The Commitment to Development Index for Africa: How Much Do the Richest Countries Help the Poorest Continent?

May 12, 2008

How committed are world’s richest countries to the development of Africa, the world’s poorest continent? While rich countries are most often compared on the basis of foreign aid as a percentage of their GDP, finding the real answer involves so much more. Using the same methods as in the global Commitment to Development Index (CDI), research fellow David Roodman ranks the world’s 21 richest countries in a new CDI for Africa based not only on their foreign aid, but on their trade, investment, and migration policies as well as their commitments to the environment, to security, and to technology. Many findings reflect global trends, but some of the results specific to Africa may not be what you expect:

  • Sweden finishes first thanks to strong showings in aid and security
  • Ireland is a surprise second-place finisher thanks to high aid for Africa and a large peacekeeping troop presence in Liberia
  • The United Kingdom places third on strength in investment and security
  • The United States finishes 13th
  • Portugal, in sixth place overall, is ahead of the pack on openness to African migrants

One message, however, is clear: all of the world’s rich countries could do much more to encourage development in Africa.

For more information, visit the CDI site.

Rights & Permissions

You may use and disseminate CGD’s publications under these conditions.