Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

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.

 

Hero in Harare

One of the most eloquent, if still little-known, heroes in Zimbabwe is lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, interviewed here by South Africa’s Mail & Guardian. She has defended many of the leading independent journalists and editors against government repression, including our friend Andy Meldrum who was illegally expelled in May 2003.

The Nigerian Debt Deal and its Critics

The Guardian is reporting that “The British government has drawn sharp criticism from development charities for taking a debt repayment from Nigeria” worth about £1.7 billion. It is true that the size of the payment from Nigeria to the UK treasury might seem strange given the recent push by Blair and Brown to increase aid to Africa.

A buyback to resolve Nigeria's debt problem

Debt relief and African poverty are firmly on this year’s global agenda, most recently from the Tony Blair-sponsored Africa Commission. But little attention is going to the big elephant in the room: Nigeria.

Even with its oil wealth, Nigeria’s debt burden is enormous given its huge population of 130 million and its extreme poverty—average income is just $330 per year. Increasingly vital to Western energy security, Nigeria is also a worrying source of transnational security threats, including Islamic radicalism, disease, drug trafficking, and international crime.

The Iffy Direction of the IFF

European donors like to think they are the ones pushing the envelope in development policy. Many have recently promised huge increases in aid and enthusiastically embraced ideas such as donor pooling.

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