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Views from the Center

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European Commission President

The EU Alliance with Africa: Is It Old Wine in New Bottles?

The Alliance aims to deepen economic relations between the two continents by boosting private investment and trade. The Commission is billing the proposals as a “radical shift” in the EU’s approach to development cooperation in Africa that will take the relationship “to the next level.” Implicit in the sound bites is the EU’s ambition to rival the growing influence of China, whose vast programme of investment on the continent has left other donors scrambling to catch up. But is the Alliance actually anything new? And does it have the potential to reposition the EU as Africa’s leading development partner?

No, British Medical Journal, the Emigration of African Doctors Did Not Cost Africa $2 Billion

Last week the respected British Medical Journal published a back-of-the-envelope calculation by Mills et al. suggesting that the emigration of physicians from Africa cost the continent billions of dollars and saved billions for the countries of destination. I share and appreciate the authors’ concern for strengthening health care systems in Africa. But the numbers they calculate are deeply flawed, and their unfortunate arithmetic should be ignored by policymakers.