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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.

 

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How Can Countries Escape the Natural Resource Curse? Answer: Democracy

How can countries escape the natural resource curse? And to what extent do cohesive and democratic institutions facilitate this process? In a new CGD working paper, we look at Nigeria—often seen as the prime example of a country cursed by its wealth. We show that when political institutions are cohesive and power is shared among the diverse groups in a multi-ethnic society, political contests over resource revenues are less likely to be violent. What produces cohesive institutions? Democratic elections.

What Can Africa Hope For During Clinton Visit?

This blog also appeared on the Huffington Post

Secretary Clinton will be leaving August 5 for a seven-country tour of Africa. She will hit Kenya, South Africa, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Liberia, and Cape Verde. (Whew!) The itinerary suggests that the theme of the trip will be more real politik than President Obama’s recent visit to Ghana which stressed good governance and was a celebration of Ghana’s recent electoral and economic successes. The Secretary, in choosing the largest economies and the continent’s most influential capitals, is likely to highlight more traditional U.S. economic and security interests. A few thoughts on what to expect -- and what Africa can hope for:

Rolling Back Sierra Leone's Carpet of Conflict

On January 1st, 2006, one of the largest UN peacekeeping operations of its time will quietly depart Sierra Leone, handing over its responsibilities and legacies alike to the first ever UN integrated peacebuilding mission in a post-conflict context, UNIOSIL. I have been following the drawdown of the UN presence in Sierra Leone for some time now, both in my previous role analyzing economic agendas in civil wars and rule of law issues at the International Peace Academy, as well as here at CGD.