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The African Development Bank estimates that illicit financial flows have drained in excess of a trillion dollars from Africa since 1980. These flows undermine the tax base, damage political institutions and exacerbate inequality. With major momentum behind global counter-measures, there are clear opportunities for progress at the regional level – including through stronger information exchange and cooperation, tax base harmonization and innovative uses of trade data.
Energy poverty is an endemic and crippling problem; nearly 600 million people in Africa live without access to any power, which also means no access to safer and healthier electric cooking and heating, powered health centers and refrigerated medicines, light to study at night, or electricity to run a business. Here’s the situation in the 6 countries chosen to be part of President Obama’s Power Africa Initiative, home to nearly 1/3 of the continent’s population.
Over at the Council on Foreign Relations website, Michael Levi posted a reply to our recent paper on estimating the tradeoffs between OPIC power generation investments based upon natural gas and renewable sources. We are grateful to Michael for his thoughtful comments and for instigating a sensible discussion of the underlying issues.
This is shaping up to be a big year for US trade policy. Most eyes are on potential deals with the Pacific Rim and Europe (and reeling from Senator Reid’s latest blow to their prospects). Those of us concerned with trade as a driver for development should also be watching Congress’ and the Obama Administration’s review of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
Many countries in Africa suffer high rates of under-employment or low rates of productive employment; many also anticipate large numbers of people entering the workforce in the near future. It is estimated that the working age population will rise to almost 800 million in 2030, up from the current number of 466 million. In our new paper , we ask the question— are African firms employing fewer people than firms located in other parts of the world? And if so, why?
The next few posts on education are a bit unusual, in a good way I hope, but unusual entrants into the blogosphere. As part of the CGD initiative on education in the developing world and the pivot from schooling to learning, we are going to post links to and discussions of some of the new empirical evidence that is emerging. However, the new evidence on learning trajectories--the gains in skills/capabilities/knowledge as students progress through grades--both requires some common background and, to my view, challenges some of the fundamental assumptions about the schooling
Kate Almquist Knopf, formerly a visiting policy fellow at CGD, previously served as USAID’s Assistant Administrator for Africa and Sudan mission director. This is the second in a series of guest posts from Kate about US policy options in response to the crisis in South Sudan. The first can be read here.
Kate Almquist Knopf, formerly a visiting policy fellow at CGD, previously served as USAID’s Assistant Administrator for Africa and Sudan mission director. This is the first in a series of guest posts from Kate about US policy options in response to the crisis in South Sudan. Her testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on January 9, 2014 can be read here.