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Today the Democratic Republic of the Congo turns fifty. That half century is hard to summarize in general terms; it produced Joseph Mobutu, but it also produced Valentin Mudimbe. Summary is much easier, however, in terms of economic development: D.R. Congo has gone back to the Bronze Age.
The G-8 and G-20 summits held in Canada last week yielded few headlines on development issues, but there was plenty of rhetoric about global interdependence and poverty reduction and a handful of promising, if mostly modest, development initiatives just below the media’s radar.
As expected, the G-20 declaration focused on when and how to unwind stimulus programs that helped to avert a global economic collapse, and on strengthening regulation of the financial sector to avoid a repeat of the 2008–09 financial crisis.