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October 30, 2004



Hmm my own opinion is that while corruption and misgoverance a certainly a drag, I would put the largest blame on the civil strife and countless wars that infest Africa. Asia also has deep corruption affecting it, yet it has still managed to do quite well.


For several years, I've advocated a whole sale SUSPENSION of African debt in, say, five year increments. The Africans countries have to use the money they were paying in debt servicing on schools, health care or related criteria. Those that do so (demonstrably) would have 1/3 of the (original) debt cancelled every five years. Those that don't would have to start paying again.

It would demand a certain accountability from governments and perhaps that expectation would filter down into the populaces.

Abiola Lapite

Not a half-bad idea, I'll admit. The problem though, as always, is whether the donors and the Western activists who plead the cause of the poor would have the discipline to hold irresponsible governments to account at the end of the period in question, or allow them to hold their own people to ransom in order to obtain yet more debt relief. From what I know of previous debt-forgiveness arrangements, that is unlikely to be the case, and all these rotten governments know they're dealing with soft-touches.


this of course asssumes that the western donors really want these countries to get themselves in shape. they are not interested in any such outcome. please stop kidding urselves.
internal corruption has an effect in as far as it leads to inefficient allocation of resources but this effect is negligible compared to the effect of outward leakage of capital of any kind.
someone explain to me how it is someone was able to steal 2billion dollars from the nigerian treasury without being noticed in the west. the more important question is, why would britain be opposed to some guy stealing 2bill from his national treasury and bringing the money there?

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