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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.

 

No, British Medical Journal, the Emigration of African Doctors Did Not Cost Africa $2 Billion

Last week the respected British Medical Journal published a back-of-the-envelope calculation by Mills et al. suggesting that the emigration of physicians from Africa cost the continent billions of dollars and saved billions for the countries of destination. I share and appreciate the authors’ concern for strengthening health care systems in Africa. But the numbers they calculate are deeply flawed, and their unfortunate arithmetic should be ignored by policymakers.

Ghana Graduating to Middle-Income, Catching Up to Its Own Vibrant Civil Society

I had the pleasure of visiting Ghana again this month to discuss the possible implications for the country of its new middle income status, the result of rapid growth and (a rather significant 63%!) statistical adjustment.  In particular, I was there to talk about Ghana’s looming graduation from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) window.   This is crucial for Ghana, since IDA i

In Celebration of This Year’s Nobel Peace Prize

I was delighted to learn this morning that the Nobel Committee awarded this year’s peace prize to not one but three highly effective female leaders: Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, activist Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and rights activist Tawakkul Karman of Yemen.

We Agree! Ugandan Oil Debate Should Take Place in Uganda (Plus a Few Clarifications about Our Paper)

This is a joint post with Stephanie Majerowicz.

How should Uganda use its prospective oil revenues? Our recent paper on this question argued that choices should be considered with an eye towards both their development impact and the implications for governance. We are happy that the paper has sparked debate in Uganda, including discussions in the Daily Monitor by Tabu Butagira and Nick Young. As Nick Young correctly observes, the question of what to do with oil revenues should be debated in Uganda rather than in Washington. In hopes of provoking further informed debate locally, we wish to clarify a few points about our paper that seem to have been misunderstood.

Reflections on a Holiday in Zimbabwe

Not too many people would think to take a vacation in Zimbabwe. My wife Caroline and I have our reasons.  Caroline was born and raised in the country, the descendant of an old Zimbabwe “pioneer” family. I am from South Africa.

Could Uganda Be the Next Niger Delta?

That’s the question in Alain Vicky’s piece this morning in Le Monde Diplomatique (gated). Vicky warns that oil discoveries in Uganda’s Bunyoro region threaten to heighten simmering tensions between the local communities whose ground is being drilled and the central government which is pocketing the cash. Unmet expectations and popular frustration with politicians could unleash violence and do raise concerns that Uganda might be heading for a rough patch.

President Sirleaf’s Ambition for Liberia: Aid-Free in a Decade

CGD had the honor and privilege of hosting Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf—the first elected female head of state in Africa—on June 23.  At the event, President Sirleaf set a hugely ambitious goal of being aid-free within ten years. Given that aid currently accounts for more than half of GDP, this would imply serious increases in other sources of revenues, but it’s a well-calibrated message both to Congress and to audiences back home.

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