It looks like another tough battle is in store for one more foreign utility owner fighting back against Bolivian nationalisation.
Red Eléctrica, the Spanish power grid operator, is to seek arbitration at ICSID, the World Bank’s investment dispute settlement agency, after Bolivian troops marched in to take over Transportadora de Electricidad, which handles about three quarters of electricity transmission in the Andrean country, in May last year. Continue reading »
When it comes to loans, Africa has a clear preference: lots from China, a little less from the World Bank please.
According to data compiled by rating agency Fitch, loans from China’s Exim bank to Africa in 2011 were double that of the World Bank, cementing a trend which started around 2005. Continue reading »
You know you’re in trouble when the World Bank counts on an election year to pull your economy out of the doldrums. Especially if you’re Kenya.
Thanks to “another difficult year” in 2012, the World Bank says Kenya will likely miss an earlier predicted growth rate of 5 per cent this year, managing only 4.3 per cent, a drop on the 4.4 per cent of 2011 and far too low to realise the country’s aim to become a middle-income country by 2020. Continue reading »
The phrases “south Balkan nation” and “ease of doing business” are mutually exclusive in the minds of many western business leaders. But in case you hadn’t noticed, Macedonia, the most southerly of the former Yugoslavia successor states, came in at number 23 in the latest World Bank Doing Business rankings.
Unsurprisingly, it was something Nikola Gruevski, Macedonia’s prime minister (pictured), was keen to emphasise during an official visit Budapest. Continue reading »
After comings and goings, Bolivia’s leftist government with an indigenous twist finally ruled out paying compensation to Canada’s South American Silver, two months after their mining licence was revoked.
“The nation has no financial obligation to South American Silver,” mining minister Mario Virreira told reporters, adding there was “never any document establishing that the Bolivian government had a contractual relationship” with the Vancouver-based company. Continue reading »
The World Bank has approved loans worth $684m for the Eastern Electricity Highway Project, which aims to transport Ethiopian power to Kenya and beyond.
The project is part of a $1.3bn plan to open up an eastern African power network, but has attracted controversy due to social and environmental worries over the knock on effects of hydro-power in Ethiopia. Continue reading »
Just as China looks to be refuelling the investment engine, a word of warning comes from the World Bank: China’s traditional fallback plan of infrastructure-based growth is not the answer to a sliding economy. Much better to get people spending.
The World Bank also trimmed its 2012 growth forecast for China to 8.2 per cent, in line with yesterday’s update from the OECD. Continue reading »
Africa’s huge lack of infrastructure is the inescapable topic when discussing the continent’s growth prospects. And it is easy to see why. Chronic power problems affect 30 African states; less than 5 per cent of African agricultural land is irrigated; only one in three Africans in rural areas has access to an all-season road and transport costs in sub-Saharan Africa are the highest in the world.
One way to tackle the shortfall is a rise in public private partnerships (PPPs) and an increased role from the private sector in building roads, railways and power stations. And Lars Thunell, chief executive of the International Finance Corporation, the investment arm of the World Bank, hopes the tide is beginning to turn. Continue reading »
By Barbara Stocking of Oxfam
Jim Jong Kim will be aware that the World Bank is at a crossroads, and that he will need to steer it to a new mandate and fresh direction. Continue reading »
The World Bank on Monday chose Jim Yong Kim (pictured left), the US nominee, as its next president. While the decision was widely expected, many observers would consider that in choosing Kim rather than Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s finance minister, the world’s premier development institution has rejected the more qualified candidate.
In doing so, it has wasted an opportunity to show developing countries that it supports global meritocracy – not least for citizens of the emerging world. Continue reading »
There’s nothing Brazil’s finance minister loves more than a face-off between the ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ world. But Guido Mantega, the man who brought you the currency war, has kept relatively quiet on the question of the World Bank’s presidency. Until now.
After meeting the US nominee Jim Yong Kim on Thursday, Mantega said he was working on a proposal for the BRICS to jointly support one candidate. Continue reading »
By Arunma Oteh, director general of the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission
It is time for the US to relinquish its traditional hold on the World Bank’s presidency and, in cooperation with other World Bank shareholder governments, to open the job up to non-American candidates. The emerging world offers a first-class candidate in Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Continue reading »
By Charles Okeahalam of AGH Capital
On most measures, the World Bank is the largest development finance institution. Its resources must be harnessed effectively at a time when the globe faces big long-term economic, social and enviromental challenges as well as the global financial crisis.
The implicit agreement in which the presidency of the World Bank is reserved for citizens of the United States therefore seems ludicrous. It is time to break with this out-dated tradition and choose the best-qualified candidate, irrespective of nationality. That candidate is the finance minister of Nigeria: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Continue reading »
The Brics nations made the right noises at their summit on Thursday in New Delhi. They expressed concern about global economic imbalances, the flood of cheap money rushing out of the west and hitting the currency markets, and the slow pace of reform at the International Monetary Fund.
They also agreed to devote more time to a potentially-useful plan for a Brics-run development bank.
But they were far away from doing the one thing that would give their summit real clout – backing a common candidate for the World Bank presidency from the developing world, even though there is a first-class contender in the race, Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Continue reading »