Category: Odious Debts

Omar Bongo, the last of Africa’s “Big Men”, dies at the age of 73

(June 9, 2009) Gabon’s President Omar Bongo – the world’s longest-serving president – died today in a hospital in Barcelona, Spain. Mr. Bongo leaves behind a political legacy marred by corruption and patronage – marking a throwback to an era when Africa was ruled by “Big Men.”

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Multinational corporations: The new colonisers in Africa

(June 6, 2009) Before the end of the first period of colonialism African nations were properties of their colonial masters who did what they could to rape the continent of whatever resource they deemed good for the development of their citizens in Europe. Out of nowhere and without any consultation with the people of the African continent, the Europeans met and divided the continent amongst themselves in what has been termed ‘The Scramble for Africa’.

Where has all the money gone?

(June 2, 2009) A recent article by Lord Aikins Adusei in the Zimbabwe Observer asks some pointed questions of the international aid agencies and developed banks. After nearly 50 years and billions of dollars in loans and grants, he says, Africa remains a poverty-striken continent, rife with corruption and political instability.

Ending Ghana’s odious debts

(May 21, 2009) Political activist and anti-corruption campaigner, Lord Aikins Adusei, is calling on Ghana’s new government to put politics aside and start initiating economic and development programs. His remarks come after the country elected a new president, John Atta Mills, in a tightly contested vote last December.

Odious debts on YouTube

(May 20, 2009) Odious debt-like challenges have been happening under our very noses – we just haven’t been looking for them. That, says Probe International’s Executive Director Partricia Adams, is the underlying theme of a 2007 paper by Professor Robert Howse of the University of Michigan Law School.

The False Promise of Gleneagles: Misguided Priorities at the Heart of the New Push for African Development

(April 24, 2009) The Gleneagles Summit, for all its good intentions, gave rise to unrealistic expectations. The heavy emphasis on aid and debt relief made Western actions appear to be chiefly responsible for poverty alleviation in Africa. In reality, the main obstacles to economic growth in Africa rest with Africa’s policies and institutions, such as onerous business regulations and weak protection of property rights.

World Bank lending programme suffers from “material weaknesses” in responding to fraud and corruption

(April 23, 2009) A report on the internal controls of the World Bank’s US $40 billion International Development Association (IDA) has found the current procedures for identifying and preventing fraudulent or corrupt use of aid money to be woefully inadequate. The report is the first of its kind to be done by any international development finance institution.