Two recent African events illustrate how much the landscape for development finance has changed — and what role the World Bank will play in the future.
In May, the bank’s president, Jim Yong Kim, pledged $1 billion to help bring peace to the Great Lakes region. Mr. Kim’s pledge was made in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, on a trip in the company of the U.N. secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, that also took in neighboring Rwanda and Uganda. Earmarked for financing health and education services, hydroelectric projects and cross-border trade, the loan is intended as an incentive to end Congo’s violence, despite the country’s endemically poor governance: The D.R.C.… Seguir leyendo »
The first years of this century have produced Africa’s best decade of economic expansion since the end of the colonial era, with many countries showing growth rates of 5 percent or more since the year 2000. Prospects are good that growth will remain at this level for the next few years.
This surge in growth was due in part to increased commodity prices fueled by Chinese demand. It also reflects improved systems of African governance, underpinned by the spread of democracy continent-wide.
Translating growth into development — and jobs — requires other steps. For one, African countries will have to diversify their dependence on exporting raw materials, which is good for state treasuries but does little for local jobs.… Seguir leyendo »
After years of rightly criticizing President Robert Mugabe’s authoritarian rule in Zimbabwe, Western countries now face a different, and difficult, set of decisions.
Since February, Zimbabwe has operated under a unity government led by Mr. Mugabe with the opposition’s leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, as prime minister. Had last year’s elections been free and fair, Mr. Tsvangirai would have been elected president, but instead of continuing to contest the results he eventually agreed to serve as prime minister. The transition has not been smooth; cabinet posts have been divided up awkwardly, while many people inside and outside the country have criticized Mr. Tsvangirai for seemingly being co-opted by Mr.… Seguir leyendo »