Poor process, poor legitimacy II – Mo Ibrahim speaks out

African telecoms billionaire and sponsor of prizes for good governance, Mo Ibrahim made – rather succinctly – some key arguments about why a flawed process is not in the interest of the Bank or even the US. Here’s what he had to say

“The world is changing. For more than a decade now, since the Asian financial crisis, developing nations and emerging powers have sought to reflect the evolution of the global economy and geo-strategic concerns in the structure and leadership of international institutions.”

“It is an anachronism for the leadership of the World Bank, and its sister institution the International Monetary Fund, to remain the sole preserve of established powers. However, established powers seem determined to cling on desperately to these last bastions of twentieth century geopolitics.”

“For the first time, this year, there are two credible candidates from the developing world [he was writing before Ocampo withdrew]. Many of my US and European friends, people who are outspoken on issues of development, governance and democracy, are conspicuously silent now. Some of my American friends cite the US election as a reason not to rock the boat. Others feel embarrassed about appearing disloyal. But these are not credible justifications.”

“While citizens across the world fight against cronyism, electoral malpractice and bad governance, we must ensure that our global public institutions set the right example. No-one can lecture developing countries on how to manage their processes, public and private sector, if they so brazenly do not conform to the same standards.”

“Moreover, if this election process is not an open contest, it undermines the principle of fair competition that the US and the World Bank have traditionally exported to the rest of the world.”


4 thoughts on “Poor process, poor legitimacy II – Mo Ibrahim speaks out

  1. I think the issue here is political weight, shareholders, and voting system. Is time for africa to sit up and have a sense of direction. I believe the africa continent can exist without any form of interference from the world bank. Africa can achieve it, if they agree. The change can be effected trully in the africa continent.

  2. Why must developing nations be made to subscribe to World Bank and IMF?

    I am no fan of Mo Ibrahim because I feel his prize for governance is a form of bribe. Governance governance must be by inducement but rather a sense of service to enhance conditions for a people. His approach does not cut it.

    Africa leadership should not have to buy into WB or IMF, institutions set up before most African nations became independent and since so called independence, African nations have become overly dependent seeking policies crafted and imposed on them, just like during colonial rule. WB prescription is an indirect form of colonialization, and that sucks in the 21st century. In US, 95% of the population have no clue what WB does. Some even ask, can they make a deposit there or cash a check? But in developing countries, majority of people know about WB and often see the institution as the path to their development. I disagree.

    WB should be retired or made irrelevant, and if 54 African countries can get their act together, WB will have no business been in business.

    As UK and US are in dire strait because of structural challenges and issues in their individual economy, it’s most unlikely IMF/WB president will ever appear before US Congress or UK parliament to tell them what to do. As Greece, Spain and Portugal teeter and tether, WB has not showed up instead EU is grappling with their situation. What a fallacy.

    For instance, why must solutions for Nigeria be developed and decided in Washington DC or London? What was it that Africans missed attending the same colleges and or universities the persons that dictate to them attended?

    It is about time Africa called the west bluff. But they must be serious addressing the conditions they have created that keep shackling them, Africa a continent dependent of foreign suggested solutions.

    This is 21st century, and I have no idea why WB should exist. Nations ought to seek bilateral agreements on mutual development interests and not be pushed into an institution whose creation was checkered but one in order to justify its existence, do so by trial and error practices. I do not want my neighbor trying me how to live my life. If that is the case, them why should a nation expect an institution outside of her to dictate its agenda.

  3. Oh yes, in a world characterized by might is power or mine only and can’t care for what others feel. The world has changed and is indeed changing. America may have its way but the legitimacy of their nominee will be dented for all of his tenure if merit is sacrificed for expediency. Need I say more?

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