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In Ghana, an exemplar of African democracy and development, electricity is quickly becoming a front-burner political issue. Thousands took to the streets of the capital Accra on Wednesday chanting ‘enough is enough!’ about electricity blackouts.
Agglomeration theory holds that clustering firms together allows them to share of knowledge and ideas, access a larger labor pool, and benefit from lower costs of production and transportation. How does that hold up in the real world?
In July 2014, the UN’s Open Working Group published its list of 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) and 169 accompanying targets with the aim of outlining the post-2015 priority areas for international development. While the goals had already been published, the post-2015 development agenda is still very much a work in progress. Last Monday (Jan 19), I watched CGD President Nancy Birdsall speak to the UN about her vision of the sustainable development goals.
President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address had a decidedly domestic focus, but a few key development issues made the cut (if not explicitly framed as such). While I wish I’d heard more, to follow our catalog of what we hoped would be included in the president’s remarks, here’s a quick recap of what we did hear:
You may find the answer surprising, but the most recent data show that the world as a whole is becoming more equal, driven by fast growth rates of China and India and slower growth rates in rich countries. A decrease in the US mean income from 2008 to 2011, for instance, makes global convergence of people’s incomes a lot easier to achieve.
President Obama delivers his sixth State of the Union address tonight before Congress. The media is sure to make much of the fact that the president’s constitutionally encouraged remarks will fall on the ears of a GOP-led House and Senate for the first time since he took office in 2009. But here at CGD, we’ll be listening less for signals of congressional engagement and more for commitments to global engagement.
Secretary of State John Kerry is currently in Islamabad for a Ministerial meeting of the US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, the second such meeting since the countries resumed the dialogue in 2013. Much of the (admittedly limited) coverage around this meeting has centered on the security conversation: how can the United States and Pakistan counter militant groups within Pakistan and along the Pakistani-Afghan border?
Here are my wishes for commitments that countries could make at each of three big development-relevant international events in the next 12 months. I find it harder than ever to make such a list this year; global cooperation is becoming harder than ever to manage. With the rise of China and other emerging markets, cooperation in what is now a multipolar system is more necessary than it has been in decades, but more and more elusive. That puts a premium on strengthening the world’s international institutions and on—yes—UN and other international conferences and convenings and conversations in search of a global consensus on norms, programs, actions, and goals