USGLC in the News
For U.S. jobs, it pays to look overseas (Nina Easton, Fortune)
Our best future growth prospects are overseas — and I say this as an agriculture company based in the Midwest.” So says Chris Policinski, president and CEO of Land O’Lakes, a name that conjures up Norman Rockwell images of milk cows and butter churns, not village markets in Malawi (which is what he has in mind). Policinski’s declaration, made at a recent meeting of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, echoes what we are hearing from growing numbers of American CEOs these days — and goes to the heart of a truism that has largely escaped the attention of Washington’s myopic political leadership: U.S. companies are giving up on the American consumer as a catalyst for growth, preferring instead to bet on emerging markets overseas.
Bread for the World and Link TV Documentary Highlights Innovative Programs that Alleviate Global Hunger (SunHerald Business Wire)
Bread for the World has partnered with independent nonprofit broadcaster Link TV to produce a new television documentary special called “ViewChange: Challenging Hunger,” featuring stories that illustrate the importance and success of hunger programs supported by U.S. foreign aid assistance. The program premiers online today at www.bread.org and www.ViewChange.org. “The percentage of our annual budget that supports foreign assistance is so small, but it is necessary and effective to help to solve the problem of global hunger,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “Supporting innovations and effective solutions to chronic hunger is not just a matter of moral imperative, but it’s a matter of national security. During a time of economic downturn around the world, the world’s most vulnerable people need this support the most.”
Africa’s New Middle Class Lures Investment (Witney Schneidman, Bloomberg)
During the past 10 years, six of the world’s fastest-growing economies have been in sub- Saharan Africa, according to the Economist magazine. Over the next five years, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia may grow at an average of 7.2 percent annually, the Economist says. Over this period, the average African economy will outpace its counterpart in Asia. Africa has become an important emerging market and, compared with other regions, it has a relatively high rate of return on investments. In many countries, political reform has accompanied economic growth, allowing local entrepreneurs to thrive. By 2030, Africa’s new middle class — more than 300 million strong, — will spend $2.2 trillion a year, which amounts to about 3 percent of worldwide consumption, according to the African Development Bank.
Can Kerry save the State Department on the “supercommittee”? (Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy)
Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry (D-MA) will be on the “supercommittee” that’s charged with slashing government spending, but will he use that power to rescue the State Department from its looming budget nightmare? Kerry has taken the lead in the Senate to defend the State Department budget. His authorization bill, released last month, largely supports the administration’s budget request. It stands at odds with the authorization bill put forth by House Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and the appropriations bill put forth by Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), which would both slash State and USAID programs.
How a Faltering Dollar Starves Food Aid (Laurie Garrett, Council on Foreign Relations)
The devastating drought and spreading famine in the Horn of Africa exposes the increasing difficulties faced by the foreign aid community worldwide. CFR Senior Fellow for Global Health Laurie Garrett says the declining dollar means most donor pledges are worth less than they used to be. Additionally, there are fewer donors, as European and other countries deal with their own struggling economies. Garrett calls the current situation – with the troubled dollar, the beleaguered global economy, and a diminishing number of donors at time of rising food prices – a “perfect storm.” She says even if the dollar had not gone down in value, the rising cost of food means less can be bought today with the same money. “We literally can feed fewer people in the Horn of Africa in this massive famine, which could well break records in its scale, than we could even a few months ago, much less [a few] years ago,” she says.