World Bank promotes free movement of goods from Africa to Europe but not persons.
The World Bank is an international financial institution created at the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference after the Second World War to help put war ravaged countries in Europe on track.
But how did operators of the institutions penetrated the African market?
Henry Boyo is an international economist who believes that the Bretton Woods institutions penetrated the African market under the guise of helping their economies get on track. They offered cheap loans to poor countries in Africa if the countries only operated an open market system.
The institution has been with Africa for decades but how beneficial have their activities been to the African continent.
Henry Boyo says it is easily noticeable that the World Bank is not strictly a pro African institution.
He explains that the institution is only interested in preying on Africa rather than putting their economies on a strong platform.
“The World Bank's stated official goal is the reduction of poverty. They usually give very cheap funds with relatively low interest rate but somehow it has been very difficult for African countries they work with transform their economies based on World Bank and IMF assistance”.
Why do critics hold this view?
The World Bank has a strong commitment or perspective towards trade liberalization but unfortunately that commitment is not best fit for most African countries.
Trade liberalization is simply the free movement of goods and services across countries. On one hand the World Bank support free movement of goods but not free movement of persons.
Africa’s rich natural resource base is unmatched so is its human resource. Africa according ….is the most youthful continent in the world.
Despite World Bank's support, over the years the continent still has some of the highest levels of unemployment rates in the world leading to a desperate need to travel abroad to seek greener pasture at the peril of their lives .
The Bank's trade liberalization supports African countries to export gold, cocoa, fruits etc to feed Europe's shortfall but does not throw its weight behind Africans wanting to move to Europe to build a life or for social security.
Thousands of Africans put their lives at risk as they try to move to Europe. It is a journey that begins with hope but often ends in despair.
Most of them depart from Libya late at night, travelling across the Mediterranean Sea with Italy as their central destination.
According to Frontex, an agency responsible for coordinating the security of the EU’s external land and sea borders, more than 170,000 migrants arrived in Europe in 2014, representing the largest influx of people into one country in European Union history.
Most of the migrants were Eritreans and Syrians but many Africans from sub-Saharan regions also use this route. In 2015 almost 2,000 people died to try to make this crossing
They use such dangerous routes because the difficult in visa acquisitions to these countries.
This development has made Henry Boyo question why the Words bank encourages border openness for free trade where Africa is not competitive but restricts human movement where Africa is competitive.