While people in many developing countries are beginning to reduce gap with the West, people in fragile states are not.
One reason is a lack of security. In countries like Mali and the CAR, only last-minute French intervention stabilised extremely dangerous situations, while the US Rapid Reaction Force sat in Stuttgart. We must end flip-flops of policy over intervention. Europe should take a long-term and consistent approach to building African capacity to intervene before security crises get out of hand.
Natural resource extraction often fails to benefit the country with the resources. Resource extraction companies should be seen as custodians (much like banks). Key steps needed are: more transparency, on which there is some progress; more effective taxation, requiring better international rules and provision of qualified staff; and stronger action on corruption through making it harder to hide payments – including an international standard on public disclosure of beneficial ownership.
Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government and a Professorial Fellow of St Antony’s College. He took Public Service leave when he was Director of the Research Development Department of the World Bank. Currently a Professeur invité at Sciences Po and a Director of the International Growth Centre.
His research covers the causes and consequences of civil war; the effects of aid and problems of democracy in low-income and natural resources rich societies; urbanization in low-income countries; private investment in African infrastructure and changing organizational cultures.
Books include The Bottom Billion (2007) which in 2008 won the Lionel Gelber, Arthur Ross and Corine prizes and in 2009 was joint winner of the Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book prize. His latest book is Exodus: How migration is changing our world (2013)
In 2014, Paul received a knighthood for promoting research and policy change in Africa.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx
The world needs a free movement of resources so that it can be easily accessed and then it should be made affordable for everyone. But it is impossible to do in the absence of global transparency. The biggest issue that I recognised here is transparency, once you have the transparency, the other two problems can easily be solved!
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