News that the World Bank’s president, Jim Yong Kim, is calling it quits to join the private sector has heightened the debate over what to do about foreign aid inefficacy. Kim made clear in an email to staff that, in his view, the “massive development finance gap” in low-income countries is best addressed by private investment. Kim’s likely successor, David Malpass, shares this view and has gone on record describing the World Bank’s financing approach as outdated due to increases in private capital available to developing countries.
In Ruhiira, Uganda, an international aid project once offered villagers $300,000 to grow maize instead of matoke, a banana-like starch. Maize, the aid experts reasoned, was better to farm because it is nutritious, drought-resistant, and produces high yields. The experts were right. At harvest time, the villagers found themselves with a bumper crop of 3,840 tons of maize.
Consumer rights represent the basic ground for functional market institutions and without the right to terminate contracts with service suppliers, non-egalitarian laws are introduced and the market suffers intense violation of freedom of contract and contract equalities are deteriorated. History cannot be eradicated and our institutions are some kind of depositors of our collective memory. As a result, many institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina (“B&H”) are still based on a socialist institutional legacy, a legacy that we started to leave behind since the early 90’s of the last century. One example of such transformational resistance is the institution of a central heating service that is very common in the country.
It is a joy to take part in a festival of liberty, a truly liberal event. “Festival” is really the right word, because liberty is truly something to be celebrated, its realization a cause for joy and an occasion for happiness. And the occasion for happiness is not merely our own freedom, but the freedom of other people as well. Contrary to the mischaracterizations of Marxist and fascist ideologues, who willfully misstate classical liberal ideas, liberty is not a solitary condition, but a condition of equal freedom that we enjoy with others under the rule of law.
Today (October 8th) would have been the birthday of Basil Fisher, the younger brother of the IEA’s founder, Sir Antony Fisher. Though few remember Basil Fisher today, his life (and death) have made a lasting impact.
During a recent visit to Washington, D.C., I met with several think tanks and foundations, all of whom work with organizational partners in Africa. What struck me, anecdotally, was the absence of Botswana in all of it. Who works with them? Is it a case that few see the need to mention given its relative success?
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