CFR Presents

Development Channel

Issues and innovations in global economic development

Posts by Category

Showing posts for "Education"

Women’s Achievements and Continued Challenges in Afghanistan

by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Afghan women take part in a literacy class at the Organisation of Promoting Afghan Women's Capabilities (OPAWC) center in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Zohra Bensemra). Afghan women take part in a literacy class at the Organisation of Promoting Afghan Women's Capabilities (OPAWC) center in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Zohra Bensemra).

Early this summer, a group of congresswomen returned from a visit to Afghanistan. Their takeaway: “Women are now participants—and in many cases, leaders—in a society that once systematically subjugated them.” Indeed, women in Afghanistan have made great strides in recent years, but many challenges remain—especially in the face of imminent U.S. withdrawal from the country.

Read more »

Empowering Female Entrepreneurs in Rwanda

by Guest Blogger for Terra Lawson-Remer
Artisan entrepreneurs receive business training from Indego Africa at their cooperative, Covanya, in Nyamata, Rwanda, 2011 (Courtesy Benjamin D. Stone, copyright Indego Africa). Artisan entrepreneurs receive business training from Indego Africa at their cooperative, Covanya, in Nyamata, Rwanda, 2011 (Courtesy Benjamin D. Stone, copyright Indego Africa).

Emerging Voices features contributions from scholars and practitioners highlighting new research, thinking, and approaches to development challenges. This article is from Benjamin D. Stone, director of strategy and general counsel at MicroCredit Enterprises, CFR term member, and vice chairman of Indego Africa; and Karen Yelick, CEO of Indego Africa. Here they discuss how Indego Africa’s Leadership Academy for female artisan entrepreneurs in Rwanda aligns with the country’s twenty-year history of empowering women leaders.

Read more »

Education, Employment, and Youth Today

by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
A teacher talks to students at a public school outside of Juba, South Sudan. One in four people are literate in South Sudan. April 2013 (Courtesy Reuters/Andreea Campeanu). A teacher talks to students at a public school outside of Juba, South Sudan. Only one in four people are literate in South Sudan. April 2013 (Courtesy Reuters/Andreea Campeanu).

Last week, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) released the eleventh edition of its Education for All Global Monitoring Report, an annual update that reviews the status of access to education around the world and highlights the crucial role that education plays in achieving development goals. This year’s report, titled “Teaching and Learning: Equality Achieved for All,” finds that even after a decade of increased resources and commitments dedicated to achieving universal access to education, many—if not all—of UNESCO’s goals will not be met by 2015.

Read more »

Expanding Financial Access and Education

by Isobel Coleman
A man dressed in traditional attire speaks on a cell phone in Ludzidzini, Swaziland, August 2010 (Courtesy Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko). A man dressed in traditional attire speaks on a cell phone in Ludzidzini, Swaziland, August 2010 (Courtesy Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko).

For several decades, the exciting promise of microfinance has been to provide the world’s poorest with access to financial services. But along the way, microfinance has too often become conflated with micro-credit. This is not surprising, given that most of the first microfinance institutions (MFIs) were non-profit organizations that took grants from donors and recycled them as loans. Now, however, many MFIs have reincorporated as banks with the ability to accept savings, and the full promise of microfinance is beginning to be realized. Read more »

Puzzle PISAs: What the Latest Tests Reveal about Global Education

by Isobel Coleman
A teacher leads her students in an exercise, Jinan, China, January 2013 (Courtesy Reuters/China Daily). A teacher leads her students in an exercise, Jinan, China, January 2013 (Courtesy Reuters/China Daily).

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the results of its fifth Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study yesterday, with few surprises. Conducted every three years, the test compares the performance of 15-year-olds in reading, mathematics, and science in countries and cities around the world. Once again, Asian students dominated the top rankings, with those in Shanghai, China scoring the highest marks across the board. The United States showed little change, but its rankings have fallen as other countries have done better. This year it was even surpassed by a newcomer to the test – Vietnam.

Read more »

Conditional Cash Keeps Girls in School

by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Girls are transported to school by boat in Srinagar, Bangladesh (Courtesy Reuters/Rafiqur Rahman). Girls are transported to school by boat in Srinagar, Bangladesh (Courtesy Reuters/Rafiqur Rahman).

Keeping girls in school has become a priority for those fighting poverty around the globe, and for good reasons. Research shows that the longer a girl stays in school, the more likely she is to delay marriage and avoid early pregnancy. This means lower maternal and child mortality rates, fewer abortions, and improved child health. In addition, a 2011 World Bank study shows that investing in girls’ continued education can boost labor force participation, lifetime earnings, and GDP. Read more »

Mo Ibrahim on Africa’s Growth

by Isobel Coleman
Children listen to their teacher during a lesson at a camp for internally displaced people in Naivasha, Kenya, June 2008 (Courtesy Reuters/Antony Njuguna). Children listen to their teacher during a lesson at a camp for internally displaced people in Naivasha, Kenya, June 2008 (Courtesy Reuters/Antony Njuguna).

Earlier this week, we hosted Mo Ibrahim, the global telecom magnate and founder and chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, at the Council on Foreign Relations. Ibrahim spoke intelligently about Africa’s development and governance challenges. His insights are relevant to some of my earlier posts regarding inequality and the youth bulge in Africa.

Read more »

Africa’s Arrested Development

by Isobel Coleman
A student writes on a blackboard in a classroom outside of Lome, Togo, April 2013. (Courtesy Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi). A student writes on a blackboard in a classroom outside of Lome, Togo, April 2013. (Courtesy Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi).

Last month, I wrote about the economic and social reforms that have boosted Africa’s growth, and the challenges the region still faces going forward. This week, David Smith of The Guardian wrote on a similar theme, questioning the popular narrative of “Africa rising.” Based on survey data, Smith argues that recent optimism about the continent is misguided: although there has been economic growth, it has not helped average Africans. Indeed, in some countries – including in South Africa, the continent’s largest economy – poverty rates are increasing.

Read more »

New From CFR: John Campell on “Scoring Africa”

by Development Channel Staff
A boy takes a rest after digging for gold in Napotpot, South Sudan October 2012 (Courtesy Reuters/Adriane Ohanesian). A boy takes a rest after digging for gold in Napotpot, South Sudan October 2012 (Courtesy Reuters/Adriane Ohanesian).

In a recent blog post, John Campbell calls attention to a new infographic that compares African countries and serves as, “a great introductory tool to a host of African issues. It also provides a fascinating overview of the differences among the various African countries—and the differences within a single country.”

Read more »

What Africa Needs to Succeed

by Isobel Coleman
Students at a public school in Gudele, South Sudan, April 2013 (Courtesy Reuters/Andreea Campeanu). Students at a public school in Gudele, South Sudan, April 2013 (Courtesy Reuters/Andreea Campeanu).

In the early 2000s, Africa’s future seemed grim. The Economist’s May 13, 2000 cover declared “Africa: The Hopeless Continent.” But over a decade later, when The Economist again devoted a feature story to the continent, the message had changed entirely to “Africa Rising.” A new book by Jonathan Berman, Success in Africa: CEO Insights from a Continent on the Rise, aims to explain how this transformation happened and what the world can expect from a now-hopeful continent.

Read more »