Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

On My Wish List for the Next Administration: A US Africa Policy Worthy of Africa

Precisely as Africa is rising on the radar screens of investors and security types, it seems to be falling off the US foreign policy map. With the exception of Governor Romney’s mention of Mali (twice!) in the third debate, Africa hardly featured at all. That’s a shame, since Africa is both a growing opportunity and will become a greater threat if neglected. I’ve been deeply disappointed to see the United States reduce its engagement with the continent under the current administration, losing ground on the progress made under Presidents Clinton and Bush. Regardless of who wins on November 6, the scope for doing better—and more without more money—is obvious.

The following originally appeared on October 1 as “Missing in Africa” on ForeignAffairs.com.

Re-thinking Trade, Re-creating Consensus

Based on the testimony of USTR-designate Ron Kirk this week before the Senate Finance Committee - brief though it was - the Obama Administration is moving in an entirely different direction than we have seen over the last eight years. The concept of a "progressive trade agenda for America," though as yet undefined, certainly suggests that the administration will be looking at the global economy from a very different perspective.

An Open Letter to Jim Lehrer

To: Jim Lehrer

From: Nancy Birdsall

Subject: Missed opportunity to include development in the foreign policy debate

Dear Jim - How regrettable that the presidential debate on foreign policy and security focused on such a predictably narrow set of topics.

Response to the 2004 State of the Union Address

In the 2004 State of the Union address, President Bush set out for the American people, indeed for the world, his vision of "A Nation with a Mission." Last year, President Bush announced in his State of Union address a new $15 billion initiative to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa and the Caribbean. This year, there was no mention of the U.S. role in fostering prosperity in the world's poor countries. Despite dedicating a large portion of his address to foreign policy, President Bush’s focus on the international arena was too narrow.

How to Travel Africa On the Cheap

U2 Front Man Bono and US Treasury Front Man Paul O’Neill may have had a few differences during their Africa tour, but they clearly agree that Africa needs increased market opportunities.