Development

Foreign Affairs Article

Africa's Economic Boom

Authors: Shantayanan Devarajan and Wolfgang Fengler

Sub-Saharan Africa's GDP has grown five percent a year since 2000 and is expected to grow even faster in the future. Although pessimists are quick to point out that this growth has followed increases in commodities prices, the success of recent political reforms and the increased openness of African societies give the region a good chance of sustaining its boom for years to come.

See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); Economic Development; Emerging Markets

Foreign Affairs Article

Why American Education Fails

Author: Jal Mehta

Since the end of the industrial age, Americans have worried about improving their education system. But the country has never been able to make much progress. Other nations do it better, and the United States must learn from their examples if it hopes to catch up.

See more in United States; Education

Ask CFR Experts

Will “sequestration” affect U.S. education, especially in the STEM fields?

Asked by Mariecor Ruediger

American policymakers have long been concerned about the eroding U.S. advantage in educating science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) students. With much of the assembly work for lucrative high-technology products having moved to Asia, future U.S. prosperity depends increasingly on innovating new products and techniques—innovation that requires training (or importing) a new generation of scientists and engineers.

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See more in United States; Education; Budget, Debt, and Deficits

Transcript

A Conversation with Helen Clark

Speaker: Helen Clark
Presider: George Rupp

Helen Clark discusses the 2013 Human Development Report, The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. The report identifies more than forty developing countries that have done better than expected in human development in recent decades, with their progress accelerating markedly over the past ten years

See more in Global; Economic Development

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Should we be worried about China's genetic manipulation of food?

Asked by Matthias Tindemans

In 2012, China imported nearly 60 million tons of soybeans, most of which were genetically modified. In that sense, even if GM foods are found to have any long-term hazards, one probably should not worry too much about only China's GM foods, but about those from all countries, including the United States, the largest producer and consumer of GM foods.

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See more in China; Agricultural Policy

Primary Sources

Remarks by President Obama after Meeting with African Leaders, March 2013

Author: Barack Obama

President Obama met with President Sall from Senegal, President Banda from Malawi, President Koroma from Sierra Leone, and Prime Minister Neves from Cape Verde on March 28, 2013. The four presidents discussed the progress their countries have made in democracy and economic development.

See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); United States; Economic Development; Democratization

Ask CFR Experts

Where do you see Brazil in 2020? As a country with the lowest growth rates among the BRICS, is the dream over for Brazil?

Asked by Fagner Dantas, from Universidade Federal da Bahia

The Brazilian government faces a number of challenges and opportunities concerning its economic forecast in the coming years. After peaking at 7.5 percent growth in 2010, Brazil's recent economic slowdown has caused worry that the dream of a new high-growth economy had slipped out of reach.

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See more in Brazil; Economic Development; Emerging Markets; Global Future Trends

Primary Sources

Joint Statement of the Fifth BRICS Summit in Durban, March 2013

The fifth summit of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) countries met in Durban, South Africa March 26 and 27, 2013, to discuss "political and economic coordination." They released their fifth summit declaration, "BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation," which includes plans for a BRICS development bank. In the 2014 Fortaleza Declaration of the Sixth BRICS Summit, more details about the bank are explained.

See more in Emerging Markets; Trade; Global

Article

Egypt’s Financial High Noon

Author: Isobel Coleman
Foreign Policy

Isobel Coleman writes that while it is widely recognized that food and fuel subsidies in Egypt are expensive and inefficient, Egyptian leaders do not want to touch the political third rail of subsidy reform. But they also realize that the country's fiscal situation is untenable without it. Sooner or later, serious subsidy reform is inevitable, and a well-planned process is preferable to the alternative.

See more in Egypt; Economic Development

Transcript

Scarcity and Security in Africa

Speakers: Jendayi Frazer, Juergen Voegele, and Gary Weir
Presider: Harry Broadman

Jendayi Frazer, Juergen Voegele, and Gary Weir flesh out the drivers of scarcity and security challenges related to natural resources in Africa, focusing on natural resource management. This meeting is part of the Global Resources, the U.S. Economy, and National Security symposium, sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations and Conservation International.

See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); Food Security; Environmental Policy

Audio

Scarcity and Security in Africa

Speakers: Jendayi Frazer, Juergen Voegele, and Gary Weir
Presider: Harry Broadman

Jendayi Frazer, Juergen Voegele, and Gary Weir flesh out the drivers of scarcity and security challenges related to natural resources in Africa, focusing on natural resource management. This meeting is part of the Global Resources, the U.S. Economy, and National Security symposium, sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations and Conservation International.

See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); Food Security; Environmental Policy