Monday News And Notes

Nigeria May Be A Sign Of A Positive Future For Africa
Jim O’Neill of Bloomberg News points to Nigeria as an example of one of the African nations making economic strides in the last decade and a possible sign of where the continent is moving. But, he says, an economic comeback cannot be assumed. In addition to demographics, he says better governance will determine whether Africa can achieve economic success.

“These things, vital as they may be, need the backing of better governance. Here’s a modest suggestion for African ministers, officials and heads of business: Turn up to meetings on time. That kind of thing isn’t hard and makes a good impression.

Next, find ways to make economic policy institutions more independent, transparent and honest. This goes double for central banks. Make it a priority to promote trade with neighboring countries and with the rest of the region, rather than letting old animosities hold this back. International trade is one of the best ways to succeed, and the continent can easily make big wins here. And finally — maybe most important of all — promote better basic education,” O’Neill advises.

China’s Growing Interest In The Arctic Region
The Arctic circle is awash in resources from oil and gas, to fish and minerals, all of which are alluring to China. Currently, China is in talks with Denmark about a copper mine in Greenland and is partner with Iceland in an oil exploration project.

As Elizabeth Economy of The Diplomat notes, they also are interested in the Arctic as a viable trade route. In addition to the particular projects, China views the Arctic as “part of its broader global diplomacy and desire to engage in a wide range of regional organizations to advance its strategic and trade interests” and to gain “a seat at the table.”

The West, Economy counsels, should not simply sit by, but they should be prepared for China’s efforts to gain a stronger hand in the region.

“As the United States assumes the two-year chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015, it needs to begin its tenure prepared with its own strategy for the region; and at least in part, this means determining what matters and what doesn’t in terms of Chinese engagement in the Arctic.

“First, the United States should work to ensure that the observer states, such as China, do not politicize the Arctic Council: allowing China to become the spokesperson for most of the rest of the world that does not have a direct stake in the Arctic, for example, would be a mistake. Reinforcing the position of observer status as necessarily recognizing the Arctic states’ sovereignty and jurisdiction in the Arctic, as well as the law of the sea, is a good place to start. China has already refused to recognize the jurisdiction of a United Nations tribunal on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in a dispute with the Philippines in the South China Sea,” she suggests.

How To Harness The Energy Of The World’s Youth
Nicole Goldin of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) offers ways to harness the energy and ideas of the world’s youth to achieve positive change. The article is part of a larger project studying the state of global youth. The first report of the Global Youth Wellbeing Index can be viewed HERE.

Syrian Spillover Causing More Problems For Lebanon
Christian Science Monitor correspondent reports about Lebanon’s struggle to cope with the spillover from Syria’s civil war.

Upcoming Event: Brookings Webcast Previews Indian Election
To watch a panel at the Brookings Institution offer a preview of the coming elections in India, please click here.

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