CGD Policy Blogs

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Why Don't African Firms Create More Jobs?

Many countries in Africa suffer high rates of under-employment or low rates of productive employment; many also anticipate large numbers of people entering the workforce in the near future. It is estimated that the working age population will rise to almost 800 million in 2030, up from the current number of 466 million.  In our new paper , we ask the question— are African firms employing fewer people than firms located in other parts of the world? And if so, why? 

Will the United States Be Able to Go Big on the African Development Fund This Year?

Will donors be able to “go big” on the African Development Fund (AfDF) this year, even if they want to?  Here in the United States, budget austerity and restrictive funding rules stack the deck against any bold moves when it comes to multilateral contributions.  But I think boldness in support of smart multilateral investments like AfDF may still be possible, and the United Kingdom’s multilateral aid review just might offer some clues on how to get there.   

Interview with WTO Candidate Alan Kyerematen

My guest on this Wonkcast is Alan Kyerematen, Ghana's former Minister of Trade, Industry and President’s Special Initiatives and one of nine candidates to be the next head of the World Trade Organization (WTO). In our interview, Minister Kyerematen tells me he possesses the skills and vision needed to lead the WTO.

Is Agribusiness the Key to Africa’s Growth?

Today, the World Bank launched a new report, "Growing Africa: Unlocking the Potential of Agribusiness." The report argues that agriculture and agribusiness should be at the top of the development and business agenda in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Bank is right to emphasize this issue--of the $25 billion of food that African countries import annually, only $1 billion comes from other African countries. The report offers a clear and well-researched exposition of the state and prospects of African agribusiness. It is broad in scope, encompassing agricultural production and upstream input markets as well as supply chains and agro-processing.

Smoke Signals from Manila?

Morris, a newly arrived CGD visiting policy fellow, was previously the deputy assistant secretary for development finance and debt at the U.S. Treasury Department, where he led US engagement with the multilateral development banks.

Send an Ambassador, Not an Envoy, to Khartoum

This week marks what some consider the tenth anniversary of the conflict in Darfur. Sadly, this is not the only conflict still ravaging the people of Sudan and South Sudan. As the White House is preparing to name the United States’ seventh special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan in the last 12 years, I believe it’s time for a different approach to US policy, one that puts the central governance challenges in each state at the forefront.

Three Reasons Why Electricity Should Be President Obama’s Legacy in Africa

A month after the inauguration, it’s not too early for the White House to start thinking about legacies. President Obama will surely want some signature development achievement that will outlive his Administration and help, in the public mind, to solidify the connections between Africa and the American people. To be worthy of a US President, and especially one with a family connection to the continent, it has to be something great. Bill Clinton has AGOA. George W.

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