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Shortcut to Accountability? A World Bank Call to Try Cash Transfers

This is a joint post with Stephanie Majerowicz

The World Bank’s Shanta Devarajan and Marcelo Giugale in yesterday’s Guardian Poverty Matters blog write:

Except for Botswana, the track record of Africa's mineral and hydrocarbon exporters is sobering. While Africa's central banks are today better equipped to deal with currency appreciation, and its civil society more alert to environmental hazards, the institutions that control graft are not strong. They must be improved. However, this will take time. Is there a shortcut to better accountability in the management of natural resources? Yes, there is: direct transfers of resource dividends to citizens.

President Sirleaf’s Ambition for Liberia: Aid-Free in a Decade

CGD had the honor and privilege of hosting Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf—the first elected female head of state in Africa—on June 23.  At the event, President Sirleaf set a hugely ambitious goal of being aid-free within ten years. Given that aid currently accounts for more than half of GDP, this would imply serious increases in other sources of revenues, but it’s a well-calibrated message both to Congress and to audiences back home.

In Memory of Stephen Everhart

We are saddened today with the news that our friend and colleague Stephen Everhart was killed yesterday in Baghdad.  Steve was in Iraq working to introduce a new university business curriculum, part of his life’s work to expand economic opportunities around the world.  We both got to know Steve while he was at OPIC where he helped to invest billions of dollars in the next generation of emerging markets.  After leaving government, Steve went to the business school at the American University in Cairo, and was named Associate Dean in 2009.  He had previously worked at the IFC and on Wall Street.  Our condolences go out to Steve’s family and three children.