In a huge step forward, this week Liberia slashed its foreign debt by buying back $1.2 billion in commercial debt -- about one-quarter of its foreign debt -- from its private foreign creditors, including banks, hedge funds, and other “distressed debt” investment funds.
CGD Policy Blogs
Recently DfID, the British aid agency, issued the third White Paper in its series on Eliminating World Poverty, this one focused on Making governance work for the poor. Yesterday I was privileged to join a panel at the IMF where Mark Lowcock, DfID's Director General for Policy and International, gave an overview of the immensely ambitious and wide ranging Paper and the rationale for the commitments it makes.
Some years ago, after the Jubilee 2000 debt-cancellation campaign wound down, Bono and other activists founded a group called DATA, based here in Washington, DC.
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”
Debt relief and African poverty are firmly on this year’s global agenda, most recently from the Tony Blair-sponsored Africa Commission. But little attention is going to the big elephant in the room: Nigeria.
Even with its oil wealth, Nigeria’s debt burden is enormous given its huge population of 130 million and its extreme poverty—average income is just $330 per year. Increasingly vital to Western energy security, Nigeria is also a worrying source of transnational security threats, including Islamic radicalism, disease, drug trafficking, and international crime.