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"Patriots" on Broadway: The story of Putin's rise to power
"Patriots" on Broadway: The story of Putin's rise to power | GZERO Reports

"Patriots" on Broadway: The story of Putin's rise to power

Putin was my mistake. Getting rid of him is my responsibility.”

It’s clear by the time the character Boris Berezovsky utters that chilling line in the new Broadway play “Patriots” that any attempt to stop Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rise would be futile, perhaps even fatal.

The show, which opened for a limited run in New York on April 22, stars Tony and Emmy-nominated actor Michael Stuhlbarg as Berezovsky, a larger-than-life oligarch whose billions buy him into the highest ranks of Russian power after the fall of the Soviet Union. When asked by President Boris Yeltsin to find a successor to lead the fledgling nation, Berezovsky taps Putin, a former KGB agent and ex-mayor of St. Petersburg who few knew well.

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Why the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals are not on track to be financed soon
Why the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals are not on track to be financed soon | Global Stage

Why the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals are not on track to be financed soon

The world faces a sustainable development crisis, and while most countries have strategies in place, they don’t have the cash to back them up. How far off track are we with the financing needed to support the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, ranging from quality education and health care to climate action and clean water?

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Are markets becoming immune to disruptive geopolitics?
Geopolitics & the economy | Global Stage

Are markets becoming immune to disruptive geopolitics?

There’s no escaping the intricate link between economics and geopolitics. Today, that link has become a crucial factor in investment decision-making, and who better to speak to that than Margaret Franklin, CEO of CFA Institute, a global organization of investment professionals? Franklin sat down with GZERO’s Tony Maciulis at a Global Stage event for the IMF-World Bank spring meetings this week.

Economists once predicted that sovereign debt would overwhelm global markets. But now, having been through the pandemic, the advent of AI, and wars in the Middle East and Ukraine, “there's almost a level of immunity,” she says, “to the dramatic nature of it until something really cataclysmic happens.”

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Why Africa's power partnership with the World Bank should attract investors
De-risking a plan to bring 300 million people electricity in Africa | Global Stage

Why Africa's power partnership with the World Bank should attract investors

There’s a word frequently used at global convenings like the World Bank Group’s Spring Meetings held this week in Washington, D.C.—multistakeholder. It refers to an approach to problem solving that involves input from a wide range of players—governments, civil society, private sector corporations and investors.

It will take a multistakeholder approach to bring an ambitious new project announced Wednesday to fruition, an initiative to provide electricity to 300 million people in Africa by 2030.

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How to tackle global challenges: The IMF & World Bank blueprint
How to tackle global challenges: The IMF & World Bank blueprint | Global Stage

How to tackle global challenges: The IMF & World Bank blueprint

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank’s Spring Meetings in Washington have told a tale of two economies: In the developed world, inflation is falling, and recession looks unlikely. But many of the world’s poorest countries are struggling under tremendous debt burdens inflated by rising interest rates that threaten to undo decades of development progress. That means these key lenders of last resort have their work cut out for them.

The good news? There’s a proven model, as GZERO Senior Writer Matthew Kendrick discussed with Tony Maciulis at a Global Stage event while reporting on the meetings. Somalia, once the byword for a failed state, managed to implement massive reforms to its financial system to meet the guidelines of the IMF’s Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative.

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World Bank announces plan to bring power to 300 million in Africa
World Bank announces plan to bring power to 300 million in Africa | Global Stage

World Bank announces plan to bring power to 300 million in Africa

World Bank Group is bringing power to the people. Literally.

This week, during the bank’s annual Spring Meetings, the group announced a major new initiative to provide electricity to 300 million Africans by 2030. It is estimated that nearly 800 million people globally lack access to power, and the vast majority of them, 600 million, live on the African continent.

GZERO’s Tony Maciulis met with the World Bank’s Director of Infrastructure for West Africa Franz Drees-Gross, to discuss the project's details.

Over the next six years, the World Bank aims to connect 250 million people using $30 billion of public sector funding largely drawn from its International Development Association. The development finance institution provides low-interest loans and grants to the poorest countries. The group has also partnered with the African Development Bank, which has committed to supporting an additional 50 million people.

The connectivity will come from a combination of sources, some existing and some to be created by the project.

“It turns out that the most cost-effective way to connect those 250 million people is to connect about half of them using off-grid solutions,” Drees-Gross said. “So that means solar home systems, it means mini-grids that aren't connected to the larger national grid, and the other half of that goal will have to be connected by grid extensions and grid densifications.”

The ambitious plan comes with challenges including fortifying and modernizing existing utility companies to be able to consistently provide power and collect customer payments.

“The problem in many Sub-Saharan African countries is that utilities aren't recovering their costs,” Drees-Gross said. “They lose 30, 40, sometimes 50% of electricity due to commercial and technical losses. Since they only invoice a fraction of what they buy from the generators and then fail to collect that entire amount, that leads to a deficit.”

That inconsistent business has made the utilities less attractive to private-sector investors. World Bank hopes its support in stabilizing the power industry in the region will be an opportunity that will bring in private investment, ultimately powering the growth of more economies in Africa.

For more of our 2024 IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings coverage, visit Glogal Stage.

Half the world can’t access healthcare. How can the World Bank help?
Half the world can’t access healthcare. How can the World Bank help? | Global Stage

Half the world can’t access healthcare. How can the World Bank help?

Globally, a shocking 4.5 billion people — more than half the world’s population — lack access to essential healthcare and another 2 billion have to make tough financial choices to find care. That means for the majority of people on earth when a child is sick, families can’t get medicine; when a mother gives birth, the delivery is unsafe; when people develop chronic conditions, they go untreated.

Billions of individual tragedies come together to hold back development in some of the world's most fragile countries, and that’s where the World Bank has a role to play. Monique Vledder runs the Global Health Practice at the World Bank, and she sat down with GZERO’s Tony Maciulis at a Global Stage event for the institution’s annual Spring Meetings.GZERO’s Tony Maciulis met with the World Bank’s Director of Infrastructure for West Africa Franz Drees-Gross, to discuss the project's details.

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World Bank economist: The poorest are getting poorer globally
World Bank economist: The poorest are getting poorer globally | Global Stage

World Bank economist: The poorest are getting poorer globally

It’s a staggering statistic and a marked setback from the years before the COVID-19 pandemic—the world’s poorest countries are falling further behind, and the wealth gap between the least and most developed nations is growing. One in three of these countries is poorer today than in 2019.

Ayhan Kose, World Bank Group’s Deputy Chief Economist, said that the combined shocks of multiple crises, including the pandemic, wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, food insecurity, and inflation, have taken a massive toll on the 75 least developed economies.

Kose spoke to GZERO’s Tony Maciulis as the annual Spring Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund were underway this week in Washington, DC.

“When the food price goes up, the price of oil goes up. That has significant implications for these economies,” he told GZERO. “Where we are now, when you look at 2020-24, they registered the weakest growth rate on average since the 1990s.”

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