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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.

 

Equatorial Guinea's Corruption Scandal: African Poverty, Mansions, and the California Sun?

What kind of home can you get as an African agriculture minister with a 60k salary? If you're the son of an African leader running an oil-rich country, apparently you can afford a Malibu mansion. The UK-based anti-graft watchdog, Global Witness, recently outed the son of President Obiang of Equitorial Guinea, who purchased a $35 million California home this spring, complete with 16 acres, a golf course, tennis court and a swimming pool.

China and Africa Love-fest: Chicken Little or Nirvana?

The flurry of news about China and Africa is reaching a peak as the November 3-5 Beijing Summit gets underway. There is little doubt that effusive pledges of solidarity and good old cash will be forthcoming in abundance. And it is also patently clear that China has every intention of continuing to ramp up its activities in Africa; look no further than China's official "Africa Policy" released last January.

Pity the Fools: The UN’s embarrassing aid proposal

There have been many many bad ideas over the years about how to help Africa, but here’s my vote for the worst one in a long while: UNCTAD’s proposal to create a new UN agency to manage a doubling of aid flows to the continent.
Before we get to the proposed solution, the analysis of the problem is deeply flawed. According to the press release:

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