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Prime Minister Theresa May's recent speech in Cape Town may herald an inspiring new Africa-UK development partnership—but only if she can put that vision into action. Ian Mitchell and Hannah Timmis offer lessons from China, France, and the EU.
As at countless events on sub-Saharan Africa’s economy over the past two weeks, discussions at Harvard University’s “Africa Development Conference”—where I delivered a keynote address—were animated by the signing of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) agreement by 44 sub-Saharan African countries two days before.
Beware the zombies, ghouls, ghosts, and vampires that will flood streets across the country this Halloween Friday. Of course they’re mostly just children in costume with one thing on their minds: candy. And lots of it.
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).
The Brookings Institution’s Africa Growth Initiative, in conjunction with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, recently released an important report on possibilities for renewing the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The report uses a standard trade model to explore the impact of various scenarios. It has the imprimatur of two prestigious institutions and was launched at a high-profile event with US Trade Representative Michael Froman as featured speaker, so it could be an important contribution to the debate over the future of AGOA.
Just as the United States is looking to tighten sanctions on the vicious regime of Bashar Assad in Syria, there is quiet momentum building to remove sanctions against another brutal dictator, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe. But arguments in favor of easing pressure on his ruling ZANU-PF at this time are flawed. In fact, removing sanctions now would arguably make matters worse for Zimbabweans’ hopes for a full return to democracy.
A new report from the World Bank asks a key question--why does cargo spend weeks in Sub-Saharan African ports—and comes up with some very thought-provoking ideas. Authors Gael Raballand, Salim Refas, Monical Beuran and Gozde Isik, argue that the answer is NOT that the lack of port capacity.
Later this month, world leaders will meet at the UN in New York City to discuss accomplishments and challenges to meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the 2015 target. While their discussions will cover a range of topics and strategies, summit participants should remember the importance of trade as a development tool.
Trade preference programs can encourage investment, promote prosperity and ultimately reduce poverty in the world’s least developed countries.