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British Prime Minister David Cameron’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal lays out his anti-poverty vision. As my colleague Todd Moss notes, this type of serious, top-down and bottom-up debate about development issues doesn’t make the US look especially good by comparison.
While we are desperately trying to decode a strand of insight into US development policy in the Presidential debates, the British are having a full-throated debate about leadership on 21st-century global issues —and, frankly, making us look bad. In today’s Wall Street Journal, British Prime Minister David Cameron lays out his antipoverty vision in this op-ed. My three takeaways:
We can all agree that it’s unconscionable that, in 2012, there are still 1.3 billion people without access to electricity. But there’s also that pesky problem of greenhouse gases cooking our planet. So, the big question is: should we burn more fossil fuels like natural gas to help bring power to those without?
Lately I’ve been thinking Nigeria should be a little bit more like, of all places, Iran. Yes, Iran. And maybe Alaska. Here’s how.
Africa’s most populous nation has been a massive underperformer since independence. It’s earned hundreds of billions of dollars from petroleum exports, but the average Nigerian has little to show for it. At least three decades were lost; average incomes in the mid-2000s were the same as in the mid-1970s. More recently, the economic data has been brighter. And there is always hope that the country has finally turned a corner.