Tag Archives: World Bank

Global poverty is worse than you think

A few weeks ago the World Bank changed the international poverty line from $1.25 to $1.90 (R27) a day. Normally, changes to the poverty line slide by without attracting much attention, but for some reason this time people got excited. At first glance, it looks as if the bank has finally admitted that the old…

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The new shock doctrine: ‘Doing Business’ with the World Bank

One of the problems with neoliberal economic policy is that it’s tough to get countries to agree to it; especially democratic ones. It has often required quite extreme measures, such as invasion — the classic example being the US-backed coup against Chile’s democratically elected president — or debt bondage and structural adjustment led by the…

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Greece, an African tragedy

When the troika (the IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission) rode into town, the Greeks didn’t have to look far too to see what impact the troika’s policies would have on them. Just across the Mediterranean lay an entire continent littered with examples of failed IMF policies. Greece has, in essence, become another African…

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The truth about extreme global inequality

The crisis of capital, the rise of the Occupy movement and the crash of Southern Europe have brought the problem of income inequality into mainstream consciousness in the West for the first time in many decades. Now everyone is talking about how the richest 1% have captured such a disproportionate share of wealth in their…

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Will Banda’s international ‘success’ be her downfall?

Malawi’s president, Joyce Banda, has been somewhat of a revelation ever since she assumed office in April 2012 following the death of then president, Bingu wa Mutharika. At the time, Malawi was facing all manner of problems — food, fuel and forex shortages — symbolised by long queues at shops and at service stations. Add…

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The World Bank’s ‘development’ delusion

When Jim Yong Kim took the helm of the World Bank in July, progressives in the development community hailed it as a turning point in the fight against poverty: for once the bank is headed not by a US military boss or a Wall Street executive, but by an actual expert in the field of…

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Africa on track for millennium goals

The African continent’s progress in achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 has gathered pace and credibility over the past few years. Africa continues to make incremental progress on the majority of the eight development goals aimed at improving social and economic conditions in the world’s poorest countries, which all 193 UN member…

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The advent of “democracy” in Egypt

Egypt’s presidential elections this month have been accompanied by the expected media fanfare in Europe and the United States. News outlets are awash with pictures of ink-stained fingers, photographs of people standing in snaking queues to vote through the heat of the day, and headlines hailing the elections as a historic “victory for democracy”. If these representations…

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The battle for the heart and soul of a new world order

The naïve amongst us really believed that Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala stood a fighting chance at landing the World Bank presidency. The realists and the cynics knew that the whole thing was but a mere charade. As things eventually turned out, the decision had already been made. If anything, the formality of going through the election process…

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A Zambian’s response to “You Lazy (Intellectual) African Scum!”

By Jacqueline Muna Musiitwa I read the “transcript” of your conversation with my compatriot with much intrigue. Your view of the “third world” is not only dated in nomenclature, it is also dated in reality. When was the last time you were in Zambia? The Zambia of the 1980s is not the Zambia of 2012!…

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