Covid-19 vaccines and official development assistance

By Haje Schütte, Senior Counsellor and Head, Financing for Sustainable Development Division, Development Co-operation Directorate, OECD

When scientists announced the discovery of a Covid-19 vaccine, the world sighed with relief. But soon after, many people around the globe discovered that others would get access to jabs faster than them. The sad term ‘vaccine inequality’ was coined. Only 6% of people are fully vaccinated in low-income countries today. In a bid to fill the gaps and curb the pandemic, there were calls for high-income countries to share and donate vaccine doses to developing countries, in particular through the COVAX Facility – the multilateral mechanism for providing developing countries with vaccines.

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New approaches to development

By Kerem Alkin, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the OECD

2022 will be a year of new approaches to development, in particular new financing models and revitalising development motivation. The main reason why there is a lack of motivation for development is the lack of belief or trust in the existing economic infrastructure in many developing countries of the world. That is why building self-confidence is indispensable to accelerate development, starting with the least developed economies.

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What the Russia-Ukraine war means for Bangladesh’s economy

By Fahmida Khatun, Executive Director at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD)[1]

Since the war between Russia and Ukraine began on February 24, 2022, the global economy has entered a new terrain of uncertainty. The war-induced challenges have surfaced on various fronts. With global economic integration, a crisis of such nature, which involves a country like Russia, is bound to impact other economies.[2]

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The European way: policy first for the people

By Anna Terrón Cusí, Director of the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP)

“Policy first” is an emerging concept in the European Union’s (EU) external action and development co-operation. The idea is that shared policies and political priorities between the EU, EU Member States and partner countries should guide the EU’s external action and development co-operation, as opposed to former approaches more driven   by  the legal and administrative aspects of external financial instruments rather than policy.

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Resilient state-building: A new approach for the hardest places

By Jonathan Papoulidis, Global Director of Fragility and Resilience, Food for the Hungry Inc., Fellow, Columbia World Projects

Today, fragile contexts are the centre of the global development crisis and poised to bear the worst of the pandemic and climate change. Even before COVID-19, some 80% of the world’s poorest were estimated to live in fragile contexts by 2030—the end of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

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How can Africa benefit from the private sector’s growing interest in climate finance?

By Anzetse Were, Senior Economist, FSD Kenya

While the private sector across the world is on a journey towards greening their activities, COP26 marked a milestone so significant that it was termed the Business and Finance COP. In other words, COP26 made ‘climate action mainstream business’. But what challenges and opportunities does this newfound interest present for Africa?

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How Africa can move up the value-chain

By John Stuart, tralac Associate[1]

Africa is a resource-rich continent, specialising in fuel, mineral and agricultural exports. Statistics on revealed comparative advantage (RCA) show that Africa exports proportionally more primary products than most other regions. Crude materials, which include ore, metal, wood, cotton and other raw textiles, are the continent’s dominant product category, followed by tobacco, various agricultural products and fuel. One consequence of specialising in primary product exports is that other countries get to enjoy the benefits of the value they add to these raw materials. These benefits can range from higher profits for their corporations to a more diversified industrial base and consequently better insulation from economic shocks, as well as a more highly skilled, higher-earning workforce.

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How data can help migrants

By Andrew Young, Knowledge Director, The Governance Lab, New York University

Conflict is displacing more and more people across West Africa, including nearly 2.4 million people who have been forced from their homes by the Boko Haram insurgency in the Lake Chad Basin alone. People living in coastal areas face coastal degradation and erosion. Desertification in the western region of the Sahel is leading to significant livelihood and food security risks. Meanwhile the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is making the situation worse.

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A faster path to digital transformation in Latin America

By Angel Melguizo, Vice President, Economic, External & Regulatory Affairs, VRIO Corp; Eduardo Salido Cornejo, Head, Public Affairs Intelligence, Telefónica Hispanoamérica; and Welby Leaman, Senior Director, Global Policy Strategy, Walmart[1]

Covid-19 put in stark relief the urgent need for accelerated digitalisation around the world. The good news is that so many people stepped up to meet this challenge. In many parts of the private sector, digital rollout that business executives thought would take years was achieved in weeks or even days, as customers’ digital adoption soared. Latin America was no exception to this phenomenon: in mid-March 2020, internet traffic increased by more than 40% practically overnight. The robustness of telecommunications infrastructure in the region – built by decades of investment – and the flexibility of many Latin American governments during the pandemic, were among the factors that facilitated this transition.

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Can the African Continental Free Trade Area drive Africa’s automotive industry?

By Anthony Black, Professor of Economics at the University of Cape Town [1]

With a large and growing middle class, Africa has huge potential as an automotive market. Vehicle ownership rates across the continent are low, at just 45 per 1 000 persons compared with a global rate of 203 per 1 000. Even more striking is the low level of production: the continent accounts for less than 1% of global vehicle output. Outside South Africa and Morocco, production is minimal: most small national  markets are supplied by imports, consisting mainly of used cars shipped primarily from Europe, Japan and the US.

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