Harvest 2050 Blog

Archive for MAY, 2010

The role of business in development

MAY 19, 2010

On May 3, I attended a discussion hosted by the Global Economy and Development group at Brookings and the Initiative for Global Development (IGD) Washington, D.C., entitled “The Role of Business in Development: How Private Investment Can Catalyze Economic Growth and Reduce Poverty.” While the Administration prepares a new U.S. global development assistance program, the event focused on the need for greater coordination of U.S. aid, trade and investment programs, and how to effectively work across sectors. The questions that were asked included:

  • “How can U.S. development programs best build capacity, unlock capital, supply infrastructure and create an environment for marked-let growth;
  • how can companies most effectively contribute to the growth of local enterprises and local employment through their supply chains and investments; and
  • what are the specific opportunities and challenges of increasing investment across Africa?”

Daniel Yohannes, Millennium Challenge Corporation CEO, provided the opening remarks, followed by a discussion among three CEO’s (Justin Chinyanta, Chairman & CEO, Loita Capital Partners International LTD, Tim Solso, Chairman & CEO, Cummins Inc., and Chad Holliday, Former Chairman & CEO, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company) from the United States and Africa. Kermal Dervis, Vice President and director of Global Economy and Development, moderated the discussion while Jennifer Potter, President and CEO of IGD provided introductory remarks.

From the discussion that followed, it was clear that for any significant global economic development and poverty reduction to occur, it will be essential for the private sector to lead the effort. All of the speakers expressed optimism that it could be accomplished although it will be a long and difficult journey as there are many obstacles. It was emphasized that the private sector needs to “step up to the plate,” have a long term outlook, and that poor countries also must have good governance and an environment conducive for business investment. Two recent publications were made available at the event:

  • “A New Strategy to Leverage Business for International Development” authored by Robert Mosbacher, Jr. and published by the Global Economy and Development at Brookings (working paper #4, May 2010), and
  • “The Business Case for Foreign Aid Reform” by Initiative for Global Development.
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Global food security report calls for actions to close the gap

MAY 04, 2010

On April 27, 2010, in the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Center for Strategic and International Studies launched the report of its Task Force on Food Security, co-chaired by Senator Richard Lugar, Senator Robert Casey, and Representative Betty McCollum, entitled “Cultivating Global Food Security: A Strategy for U.S. Leadership on Productivity, Agricultural Research and Trade”. This event marked the outcome of many discussions and meetings of the Task Force which had been charged with developing recommendations for a long-term U.S. strategic approach to global food security. The Task Force’s membership included leaders from government, business, academia, and the nongovernmental and philanthropy communities.

CSIS President and CEO Dr. John Hamre provided introductory remarks, and the Congressional Co-Chairs addressed the audience. Their comments were followed by an expert panel discussion and Q&A on the report’s key findings and recommendations for a long-term U.S. strategic approach to global food security. Click here to watch the video of the event, or view below.

The report outlines three areas for action:

  1. the drastic need to boost productivity;
  2. the necessity to have greater investments in agricultural research and development (both domestically and abroad)
  3. the total integration of U.S.trade policy and food security.

The CSIS report concludes:

“The United States has a tremendous opportunity to bring to bear its expertise, its human resource, and its commitment to feed people worldwide to set the world’s food system on a path toward long-term security, As Senator Lugar said, ‘The United States has always stood for big ideas-from the founding of the Republic on the basis of freedom to President Kennedy’s vow to put a man on the moon. One of today’s big ideas should be the eradication of hunger. We can bring America’s dedication to science, innovation, technology and education together to lead an effort devoted to overcoming the obstacles to food security.’ It is an opportunity to lead the way forward in a world hungry for progress. It is an opportunity to plant the seeds of global stability and prosperity and to cultivate goodwill around the world.”

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