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That good governance and economic prosperity should go hand in hand is a proposition that few would dispute. As The Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal’s Index of Economic Freedom annually confirms, it is almost impossible to have one without the other. For developing nations, an absence of economic freedom and the shortcoming of governance contribute to stagnation, inequality, and widespread poverty. Government corruption and cronyism coupled with burdensome regulations and bureaucratic controls sap or stall economic growth and prosperity. Poverty exacerbates tribal, ethnic and national tensions.
The potential for African economies to develop has often been thwarted by a combination of bad ideas and poor or misguided governance practices. While foreign governments and international financial institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund can help, reform remains the responsibility of African leaders and their peoples. Furthermore, the role of the World Bank and other outsiders as catalysts for domestic political and economic reform is often disputed. Fear of aid dependency, clashing development agendas, issues of sovereignty, and domestic divisions dilute the impact of outside assistance.
Join as Obiageli Ezekwesili, Vice President for Africa Region, addresses the World Bank’s present and future role in stimulating economic growth and good governance in Africa.
More About the Speakers
Vice President for Africa Region, The World Bank
Ambassador Terry Miller
Director, Center for Data Analysis and the Center for Trade and Economics and Mark A. Kolokotrones Fellow in Economic Freedom