Inequality provides an incredibly detailed account of inequality in South Africa’s education system. And it does a remarkable job of using government and survey data, along with detailed accounts of policy negotiation and reform, to explain why it is that the more things seems to change, the more they stay the same.

Mobile phone reception coverage map of Tanzania.

How Much Would It Cost to Extend Mobile Coverage to Everyone in Tanzania?

Less than 45 percent of the area of Tanzania is covered by any form of cell phone reception. Telecom providers target high-population areas first, so the percentage of the population covered by the cell phone signal is 83 percent. But the problem is that the remaining 17 percent of the population, or 9.2 million people, is spread over 55 percent of the country—meaning the density of potential users is low. Especially because rural populations tend to be poorer than city dwellers, the revenue generated per cell tower may be too low to justify rollout.

A bar chart showing the number of female full-time employees hired by each Nigerian tech firm surveyed

Nigeria's Tech Sector May Be Booming, but Where Are the Women?

The participation of women in the Nigerian tech sector is low. In a survey of tech firms conducted by the ONE Campaign and the Center for Global Development, only about 30 percent were owned by women, mostly concentrated in e-commerce and enterprise solutions. Of women-owned firms, the median share of ownership is 20 percent. Tech firms do not employ many women either—31 firms in our sample employ no women at all. The median value is two female employees per firm.

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