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CGD in the News

September 25, 2018

Can Nigeria Solve Its Energy Crisis? (Foreign Affairs)

By Todd Moss, Judd Devermont 

From the article: 

Nigeria is home to one in every five Africans and it has the continent’s largest economy. More than half of Nigerians are under 20 years old. Whether all these bright young people will drive growth or generate instability depends largely on whether Nigeria’s economy can produce jobs for them. And Nigeria won’t be able to create jobs at the required pace until it solves its energy crisis. 

By 2045, Nigeria will be more populous than the United States, but the entire country currently produces less than one percent as much electricity. A low-energy future—in which a youth bulge meets an underpowered economy that cannot create jobs—would be a security nightmare for both Nigeria and the United States. Many have proposed that Nigeria address this problem by circumventing the complex structural problems with the country’s electricity chain and going small. Some representatives from the United Nations, the international financial community, and philanthropy have advocated for countries like Nigeria to solve their energy shortfalls by investing in small-scale, renewable home systems. Although these systems are attractive, they won’t bring Nigeria’s economy—or its youth—into the future. 

Nigeria needs a high-energy grid system to power its factories and cities and to sustain a growing economy. The United States should partner with Nigeria to build such a system, which would stabilize one of Washington’s most important allies by helping it meet the economic needs and aspirations of its ballooning population. 

Read the full article here

 

September 24, 2018

CDI 2018 News Coverage

Check out the CDI interactive to explore this year’s results.

 

Bright Magazine: The Countries Who Give the Most in Aid Aren't Necessarily Helping

From the article:

To get a sense of what the 2018 rankings tell us, BRIGHT Magazine spoke with Anita Käppeli, CGDev’s director of policy outreach for Europe, who composed and led the development of the CDI.

 

NPR: Why The U.S. Ranks At The Bottom In A Foreign Aid Index 

From the article:

According to an annual index released Tuesday by the Center for Global Development that ranks 27 of the world's wealthiest countries, the U.S. scored dead last on foreign aid contributions and quality — despite being the largest donor in dollar amount. That's because in 2017, it allocated a mere 0.18 percent of its gross national income for development assistance. That is well short of the 0.7 percent that wealthy countries have committed to strive for since 1970. (Only seven countries met or exceeded that target in 2016.) 

 

The Guardian: Australia's rank on global development index hurt by climate change inaction

From the article:

“Australia’s commitment to global development has improved over the past year, driven by strong trade, education and finance outreach to the developing world, but it has been criticised for its poor action on the environment and climate change.

The Centre for Global Development annually ranks 27 wealthy countries on their commitment to development across the policy areas of aid, finance, technology, environment, trade, security and migration.”

 

Devex: Which countries are the most committed to development?

From the article:

Scandinavian countries are the most committed national development actors, according to this year’s Commitment to Development Index, which measures not just aid levels, but also how well other policies foster sustainable development. Germany ranked third, making it the first time a G-7 country is placed in the top three in CDI’s 15-year history. The United States, at 23rd, remains stagnant.

 

SDG Knowledge Hub: Northern European Countries Rank Highest Among Rich Countries that Help Poor

From the article: 

The Center for Global Development (CGD) has ranked 27 of the world’s richest countries on how their policies help people living in poor countries. The Commitment to Development Index (CDI), which is published annually, looks at policies beyond development aid to understand what countries are doing well to support the world’s poor and where countries can still learn from other approaches.

 

Save the Children: Assessing Aid and Policy Coherence

From the article: 

Another day, another index. On Monday, the Center for Global Development launched the 2018 Commitment to Development Index. Since 2003, this is a regular assessment of the development behaviours and policies of the richest countries. This 2018 index ranks Sweden at the top, with the UK at number 8 (down one place from 2017). All of the top 10 countries are European. Sweden and Denmark are still leading the table, while Finland, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands moved up a few places. The USA remains way below in 23rd place and South Korea is at the bottom.

 

Sydney Morning Herald: Australia ranks in bottom three rich countries for environmental policies

From the article:

“Australia's status as one of the largest per capita greenhouse gas emitters in the world has contributed to a bottom three ranking for environmental policy among wealthy nations.

But Australia has jumped four places overall in the Center for Global Development's commitment to development index thanks to effective foreign aid spending and dedication to open trading relationships.”

 

Euractiv: EU countries top development policy charts

From the article:

Sweden, Denmark and Germany are the top three in the annual index by the Washington-based think-tank, which ranks 27 wealthy countries based on their policies on aid, finance, technology, environment, trade, security and migration.

 

Development Today Magazine: Three Nordics top donor ranking. Norway penalised for ‘low quality of aid’

From the article:

Sweden has the best migration policies among donors and Denmark gets top marks for contributing to international peacekeeping, according to the Center for Global Development’s CDI index for 2018. Norway, which topped the UNDP index announced last week, ranks nr 12 on the CDI because of high oil and gas production, heavy agricultural subsidies and the “low quality” of its aid.

 

Sveriges Radio: Rapport: Sverige bäst på att bidra till global utveckling

From the article:

I dag publiceras en internationell rapport som rankar rika länders positiva påverkan på resten av världen och bidrag till global utveckling. I år är det Sverige som toppar listan.

De sju områden som den ansedda tankesmedjan Center for Global Development, CGD, sammanställer data om, är bistånd, miljö, handel, säkerhet, migration, teknik och ekonomi. Datan kommer från OECD, FN och ländernas egna myndigheter och arbetet resulterar i en årlig rapport, som Sverige alltså toppar i år. 

 

El País: Cae el compromiso de España con el desarrollo

From the article:

El compromiso de España con el desarrollo internacional descendió cuatro puestos, según los resultados de la nueva edición del Índice de Compromiso con el Desarrollo publicados este martes. Esto nos coloca en el puesto 16º de esta clasificación que mide y compara a los 27 países más ricos del mundo. La caída en el índice, elaborado con datos de 2017, viene causada principalmente por la baja cantidad y calidad de la Ayuda Oficial al Desarrollo (AOD) española. 

 

TSF Rádio Notícias: Portugal está no top 10 dos países com melhores políticas de desenvolvimento

From the article:

Portugal é vem em 9.º lugar na lista dos países que mais ajudam ao desenvolvimento, de acordo com o ranking Commitment to Development , do Centro para o Desenvolvimento Global. A tabela é liderada pela Suécia. 

 

September 20, 2018

Maldives trapped in Chinese debts ahead of polls (The Asian Age)

By Shumona Sharmin Sharna 

From the article: 

The Maldivians are going to cast their ballots on 23rd September (Sunday) in the next general election of Maldives. Maldives is most likely to get under financial pressure if President Abdulla Yameen wins the polls because of some infrastructural projects in Maldives which are funded by Chinese debts. Maldives got much closer to China during the tenure of President Abdulla Yameen. China has financed roads, bridges and some other construction works in Maldives through loan-based contracts between Chinese and Maldivian sides.

Foreign affairs experts have said that Maldives is already trapped in Chinese debts ahead of the upcoming election. It goes without saying that China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has meanwhile endangered some other countries with loans on stern terms and conditions. 

... 

Center for Global Development, an American institution has said that Maldives is very much at risk with China's Belt and Road Initiative. According to Center for Global Development (CGD), China's loans to Maldives have amounted to 1.3 billion USD which is higher than one quarter of Maldives' annual gross domestic product (GDP). 

Read the full article here.

 

September 20, 2018

Interview - Christine Lagarde, Managing director, International Monetary Fund (Africa Report)

By Patrick Smith 

From the article: 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cannot win – it is either doing too much or too little for critics’ liking. Once the world’s most powerful financial institution, by the 1970s and 1980s it had become the key arbiter of developing countries’ economic continence. Those governments that defied its precepts were ordered, discreetly or otherwise, to rethink their policies – on pain of exclusion from the league of financially responsible countries. 

... 

Against that backdrop, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde speaks to The Africa Report,  defending her institution’s role and explaining how it was trying to stop the debt crisis from spreading. She acknowledges the need for a sharp improvement in data collection and working more closely with civil society to feed into more effective national surveillance and lending programmes. 

Resolving this new crisis, and stopping more countries from being dragged into its vortex, will draw in many more players than the HIPC scheme. For example, between 2013 and 2016, China’s share of the debt owed by poor countries surpassed the total held by the Paris Club, the World Bank and all the regional development banks, according to Masood Ahmed, president of the Center for Global Development think tank. 

Read the full article here.

September 20, 2018

Enter the Dragon: How invested is China in Pakistan? (SAMAA TV)

By Hisham Sajid 

From the article: 

The new government’s subtle, yet visible shift in policy has led to debate again over the short- and long-term benefits, and repercussions of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. 

... 

According to a report released by the Centre of Global Development, China will finance 80% of the projects under CPEC. This has to happen through loans which will have to be paid back with interest rates as high as 5%. The study evaluated the current and future debt levels of the 68 countries hosting BRI-funded projects. It found that of the 23 countries that are at a high risk of defaulting. In eight of those high-risk countries, future BRI-related financing is said to greatly increase the already high risk of default. Pakistan is one of these eight countries. 

Read the full article here

 

September 20, 2018

U.N. migration compact: An opportunity for agricultural researchers to address displacement? (Landscape News)

By Jack Durrell 

From the article:

The Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, the first intergovernmental agreement at the U.N. level to address migration comprehensively, marks a significant milestone in the governance of international migration. 

... 

Effectively addressing the adverse causes of migration will also depend on sustained financial and political support. The fact that climate-induced displacement is acknowledged in the Global Compact suggests that at least some political will exists.

