World Bank and IMF: Africa’s Hope?

Published on 6th July 2010

I have always believed that persons like Obiageli Ezekwesili and Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, are not best advocates for Nigeria and Africa when it comes to matters of financial and economic development issues. Anyone who after serving their country at the levels these two have, should have remained in the country to contribute instead of taking up desk jobs at the World Bank. The World Bank is the biggest obstacle to development in developing countries and lame nations like Nigeria are prime targets.

That people see the experiences portrayed by Ms Ezekwesili and Okonjo-Iweala as collateral to help Nigeria emerge out of situations that by now should have been a thing of the past baffles anyone involved and or engaged in economic development.

Unless Africa/Nigeria wean themselves from the crutches of institutions such as the World Bank and strive towards developing comparable and competitive ones suited and tailored to their national interest, they will always be the 'dark ages.'

When Africa gets her business/politics of economic development in order, the World Bank will be out of business. Consequently, it is in the best interest of the World Bank that Africa remains largely underdeveloped and keep borrowing choking and strangulating loans that they will never repay.

It is a shame that Nigeria hinges her sense of survival on experience gained by persons who have marked time at UN, World Bank, IMF, and all others that have remained switch and bait entities to delay and deny development. Nations that have emerged shunned such institutions.

Well planned internal consumption managed for the benefit of a people, is the foundation for growth. The principle of Comparative Advantage says nations should seek partnership or importation or trade in any aspect they are weak or less endowed. Why export when one's own are starving? If one is hungry, does it make sense to give one's food to others/neighbor and then hope to get some later?

Export must be in excess of national need or aspects one does not want but hope to realize revenue from in order to advance other aspects necessary for additional growth. It is only prisoners who produce what they are told and paid minimum because they are working off their punishment. If that is the case, Africans are prisoners to the world. What crime did they commit?

Why borrow when one cannot pay back and get deeper in debt and strangulate the nation? World Bank and IMF are established for all nations. How come as UK and US struggle with their debts and deficits, these institutions have not stepped up to help by lending them money?

China, is an example of a successful nation that defied the institutions and did it their way. India, the world largest democracy is still begging and looking disorganized. It is about leadership and not the form of government. If a people are disorganized as Africans and Indians are, democracy is not the best for them. 

If I were President of Nigeria, I will kick out the World Bank and any foreign institution wanting to invest must invest no less than $100m and must keep the investment in the country for 10 years. Money is the sovereign right of nations and they should never borrow from anyone, but buy and invest in the technology they need. To devalue one's currency so that export is made cheap for others and get IOU for payment, is stealing from unsuspecting nations and keeping them down. No nation worth its salt should undermine its own economic and financial stand.

Africans may hold all the degrees in the world, they will never emerge until there is change of attitude and direction. India has the largest number of professionals in all fields compared to China, but India is a beggar nation. China is a Leader nation having more than $3 trillion in foreign reserves, and less than 1% of her people holding degrees.

By Ejike E Okpa II
Dallas, Texas.

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