Category: Africa

Chapter 11 – The business of the state

(March 19, 2009) Few know with confidence how the universe came into being but if God had said `let there be light’ while in Colombia, He would not have had enough money left for the rest of creation. Because the truth is that in a country where there are projects which have cost a lot, few have cost as much as the expansion of the electric sector during the last ten years.

Chapter 9 – Givers and takers

(March 18, 2009) Most taxpayers in the rich industrialized countries believe, as the Pearson Commission inquiry into foreign aid believed, that "it is only right for those who have to share with those who have not." Much of the Western World’s sharing, though, has been in the form of loans, not gifts. The Third World has borrowed about one-third of the $400 billion in foreign aid that it has received from the rich countries’ national aid agencies.

Liberia comes clean-er

(August 7, 2008) Liberia has risen from the bottom ranks of the World Bank’s most corrupt country list to earn the distinction of graft’s most zero-tolerant post-conflict nation, reports Africa’s opinion journal, The Analyst. A recent report by the Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators Institute (WGI) indicates that at the current rate, Liberia has shown the largest improvement of any country in the world in controlling corruption.

Alexander Sack and Odious Debts: A Response to Ludington and Gulati

(April 15, 2008) In their paper’s abstract, Gulati and Ludington set out to expose the “murky reality” of the life of Alexander Nahum Sack, and how this reality conflicts with the “myth perpetuated in the odious debts literature.” The dominant theme, though insinuated rather than stated clearly, is that the odious debts movement has deliberately exaggerated Sack’s eminence in order to establish the doctrine as customary international law. The authors also make few distinctions among the various organizations in the debt forgiveness movement. I would recommend that the authors stick to the facts rather than assign motives, and be precise in their charges rather than employing broad brushes.