Hidden foreign aid to an incompetent and dishonest government is set to rob Mozambique of its gas treasure as no one can explain what happened to billions of dollars the country borrowed for a series of price-inflated, murky projects. The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) reports.
This Economist piece doesn’t mince words: foreign aid, it says, “is a mess in almost every way”. Hard-won transparency in aid over the past decade has actually revealed “just how badly things are going”.
Nigeria doesn’t need bailouts; it needs to change its governance. Lawrence Solomon reports for the National Post.
Former IMF chief economist Kenneth Rogoff says “far too little attention has been devoted to understanding why multilateral development lending has so often failed”. In his experience, MDBs are most valuable as “knowledge” banks — sharing soft development infrastructure such as experience and best practices rather than financial muscle. The latter, he says, has led to their “greatest failures”.
(April 25, 2014) Lake Turkana, the world’s largest desert lake, has held water for at least five million years and is also known as the cradle of mankind for its abundance of hominid fossils, but may now suffer the same dry fate as the Aral Sea in central Asia thanks to hydro-electric development that ties neighbours Ethiopia and Kenya together. Writer Ben Rawlence looks here at how regional power plays can work against accountability and how the complexity of large projects and the many actors involved with them militates against holding anyone to account.
(January 24, 2014) USAID may join forces with Chinese state companies to build a controversial and uneconomic dam in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
(January 17, 2014) Haiti’s post-earthquake disaster housing projects are either empty and looted, or taken over by squatters and people unaffected by the 2010 earthquake. Why? “There is a void…there is no authority there.”
(November 5, 2013) A Zimbabwe-based newspaper says greater accountability and transparency will help the country’s struggling economy, not foreign aid.
(September 24, 2013) SNC-Lavalin may have to pull out from a consortium bidding on a contract to construct a massive dam project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
(September 7, 2013) Bangladesh plans to have a anti-corruption official attend the Canadian pre-trial for two former SNC-Lavalin employees charged with corruption in relation to a $1.2-billion Bangladeshi bridge project. Canadian evidence needed to close Bangladesh case.
(July 30, 2013) Lawmakers in the UK say the country is handing out billions of dollars in foreign aid without knowing how it is spent.
(July 19, 2013) The World Bank is once again getting back into the risky business of building large-scale dams.
(July 17, 2013) Tomás Garcia, a leader of the indigenous Lenca community in Honduras, was fatally shot on Monday, and his son Alan seriously injured, when members of the Honduran Army began firing indiscriminately at a demonstration protesting the construction of the 22-megawatt Agua Zarca Dam already underway on the Gualcaeque River in the country’s southwest. International Rivers reports.
(October 1, 2012) This article on the crisis facing Pygmy tribes in the Congolese rainforest by anthropologist Geoffrey Clarfield underscores the crucial relationship between property rights and human rights. For the last decade, competing militias have terrorized the Pygmies of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, while in the Central African Republic (CAR) they face losing much of their traditional hunting areas to logging. The government, the World Bank, the EU, the Chinese and most of the large development organizations believe that the CAR can only “develop” its economy by cutting down its rainforest and selling the timber. Without recognized property rights, Pygmies are being forced from their forest homes, dispossessed of the lands they have stewarded and lived in for 40,000 years.
(July 15, 2011) Since the days of President Anwar Sadat through January of this year, Egypt has relied heavily on Western sources for assistance as well as for loans and credits.