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Published 7th September 2007

Vol 48 No 18


Nigeria

A tale of two cities

Amid growing mayhem in the Niger Delta President Yar'Adua has started to restructure the country's oil business

It has been the worst of times in the oil capital of Port Harcourt in the 100 days since President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua was elected. And it has been the most uncertain of times in Abuja, the political capital. More than 70 people have been killed in clashes around Port Harcourt in what appears to be both a test of the new government's resolve and a settling of scores between rival political godfathers and their armed bands. In Abuja, politicians are still struggling to understand the new President's policy agenda and working methods. His understated approach and constant references to the rule of law could hardly be more different from the style of his rumbustious predecessor, Olusegun Obasanjo.


Gas project haunts politicians

New developments in the investigations into Nigeria's $US10 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project on Bonny Island could have serious political ramifications in Washing...


More fighting, more aid

Renewed fighting in the eastern provinces could help the government to qualify more quickly for aid

Theories abound about who is funding and arming the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR) in the eastern provinces of Congo-Kinshasa. General Laurent Nk...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

The World Bank is preparing for another push in Washington next month as part of its efforts to secure another US$25 billion from donors to replenish the International Development Association. The negotiations will be an important indicator of progress made by new President Robert Zoellick in rehabilitating the institution after the painful forcing out of his predecessor, Paul Wolfowitz. Insiders say the Bank is unlikely to hit its target. The Bank's critics in Europe and Asia are conciliato...
The World Bank is preparing for another push in Washington next month as part of its efforts to secure another US$25 billion from donors to replenish the International Development Association. The negotiations will be an important indicator of progress made by new President Robert Zoellick in rehabilitating the institution after the painful forcing out of his predecessor, Paul Wolfowitz. Insiders say the Bank is unlikely to hit its target. The Bank's critics in Europe and Asia are conciliatory towards Zoellick personally but still have misgivings about the Bank's policy direction. This week, the Bank's Vice-President for Africa, Obiageli Ezekwesili (formerly Nigeria's Education Minister), announced the Bank had committed a record $5.7 bn. in soft loans to Africa this year, a billion dollars most than last. With unprecedented financial flows from China and capital markets, the Bank's headline figures will impress less. African governments want the Bank to provide policies and technical capacity to launch sustainable projects. A smaller IDA replenishment may change it from financing agency to giant development consultancy company. Music to neo-conservative ears in Washington.
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