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Robert B. Zoellick: Sovereign Wealth Funds Should Invest in Africa

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WASHINGTON, DC [HIGH-RES]
April 2, 2008 - "A Challenge of Economic Statecraft" , by Robert B. Zoellick, President of the World Bank Group at the Center for Global Development.

"As financial markets have tumbled, food prices have soared.  Since 2005, the prices of staples have jumped 80 percent.  Last month, the real price of rice hit a 19-year high; the real price of wheat rose to a 28-year high and almost twice the average price of the last 25 years.

The good news for some farmers adds a crushing load to the most vulnerable – children, as young as four or five, forced to flee the safety of their rural communities to fight for food in teeming cities; food riots threatening societal breakdown; mothers deprived of nutrition for healthy babies.  The World Bank Group estimates that 33 countries around the world face potential social unrest because of the acute hike in food and energy prices.  For these countries, where food comprises from half to three quarters of consumption, there is no margin for survival."
-- Robert B. Zoellick


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© Simone D. McCourtie/World Bank

WASHINGTON, DC [HIGH-RES]
April 2, 2008 - "We can help create a “Green Revolution” for sub-Saharan Africa by assisting countries to boost productivity throughout the agricultural value chain and help small-holder farmers to break the cycle of poverty.  We will almost double our own lending for agriculture in Africa, from $450 million to $800 million, and can help countries and farmers manage systemic risks, including through financial innovations to counter weather variability, such as drought.  We can offer access to technology and science to boost yields." -- Zoellick

World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick and the founding President of the Center for Global Development Nancy Birdsall
Photo: © Simone D. McCourtie/World Bank

WASHINGTON, DC [HIGH-RES]
April 2, 2008  - "The poor need lower food prices now.  But the world’s agricultural trading system is stuck in the past.  If ever there is a time to cut distorting agricultural subsidies and open markets for food imports, it must be now.  If not now, when?" -- Zoellick

World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick and the founding President of the Center for Global Development Nancy Birdsall
Photo: © Simone D. McCourtie/World Bank

WASHINGTON, DC [HIGH-RES]
April 2, 2008 - "This moment of decision is not only for the Doha Round; it is for trade itself.  Powerful voices across the political spectrum, including in my own country, are calling for, and rationalizing, protectionism.  This economic isolationism signals a defeatism that will reap the losses, not the gains, of globalization." -- Zoellick

World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick and the founding President of the Center for Global Development Nancy Birdsall
Photo: © Simone D. McCourtie/World Bank

WASHINGTON, DC [HIGH-RES]
April 2, 2008 - "By broadening the beneficiaries of resource development, we can advance inclusive and sustainable globalization. Anti-corruption and transparency will strengthen citizens' confidence in their governments; respect for the environment will add to sustainable growth and effective access to mineral and energy resources will strengthen the sustainability of globalization's benefits for other economies." -- Zoellick

John Sewell senior scholar of the Wilson Center asks a question.
Photo: © Simone D. McCourtie/World Bank

WASHINGTON, DC [HIGH-RES]
April 2, 2008 - "Anti-corruption and transparency will strengthen citizens’ confidence in their governments as fiduciaries for a commonweal.  Respect for the environment will add to sustainable growth.  And effective access to these mineral and energy resources, across cycles, will strengthen the sustainability of globalization’s benefits for others." -- Zoellick

World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick and the founding President of the Center for Global Development Nancy Birdsall
Photo: © Simone D. McCourtie/World Bank




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