Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Africa and aid groups: Give us money! Corruption no big deal.

Africa: Poor Wolfowitz, you would think a drive to weed out corruption so that money lent by the world bank would actually go to helping people would be a good thing. But not with many African nations and aid groups. You can't be too harsh about it.

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, backed by the United States, has put the fight against graft at the heart of the bank's work, but big European countries are concerned that his zeal could slow the flow of lending and punish the poor. After lengthy haggling behind the scenes, ministers approved a revised plan and said their representatives on the bank's board would oversee its implementation. In a communique, they also told Wolfowitz to make a progress report next April. The deal follows months of tension between Wolfowitz and member governments over how best to position the bank to tackle corruption -- without imposing itself as judge and jury. The issue of corruption has been a lightning rod for broader dissatisfaction with Wolfowitz, who pledged to cooperate with his board to implement a plan that he called a major step forward. "We want to work to develop transparent, predictable, objective standards so people know what to expect. We want to get the proportions right," he told a news conference. His comments were a riposte to critics who have complained at what they see as the arbitrary way in which the bank suspended loans to Kenya, Bangladesh, India, Cameroon and others. Wolfowitz said corruption raised complex issues but he made no apologies for his campaign. "It is of fundamental importance. It is about making certain that money goes to schools and textbooks for children, medicines for mothers and creating job opportunities for the poor -- not to line the pockets of the rich and powerful," he said. Hilary Benn, Britain's development secretary, who had been critical of Wolfowitz's handling of the corruption campaign, said he was pleased with Monday's outcome. "It's clear that the board oversees its development," he said of the strategy. Benn told reporters that he yielded to no one in his opposition to corruption, but it was important to ensure a continuing flow of aid to alleviate poverty. The bank should not dictate solutions. "None of us should walk away from assisting poor people, even where the situations are difficult," Benn earlier told the bank's main policy-steering committee.
This is why Africa will continue to be a money pit which nothing will get solved because guilty white European liberals for example here refuse to put measures in place to fix anything wrong in Africa. No one has the guts to work the Africa problem where it needs to start which is inside out. Oh, if they can't get the money from the West, African nations are going to pawn themselves off to China.
AFRICAN countries that have had their debts to the West forgiven have been cautioned against taking up large new loans and becoming heavily indebted once more. Henry Paulson, the US Treasury Secretary, yesterday joined Paul Wolfowitz, the President of the World Bank, and Hilary Benn, Britain’s International Development Secretary, to voice concern over further borrowing by poor countries that have benefited from debt relief. Many African countries are turning to China for loans and financial support at a time when Beijing is anxious to strengthen its influence in resource-rich African states.
Good going Bono! You cleared the slate of loan addicted nations to find their fix somewhere else.

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