International Financial Institutions
I propose that it is our current and future battles that will determine the meaning and impact of decolonisation in Africa and beyond. As things stand now, the dead are certainly not safe. Let me elaborate on this claim drawing from Professor Taylor’s work: his piece draws from the classics of Third Worldist Marxism and dependency theory to provide a sober account of Africa’s nominally post-colonial present.
The question of whether decolonisation stalled in the Global South has been addressed in some form for as long as the concept of decolonisation has been present in our world. As many educational institutions across the world, and especially in the Global North, begin to include ‘decolonising’ in their knowledge transmission agendas, connecting this question with the past, present and future of all aspects of the colonial project has never been more important. This short essay argues firstly that the question itself relies on certain presumptions that should be revisited. Secondly, the essay argues that the answer itself is complex and depends on where our gaze primarily lies – state or people.
The Mozambique scandal shows how much damage irresponsible lending can cause. A citizen or a class of citizens injured by an irresponsible loan should be able to pursue a civil suit for damages against the responsible government officials and lender or lenders: i) in the country where one or more of the lenders is headquartered, ii) the country where one or more of the branches or subsidiaries that extended or approved the loan is located, or iii) in any country where the lender or lenders have a substantial presence.
We recognise that the current proposal is limited in resolving the longer-term debt burden of developing countries. The stay of enforcement does not introduce any changes in the substantive obligations contracted by the parties. Thus, the standstill will only temporarily suspend the execution and enforcement of eligible financial obligations during the designated period. Meanwhile, interest on the principal will continue to accrue. The proposal is also meant to be used as a ‘shield’ rather than a ‘sword’, i.e. the stay will only be triggered as a defence by the sovereign debtor in the event of a claim against it by a private creditor.
The importance of law in development discourse, especially in times of global crises as captured under Sustainable Development Goal 16 is a critical factor in establishing and maintaining the rule of law by empowering the most vulnerable persons and groups in society to exercise their fundamental human rights against unfettered legal regimes and political leadership.
Financial institutions should focus on the positive opportunities and learning experiences from this pandemic and plan how they will help their member states adjust to the effects of COVID-19 and attain sustainable development thereafter. This step will be in line with the World Bank’s advice on planning for the economic recovery from COVID-19, in the bid for nations to restart their economic engines and build back stronger and better in the short term and longer term.
LDCs are inadequately equipped to manage the socio-economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic; these countries have not even effectively curbed environmental pollution yet. The sustainable development goals strategies did not envisage such a pandemic and this is causing many governments to lose sight of how to manage their economic regressions. The national governments and international community therefore have to be more vigilant and proactive in ensuring that the battered global economy stabilizes after the pandemic.
This post analyzes the potential impact of COVID-19 on the African continent given systemic healthcare vulnerabilities and the need for contextualized containment strategies. It examines the historical role of international financial institutions in limiting domestic health spending and capacity. This post also delves into re-conceptualizing responsibility for pandemic and epidemic diseases.