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CGD Policy Blogs

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Progress on human rights in Turkmenistan? Give me a break

On April 14 the Washington Post carried an editorial criticizing European policy makers for their efforts to give Turkmenistan Most Favored Nation trade status. As the Post points out, the European Commission’s argument that “Most Favored Nation” status is justified by “positive steps” on human rights is simply not tenable. Turkmen president Niyazov’s cult-of-personality rule and systematic economic mismanagement is robbing the country of its future.

Nigerian debt deal: Almost done, if not yet home free

The IMF announced today that it has completed its review of Nigeria’s policy support instrument (PSI). The Fund was laudatory, including a quote from first deputy MD Anne Krueger:

“Looking ahead, the authorities are committed to continue the ambitious macroeconomic and structural policies to entrench macroeconomic stability, strengthen public financial management, and reduce the costs of doing business further”

Is his AIDS better than her AIDS?

According to an article in BBC News, researchers from Johns Hopkins University working on the Rakai Project in Uganda have released two important findings: that there are multiple subtypes of HIV/AIDS in the community (sub-types A and D are the most common in Uganda), and that the different subtypes have different viral progressions in infected people:

Zimbabweans Have Shortest Life Expectancy

As a part of their research initiative entitled Zimbabwe's Crisis and Future, CGD Fellows Todd Moss, Michael Clemens and Stewart Patrick have articulated and analyzed the many political, economic and social catastrophes that have characterized that country's decline since 2000. These calamities include: the severe contraction of the economy; a doubling of the percentage of the population living in poverty; organized violence perpetrated by the government; the breakdown of basic services; the erosion of the country's economic foundation and the massive emigration of professionals.

Is new Asia becoming old Europe on the labor front?

There is an old French maxim that says, if you can't fire a worker, don't hire him. Asia seems to be learning French. The widespread "push-back" against earlier abuses of labor rights by non-democratic regimes is producing a host of well-intentioned labor market interventions throughout Asia that risk undermining the region’s greatest asset: it’s abundant and affordable labor. In Indonesia, for example, minimum wages have risen three-fold since 1998 and a number of local governments are actively competing to see who can have the highest minimum wage.

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