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  • Author: Getachew Diriba, Christian Man
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been widely hailed for his promises to open political space, usher in economic liberalization, and remake the country’s poor record on human rights. However, to truly transform his country, Dr. Abiy must first transform agriculture, which is the nucleus of the Ethiopian economy and by far the largest employer. Drawing on interviews and focus groups with seventy stakeholders, this report examines the past wins, current endeavors, and future challenges of Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), a federal entity established in 2010 to drive fundamental changes for the country’s 15 million smallholder farmers. It highlights the relationship between the ATA and the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture, the importance of innovation in agricultural transformation, and the role donors like the United States government can play in supporting such-efforts for country-led development.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Richard Downie, Jennifer G. Cooke
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Africa's changing economic landscape is prompting a shift in how U.S. policymakers view the continent. High growth rates, new technologies, and a rapidly expanding consumer class are driving greater global competition for investment and access to potential export markets, and the United States is recognizing that it will need to step up its game to remain relevant and influential in an increasingly crowded and competitive environment. This will mean placing a stronger emphasis on strengthening trade and investment ties and encouraging U.S. companies to take fuller advantage of expanding opportunities. Playing up these opportunities will not only serve long-term U.S. commercial interests in Africa but will serve U.S. development and diplomatic objectives as well. U.S. investments, done right, can have long-term development impacts in Africa, through technology and knowledge transfer, training, systems development, and partnerships. And a new, more optimistic engagement with Africa's citizens and entrepreneurs will have strong resonance with the continent's up-and-coming generation, creating links based on enduring mutual interest.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States
  • Author: Jake Cusack, Matt Tilleard
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper outlines a new tool for policymakers to deploy to encourage private-sector development in developing nations. Specifically it argues that in fragile states there are systemic failures that cause an intermediation gap between sources of capital and entrepreneurs seeking investment. This gap prevents investment by raising transaction costs and exacerbating information asymmetry. We present a case study of this gap as observed in our work in South Sudan. Then we propose a model of investment facilitation that bridges the intermediation gap. The model is based on donor funding of a neutral nongovernment facilitator to identify attractive investment opportunities, link them to capital, and facilitate transactions.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Aid, Fragile/Failed State, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan
  • Author: Brandon Fite
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Iran pursues cooperation with states on the geographic and strategic periphery of the competition between the US and Iran in order to create a network of diplomatic and economic relationships or “partners” that can lessen the blow of international sanctions and generally oppose Western attempts to constrict its ambitions. These peripheral “partners” located mainly in Africa and Latin America, also serve as alternative markets for Iranian oil, provide diplomatic cover for Iran's nuclear efforts, and aid Iran's acquisition of goods proscribed by international sanctions.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Iran, Latin America
  • Author: Richard Downie
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Less than 18 months into its life as an independent nation, South Sudan is facing a desperate struggle for survival. Because the terms of its separation from Sudan were not decided before independence, negotiations have dragged on over issues including borders, security arrangements, and the qualifications for citizenship, diverting attention from the urgent task of development. Most damagingly, the two nations have failed to cooperate on oil production, the mainstay of their economies. Anger over the high price Sudan was demanding to use its pipeline prompted the government of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS) to shut off oil production entirely in January 2012. Although a compromise was reached in August, implementation stalled until a broader agreement was signed by the two countries in late September. The implications for health development in South Sudan are stark. Even before the oil shutdown, international donors had paid for and delivered most health services. However, talks had been ongoing to transfer to a more sustainable system in which the GRSS assumed more responsibility for the health needs of its citizens. Donors spoke of the importance of moving away from a top-down system centered on emergency relief and primary health care delivery, mainly administered by international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Instead, the objective was to move to a new phase focused on developing health systems that would increasingly be managed by South Sudanese themselves. These plans were put on hold by the oil shutdown and the calamitous economic crisis it triggered. Donors feel that South Sudan has regressed in the period since independence, and they apportion a lot of the blame for the dire situation on the government of South Sudan.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Economics, Health, Oil, Infectious Diseases, Financial Crisis, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan