World Bank Archives - ROAPE
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World Bank Tag

The public debate on South Africa’s ‘social grant saga’ portrays the case as a typical example of political corruption, personal incompetence and corporate greed. However, as Lena Gronbach argues, behind the headlines is an agenda developed by the World Bank in the early 2000s, which sees poverty as a problem of financial exclusion and restrictive financial markets, rather than the result of deeper structural issues and the lack of a regular and adequate income. This has been nothing short of a fundamental shift in development policy. By Lena Gronbach In 2012 South Africa’s Social Security Agency SASSA appointed Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), a private financial service provider, as the sole paymaster for the country’s extensive and rapidly expanding social grant programme. This move was designed to address concerns about payment efficiency, high levels of grant fraud, and the fragmented nature of the previous provincial grant payment system...

After the manifest failure of microcredit to address poverty in Africa and everywhere else, the international development community has hit upon a new microcredit-related idea that, it claims, will do the job this time around: ‘fin-tech’, i.e. financial technology. In this blogpost Milford Bateman argues fin-tech has the potential to gravely undermine the position of the poor and to increase inequality while, not coincidentally, vastly enriching a narrow elite. ...

Abiodun Olamosu reviews the classic 1975 book, Economic Development of Nigeria: The Socialist Alternative by Ola Oni and Bade Onimode which will soon be republished. Oni and Onimode wrote about the underdevelopment of Nigeria and how the people were made poor. They also provided a programme for the country’s development which included the disengagement from international capitalism, the introduction of democratic planning, public ownership and control of the means of production, distribution and exchange. Olamosu provides a critical introduction to the book. ...

In an interview with ROAPE’s Tunde Zack-Williams, roape.net asks about his background as a radical political economist who has written extensively on Sierra Leone. Zack focuses in the interview on the country’s recent history, it political parties, Blair’s intervention and the disasters of neoliberal reforms. The recent elections in Sierra Leone offer the poor little prospects of development or change....

In this extract from the editorial of our quarterly journal (Vol. 44, Issue 154) editor Tunde Zack-Williams discusses papers on Kenyan politics, debt and neoliberalism on the continent, gender oppression in Egypt and the collapse of Zimbabwe’s military and the intervention in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The editorial introduces the issue in the context of the Mugabe’s fall from power, Zuma removal from the presidency and the recent elections in Sierra Leone. ...

In a review of Jörg Wiegratz’s 'Neoliberal Moral Economy' based on years of research in Uganda, Yusuf Serunkuma Kajura discusses the central observation of the book that fraud (theft, short-termism, corruption, trickery etc.) has become widespread in contemporary capitalist societies. Wiegratz argues that the impact of the World Bank and IMF enforced structural adjustment programmes (SAPs), to a system of cooperation and trust in society has fundamentally altered Africa's moral economy....

Supported by major international donors, the Rwandan government has lofty ambitions to modernise the agrarian and land sector. These reforms are part of a broader call to implement a Green Revolution across Africa. The authors of this blogpost insist on a more nuanced, in-depth and multi-faceted approach in order to understand the distance between centrally-planned policies and the realities of rural livelihoods....