With rigorous economic research and practical policy solutions, we focus on the issues and institutions that are critical to global development. Explore our core themes and topics to learn more about our work.
In timely and incisive analysis, our experts parse the latest development news and devise practical solutions to new and emerging challenges. Our events convene the top thinkers and doers in global development.
Zimbabwe's bankrupt regime has been consistent about one thing: the repeated claim that a big recovery is right around the corner. Of course, instead the economy just continues to implode, and now Zimbabweans are back to an average income not seen since the 1940s. President Robert Mugabe has just given an interview where he stuck to the same old script:
There seems to be a mini-revival of media interest in Zimbabwe, including in the U.S. where the country’s crisis rarely gets much attention. Last night PBS Frontline ran “Zimbabwe: Shadows and Lies”, a well done documentary exposing the growing tyranny and propaganda of the ruling regime. Journalist Alexis Bloom (repeating stunts previously done by BBC reporters since the government banned foreign media a few years ago) snuck into the country pretending to be a tourist and shot in secret.
In a barely-noticed step, the World Bank has recently revealed a lot about what it thinks. While most donors are rushing to concentrate their aid in ‘good performers’, the World Bank has been using ‘performance based allocation’ in one form or another since the late 1970s. Every year, it systematically rates low income countries, giving each one a score on the Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA).
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.
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”
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.