Global Development


Africa at a Fork in the Road: Taking Off or Disappointment Once Again?

Global Development Colloquium April 13–15, 2014

A select group of academics, practitioners, and policymakers convened at Yale to examine the sustainability of Africa’s current trajectory, to explore which policies and practices have proven most effective throughout the region, and to inquire what needs to be done to keep growing and address more effectively the acute poverty and human development problems that persist in some countries.

Participants assessed the key development opportunities and challenges of Africa, which, as a whole, still lags behind many other developing economies in key developmental indicators. Africa remains the poorest region in the world, malnutrition is still unacceptably high, and inequality continues to permeate the continent. Though some have expressed unprecedented optimism about the future prospects for the region’s development, others remain skeptical and continue to assert that recent trends are just another phase of Africa’s history of boom-and-bust cycles. Topics included: how globalized is Africa?; disparities in African growth and development; better governance for a stronger Africa, and; are natural resources an opportunity or a curse for Africa?

Conference program

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Latin America: Taking Off or Still Falling Behind?

Global Development Colloquium April 3–4, 2013

The Yale Center for the Study of Globalization has as part of its mission to discuss in depth key aspects of the economic evolution of some of the emerging players in the global economy, Latin America being unquestionably one of them.

In that pursuit we typically seek to explore the question of whether that particular region can do better than has been done so far; in others, whether their observed performance is sustainable. With this background, we held our second Latin American Colloquium that took the form of an ambitious conference to re-examine the main aspects determining the future prospects of the Latin American economies. We looked at topics such as challenges posed by shifting global risks; the untapped potential of globalization; the low productivity and innovation trap; the fiscal and savings gap; the role of the state; the informality bias of social policies and labor markets; the educational quality gap; and of course inequality. We also looked at the crosscutting issue of rule of law through a keynote presentation, recognizing that such a topic deserves an entire conference by itself. 

Conference program (pdf)

The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI)

The Natural Resource Governance Institute helps people to realize the benefits of their countries’ endowments of oil, gas and minerals. NRGI does this through technical advice, advocacy, applied research, policy analysis, and capacity development. 

The organization works with innovative agents of change within government ministries, civil society, the media, legislatures, the private sector, and international institutions to promote accountable and effective governance in the extractive industries. NRGI is an independent, non-profit organization that provides policy advice and advocacy infused with lessons learned in the field and with insights developed through rigorous research. NRGI’s knowledge and experience are shared freely with policymakers, accountability actors, and the global campaign for improved international norms. 

Among its accomplishments is the Natural Resource Charter (link to charter), a set of principles to guide governments’ and societies’ use of natural resources so these economic opportunities result in maximum and sustained returns for a country’s citizens. It outlines tools and policy options designed to avoid the mismanagement of diminishing natural riches, and ensure their ongoing benefits.


Don’t Count on Enhanced Global Governance

Jeffry A. Frieden, Michael Pettis, Dani Rodrik, Ernesto Zedillo From VOX online, 26 July 2012

Global economic cooperation can help mitigate many economic problems. But it is often difficult to justify, and even more difficult to achieve.

This column argues that simple appeals to greater global governance are not likely to have much effect. It suggests that the future of the international economy does depend on the success of international cooperation; but this success in turn requires that governments have realistic expectations about how much can be accomplished at the global level. The world economy faces its most serious test since the 1930s. The financial crisis that began in 2007 rolls onward.

- In most of the OECD, the recovery is at best halting, while much of the Eurozone has collapsed into a second recession.
- Economic stagnation, persistent unemployment, daunting debt burdens, and the threat of banking crises bedevil the immediate future of global economic activity.

And the seriousness of these immediate threats is compounded by the knowledge that many of the world’s principal economies face longer-term challenges with macroeconomic balance, job creation, and productivity growth.

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Thinking Regionally to Compete Globally: Leveraging Migration & Human Capital in the U.S., Mexico, and Central America

Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Doris Meissner, and Eleanor Sohnen May 2013

An influential task force, co-chaired by Ernesto Zedillo, finds that the U.S., Mexico and Central America have new avenues to improve opportunities for their own people and to strengthen regional competitiveness.

This final report by the Regional Migration Study Group outlines the powerful demographic, economic, and social forces reshaping Mexico and much of Central America and changing longstanding migration dynamics with the United States. The Study Group, co-chaired by former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, former U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, and former Guatemalan Vice President and Foreign Minister Eduardo Stein, offers a forward-looking, pragmatic agenda for the United States, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras — focusing on new collaborative approaches on migration and human-capital development to strengthen regional competitiveness.

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