Last week President Obama’s Global Development Council at long last held its first official, public meeting at the National Press Club in Washington. For those of you who don’t remember (and you’ll be excused for forgetting), President Obama signed an executive order that formally established the Council in February 2012, although the Council’s origin story dates back to the 2010 Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development.
CGD Policy Blogs
While I was plowing through Morten Jerven’s enlightening book Poor Numbers last year, my mind concentrated on Nigeria. It stayed with Nigeria. At that time, I was consumed with figuring out what on earth was going on with Nigeria’s poverty figures. How was it possible for the country to experience growth in both its GDP and extreme poverty rates at the same time?
Bipartisan support for the Electrify Africa Act (HR. 2548) recently got a further boost when the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued its cost estimate.
This August, President Obama will host 47 African Heads of State in Washington. The agenda will focus heavily on promoting greater trade and investment ties between the US and the region’s fast growing economies. Amongst other things, this emphasis will play a critical role for the Obama Administration’s Power Africa Initiative and plans for modernizing the African Growth and Opportunity Act.
Our recent paper suggesting that there are stark tradeoffs between energy access and pursuing a renewables-only energy strategy has attracted a lot of attention. We responded to Michael Levi’s post on CFR.org here, but it seems worth addressing some of the other critiques, notably this detailed post by UC Berkeley’s Daniel Kammen, that have challenged our projections and findings.
Bipartisanship has a pulse in Washington after all. Or, maybe it’s just Ed Royce (R-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY) reminding the town that certain issues trump the desire to deliver mortal body blows. What unites this conservative from San Bernardino and a progressive from the Bronx? The belief that sustained US leadership can help bring economic and social opportunity to millions of Africans that lack any access to electricity.
Trade policy is one of America’s most potent development tools, particularly for the world’s poorest countries. The big question has always been how best to use it. Should the US give away duty-free access to its $17 trillion market? Essentially opening the door to anyone in the hopes of benefitting as many people as possible.
Over at the Council on Foreign Relations website, Michael Levi posted a reply to our recent paper on estimating the tradeoffs between OPIC power generation investments based upon natural gas and renewable sources. We are grateful to Michael for his thoughtful comments and for instigating a sensible discussion of the underlying issues.