New Partnership for Africa's Development

Chair: Robert Hepburn
Assistant Director: TBD
Staff: TBD

Committee Topics:

Topic A: Foreign Investment

Over the last decade Africa has began to rapidly develop, and will continue to do so for

decades to come. This development, however, does not come free. During the Cold

War many African leaders were divided into camps between the Soviets and the

Americans; the smartest ones were able to play both sides. These leaders received

money and security from their super power ally, and were often overthrown if they

disobeyed. Today the camps are quite different. Since the fall of the Soviet Union and

the end of containment, foreign investment in the region has fallen drastically. Even

still, many burgeoning economies have managed to quickly modernize through money

principally from rare earths, oil, timber, precious stones, and other natural resources.

Money from the United States and Europe never stopped, but it was never enough to

truly change anything. Today though there is a new source of money. In an effort to

gain global influence and as an extension of the one belt one road initiative, the Chinese

have been pouring money into the region. This money, however, comes with many

strings attached. They deal exclusively in the form of loans, and typically require all

work to be done by chinese companies— often state run. Their activity is done very

purposefully and unabashedly to leave Africa as an indebted puppet. This leaves

African leaders in a tight bind, accepting the money comes with many strings attached;

yet, as the West turns inward, a continent is left wondering if China is the future. Should they wait for the West? Should they turn to the Chinese? Should they risk falling behind the rest of the continent?

 

Topic B: Brain Drain

In the modern-era Africa has seldom been the home of innovation and massive wealth.

This leaves nationals with a tough choice: leave for the developed world and the

opportunities that come with it; or stay in Africa, where opportunities are, at best, limited.

In the United States, a typical rural hospital will have 8 to 10 neonatologists, as of 2014

the entire country of Ethiopia had 7. Though far greater than in the past, opportunities

to attend university are rare for many Africans; even where it is available, often not of the same quality as Western universities. College is expensive, and for countries where providing basic infrastructure or public health is a challenge, it is difficult to make higher education a priority. It’s a catch-22. How can brain drain be combatted, and what can NEPAD do to help its member-states improve their universities?

 

 

Email: 

rhepburn@udel.edu