Students attend a math class in Bosso, Nigeria. Thirty Nigerian refugees are studying at the school in addition to 300 Niger children. Photo taken from UNHCR’s flickr photostream used under a creative commons license.
By Nicole Goldin
Economic opportunity is a critical driver of individual and family security, and national growth, development and social progress. Harnessing the capacity of youth in particular, as producers and consumers, can be a boon to both national and the global economy alike. Yet around the world, youth in developed and emerging economies continue to face significant barriers to fulfill their economic promise and prospects. Around the world, young people are up to 4 times more likely to be unemployed than the general working population, with global youth unemployment rising above 13%, up from 11.5 percent in 2007. Less than 40% of youth worldwide are banked.
The Global Youth Wellbeing Index, released in April by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the International Youth Foundation (IYF) with principal funding from Hilton Worldwide, economic opportunity was one of six domains and sub-indices included. The Index considers the state of youth in 30 countries around the world, which hold nearly 70 percent of the world’s youth population. Of the forty indicators that comprise the Index, seven make up the economic opportunity domain: GDP per capita; economic climate and competitiveness; youth lending from a financial institution; youth involved in early-stage entrepreneurial activity; youth unemployment; youth not in education, employment, or training (NEET), and youths’ income and wealth expectation. Continue reading
Photo taken from International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center’s flickr photostream used under a Creative Commons license
By Jeremiah Magpile and Caitlin Allmaier
On September 16, the Food and Agricultural Organization published its annual State of Food Insecurity in the World Report, which tracks regional progress on Millennium Development Goal 1 using indicators related to access, availability, stability, and utilization. The report concluded that global efforts to halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger between 1990 and 2015 have been effective, and that MDG-1 is within reach for numerous areas of the world. Despite broad progress, however, regional disparities remain; a full quarter of the world’s hungry now reside in sub-Saharan Africa, and the region will need accelerated support to have any hope of meeting MDG-1 by 2015. Further, Asia still continues to have the highest number of undernourished people, despite Southeast Asia meeting the World having already met the more stringent 1996 World Food Summit (WFS) hunger target. Below are other takeaways from the report: Continue reading
Donald Kaberuka, President, African Development Bank Group. Photo taken from the OECD Development Centre’s flickr photostream used under a creative commons license.
By Daniel Runde
Last week I was in Abidjan, Ivory Coast (currently and thankfully “Ebola free”) and had the opportunity to spend time with the board and the senior management of the African Development Bank. The bank was founded by 23 African countries in 1964, and today has authorized capital in excess of $43.5 billion. The United States joined in 1983, and is the bank’s largest non-regional shareholder. Over the next ten years the AfDB will face unique opportunities as well as unprecedented challenges to relevance. The new President slated for selection in 2015 should be chosen with these challenges and opportunities in mind.
Donald Kaberuka, a former Rwandan finance minister, has led the ADB since 2005. Mr. Kaberuka oversaw Rwanda’s post-conflict economic recovery, and is well-regarded in both Washington and Africa. At the time of his selection, he was seen as the choice of the African “francophone” countries (French is one of AfDB’s two official languages) despite the fact that Rwanda’s official language is now English. His tenure is limited to two five-year terms, the second of which will conclude in May 2015.
As President of the AfDB, Mr. Kaberuka pushed the bank to approve a ten-year strategy focused encouraging private sector activity to absorb the 15 million young people that join the work force every year in Africa and programs that address the nexus of food, water and energy. To achieve these goals, his board approved an operational orientation that targeted:
- Infrastructure Development
- Regional Integration
- Policy to Support and Enable Private Enterprise
- Improved Governance
- Skills and Technology Acquisition
A farmer stands amidst a rice farm in Burundi, Africa. Photo taken from International Rice Research Institute’s flickr photostream used under a creative commons license.
This week in development…
- The International Finance Corporation released its 2014 annual report, in which they inform that they have provided a record amount of financing for the world’s poorest countries last year: $8.5 billion. These funds served to support more than 300 projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, South Asia, and Europe.
- Sierra Leone began a three day lockdown to enable health workers to find and isolate cases of Ebola. A team of almost 30,000 people is going from house to house to detect possible cases of Ebola and to distribute soap.
Who is he?
Mr. Guenette at a recent CSIS event
Paul Guenette is the Executive Vice President for Communications at ACDI/VOCA, a leading development contractor, and has designed and implemented integrated sustainable development programs over the course of a career that has spanned 40 years and 70 countries. His experiences include long-term assignments in Senegal, Mauritania, Indonesia, Barbados and Kenya, heading agribusiness programs that incorporated activities in policy reform, business group strengthening, commercial marketing, equity financing and investment promotion.
Mr. Guenette began his development career in Senegal through the Peace Corps, and continued to travel back to West Africa on assignments with the U.S. Agency for International Development. He previously worked with Development Alternatives Incorporated and Deloitte’s Emerging Markets Practice. He earned his M.B.A. at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and his B.A. in theater arts at Kalamazoo College. Continue reading