Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

CGD in the News

June 24, 2016

Liberia, Desperate to Educate, Turns to Charter Schools

From the Arcicle

The program has the potential to further undermine public schools. It’s understandable that the charters want to pick their teachers. The teachers’ union is furious, and an unwilling teacher can sabotage a classroom. But choosing means taking adventurous and ambitious teachers out of the regular school system. “We don’t want to cannibalize public schools to create brilliant shining schools on a hill,” said Justin Sandefur, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington. He is an informal adviser to the ministry, and is likely to have some role in the evaluation.

Small pilot, small problem. But if the Partnership schools scale up, it could be a big problem.  

Read full article here

December 3, 2015

Xi Attends Paris Climate Talks, Visits Zimbabwe, S. Africa (CCTV America)

CGD Senior Fellow Scott Morris gives his take on Chinese President Xi Jinping's trip to Africa. Watch full interview on CCTV America's website


March 11, 2015

Closing the Infrastructure Investment Gap in Africa (Financial Times)

Financial Times guest writers Aubrey Hruby and Dawda Jawara III cite the work of Vijaya Ramachandran and Ben Leo on the demand for infrastructure investment in Africa. 

From the article:

Poor and insufficient infrastructure remains one of Africa’s starkest development challenges. Despite the continent’s sustained growth and rapid urbanisation rates, its infrastructure investment deficit remains staggeringly high: $50bn annually, according to the African Development Bank. The gap applies mainly to energy, transport, water and sanitation, but the region is also struggling to construct enough education, culture, tourism and healthcare infrastructure for burgeoning populations. This gap impacts Africa’s businesses, entrepreneurs, and young people. A new report from the Center for Global Development reveals the high importance placed on infrastructure by Africans across the continent relative to jobs and income related issues. In order to increase the pace of critical infrastructure investment, innovative financing mechanisms must be studied and scaled up.

Read the article here.

March 11, 2015

GE and Philips Scan Africa Medical Market (Financial Times)

In an article about Africa's emerging medical equipment market, Amanda Glassman is cited regarding health investments by some African country governments that don't actually improve health quickly. 

From the article:

Amanda Glassman, director of global health policy at the Centre for Global Development in the US, points to “huge maintenance problems” with lab equipment in some African countries.

She says: “There’s a lot of bad purchasing on the public sector side in Africa. Governments can get stuck with investments that really don’t improve health quickly.”

Read the article here.

December 22, 2014

The Africa I Know Isn't the Africa in the Headlines Today (NPR)

From the article:

Over the years, what always struck me was the vast chasm between the dynamism and optimism that I witnessed in Africa versus the popular notion of a place stuck in war and famine. It was thus heartening to see this image gap begin to close in recent years.

Buoyed by booming economies and growing confidence, Africa-as-disaster was being quickly replaced by Africa-as-opportunity. Instead of quizzical looks when I told people what I did for a living, I began to get serious questions about the best destinations to visit or where to invest.

Until Ebola. The outbreak has terrified Americans and thrust the continent to the top of the news cycle, reviving the old idea of Africa as a primordial catastrophe, best kept at bay.

Read the article here

May 7, 2014

Africa's Booming Economy (CCTV)

From the interview:

"I think after many decades of low levels growth, we’re seeing extremely high levels of growth in Africa. It’s not uncommon for countries to be growing at six, seven, eight percent. And a country like Nigeria is particularly exciting because there’s at least 150 million people, it’s a big economy, it’s growing very fast, and one of the very interesting things about Nigeria is that we think of it as an oil economy. The oil sector is not really growing in Nigeria, it’s the services and other sectors that are growing.”


"When we look at the data on what’s holding back African business and why Africa can’t grow even faster, or how it’s going to sustain these high rates of growth, it’s pretty much across the board infrastructure constraints. And here we’re talking about power, roads and transportation systems. And really that’s where investment from China, from Europe, from Japan, from the United States is all very welcomed in Africa because the demands are so great. Just to give you an example, in Nigeria, going back to Nigeria, right now Nigeria produces only about four gigawatts of power in total. Nigeria needs about 50 gigawatts of power. So, there’s plenty of investment that they need.”

Watch the interview here


March 3, 2014

The Great China 'Takeover' of Africa Is Greatly Exaggerated (Christian Science Monitor)

From the article:

Africa auctions off mining and oil exploration to a "broad array of companies from around the world that you did not see before," says Todd Moss, a former senior State Department official dealing with Africa who is now at the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C.


Nations like Malaysia appeal to African states, says Mr. Moss, the former US-Africa trade official, as an "Asian model" that emphasize strong political control and wealth. "Americans want both political openness and open markets, but Asians stick to a commercial relationship," he says.

Read the article here

June 30, 2013

US, China Come Together over Africa... Sort of (The Diplomat)

CGD/AidData China to Africa project is cited in a Diplomat article. 

From the article:

Despite the frequency with which Washington might assert that China’s relations with Africa are based wholly on resource extraction, this view is overly simplistic at best. Indeed, China is helping Africa to develop significantly in many ways, such as infrastructure development.

For example, at an African Union conference in May, Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister and the chairman of the AU noted that the neglect of infrastructure development has arrested growth on the continent for years. He then stated, “In this regard, I wish to take this opportunity to express my deepest appreciation to China for investing billions in this sector to assist us in our development endeavors.”

Indeed, aidData and the Center for Global Development (CGD) recently unveiled a database on China’s official development finance to Africa that was compiled using open source media. When first released, the researchers had found that between 2000 and 2011, China had pledged US$75 billion on 1,673 projects in 50 African countries. Of these, 1,422 have reached the commitment, implementation, or completion stage. As some noted at the time, this was roughly the amount of official finance the U.S. had sent to Africa at the time.

Read it here.

June 28, 2013

Obama’s Push for Africa Unheeded by U.S. Companies (Bloomberg News)

Todd Moss quoted in a Bloomberg story about Africa.

From the article:

A year after urging U.S. companies to deepen their involvement in an African economic renaissance, President Barack Obama doesn’t have much to show for the effort.

U.S. companies still lag behind European and Chinese enterprises on a continent that is home to six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies. Apart from oil companies such asChevron Corp. (CVX) and retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) and YUM! Brands Inc. (YUM), U.S. businesses have been reluctant to brave African security risks and trade headaches.

The government’s Overseas Private Investment Corp., which provides financing and political risk insurance for U.S. companies’ foreign ventures, is ill-positioned for multiyear projects since it depends upon annual congressional appropriations, unlike British, Dutch or Chinese financing agencies, says Todd Moss, who directs the Emerging Africa Project for the Center for Global Development in Washington.

Read it here.

June 1, 2013

Japan to Transform Africa Aid into Investment (Deutsche Welle)

CGD’s China in Africa work is cited in a Deutsche Welle article about Japanese investment in China.

From the article:

Japan has promised Africa 10.7 billion euros (14 billion dollars) over the next five years as government and private-sector aid. Japan's Asian rival China has already invested heavily in Africa.

Japanese officials stressed that Tokyo wanted to transform its relationship with Africa from that of donor-recipient to a business partnership.

In an apparent reference to China, Abe said Tokyo's commitment to Africa differed from that of other nations.

State-owned Chinese oil and mining companies have multibillion-euro investments in Africa as well as Australia and Latin America. According to the Washington-based Center for Global Development, Beijing has invested $75 billion (57 billion euros) in Africa over the past decade.

Read it here.