But financial support may be less forthcoming: donor investments in agricultural research are falling or levelling off and funds targeting migration-related initiatives tend not to be sufficient enough to have any impact on population movements. As Michael Clemens and Hannah Postel of the Center for Global Development have argued: “Aid would need to act in unprecedented ways, at much higher levels of funding and over generations to sufficiently affect the drivers of migration.” 

Read the full article here.

 

September 19, 2018

The Need for a More Nuanced Approach towards the BRI (IPP Review)

By Tridivesh Singh Maini 

From the article: 

While addressing the opening of the Forum of China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), Chinese President Xi Jinping sought to allay fears of not just African countries, but other countries which are part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). President Xi, while emphasizing the mutually beneficial synergies, did try to highlight some of the problems related to BRI albeit in a very subtle manner. In the context of China-Africa cooperation, President Xi fleshed out China’s key initiatives in the continent and highlighted the assistance which Beijing will be providing in areas like agriculture, green development, and education over the next few years. 

... 

While Africa’s dependence upon Beijing is increasing, concerns have been growing in certain quarters about the rising levels of debt in certain countries. According to a report released by the Centre for Global Development in December 2017, China’s share of debt in Djibouti, where Beijing has built an overseas military base, could rise from a staggering 85 percent to over 90 percent of GDP. Two of the big-ticket projects being funded and built by Beijing in Djibouti are a multi-purpose port at Doraleh and an international airport. Another country which is economically vulnerable according to the report is Kenya, where over 70 percent of the country’s bilateral debt is owned by China. Former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during a visit to Africa in March 2018 had stated that the US did not want to deny Africa access to Chinese financing, but African countries needed to be judicious and ensure that economic dependence on China does not ultimately impact their sovereignty in any way. 

Read the full article here

 

September 19, 2018

China Must Slow Down and Change Lanes With the Belt and Road Initiative (The Wire)

By Ravi Bhoothalingam 

From the article: 

These are not happy times for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Just five years after China’s President Xi Jinping launched his signature multi-billion-dollar scheme for trans-Asian connectivity and infrastructure, its projects have aroused disquiet in Sri Lanka, Maldives, Myanmar, Malaysia and most recently in Pakistan. 

... 

In short order thereafter, concerns emerged about other Chinese projects. The Centre for Global Development, Washington D.C., published a study of 68 BRI-linked countries worldwide amongst which eight nations (including Maldives and Pakistan) were listed as ‘highly vulnerable to debt distress due to future BRI-related financing.’ Malaysia recently cancelled about $3 billion worth of BRI pipeline deal (where some Chinese-invested projects are entangled in a graft probe) and wished to renegotiate another – the prestigious East Coast Rail Link – with China. And right now, Pakistan has sought to ‘review or renegotiate’ parts of the $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC). “Et tu, Brute!” might be China’s rueful response to its ‘iron brother’. 

Read the full article here

 

September 18, 2018

Bill and Melinda Gates on the 'single biggest determinant' of progress on the SDGs (Devex)

By Catherine Cheney 

From the article: 

SEATTLE — Rapid population growth, particularly in Africa, represents the greatest threat to progress in reducing global poverty, according to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, whose founders are calling for greater investments in human capital to transform the youth bulge into a development opportunity.

“The reason we started our foundation is that current trends don’t have to continue,” Bill and Melinda Gates, the billionaire co-chairs of the largest private foundation in the world, wrote in their second annual Goalkeepers report, released on Tuesday. “We believe — and history proves — that poor countries can chart a new course by investing in their young people.” 

... 

In the report, Alex Ezeh, a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development, referred to population issues as the elephant in the room when it comes to conversations about Africa. 

“I think about the future of my continent in terms of three questions: Are Africans healthy? Do they have access to a good education? And do they have opportunities to apply their skills?” he wrote in an essay included in this year’s Goalkeepers. 

Read the full article here

 

September 18, 2018

Liberia: Legislators Want LEAP Program Extended to All Public Schools at Education Officers Summit (Front Page Africa)

By Front Page Africa 

From the article: 

Monrovia – The Senate Committee Chair on Education, Dallas Gueh is recommending that the LEAP Schools program be extended to all public schools in Liberia. LEAP is the acronym of the Liberia Education Advancement Program. It is the new name for the public-private partnership that the Ministry of Education has seven local and international education service providers. The previous name was Partnership Schools for Liberia (PSL).

Speaking at the opening of a County Education Officer Summit held by Bridge on 11 September in Monrovia, Senator Gueh said it cannot be fair that some government schools are performing well – thanks to benefitting from the program – while other government schools not in the program lag behind with students learning slowly, if at all.  Bridge is one of the partners of LEAP.

The observation that schools and students not benefitting from LEAP are being disadvantaged is largely based on the findings revealed by an independent study that the Ministry of Education commissioned for the LEAP program in 2016. The study conducted by The Centre for Global Development and Innovations for Poverty Action found that:

The LEAP program raised student learning by 60%, compared to non-LEAP public schools. 

Read the full article here.

 

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