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Views from the Center

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Nigeria unloads Paris Club debt: What next?

On April 21 Nigeria made its final buyback payment to its bilateral creditors, completing the wipe-out of more than 80% of its debts. In the end, Nigeria paid $12 billion in cash -- out of the more than $34 billion saved so far from higher oil prices -- in order to buy back $30 billion in debt, an overall 60% discount.

Nigerian debt deal: Almost done, if not yet home free

The IMF announced today that it has completed its review of Nigeria’s policy support instrument (PSI). The Fund was laudatory, including a quote from first deputy MD Anne Krueger:

“Looking ahead, the authorities are committed to continue the ambitious macroeconomic and structural policies to entrench macroeconomic stability, strengthen public financial management, and reduce the costs of doing business further”

More bad news for oil transparency in Congo-Brazzaville

According to Reuters, two anti-corruption campaigners have been arrested in Congo-Brazzaville, allegedly for embezzling funds. If true, it is disturbing that people tasked with overseeing fiscal transparency are themselves involved in fraud, and bodes poorly for Congo’s chances of breaking its cycle of wasting public money.

Hey, Europe, it's no time to soften sanctions on Zimbabwe

For the past few years, the US, Australia, and the EU have imposed limited ‘smart’ sanctions on Zimbabwe. These are mainly travel and financial restrictions against a handful of cronies around President Robert Mugabe to keep them from lavish shopping sprees in New York or stashing their cash in British banks. The West has opted not to use broader trade sanctions since such measures would probably hurt the average person more than political elites.