Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf spent the past two weeks in Washington, D.C., discussing Liberia’s future. During the first week of her visit we launched our two-day Call-In to World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz October 16 and 17.
The article, published in The Analyst, a publication in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, detailed the president's agenda during her tour here.
One of her major talking points was the cancellation of the Liberia’s $3.7 billion debt burden.
The World Bank’s Heavily
Highly Indebted Poor Countries initiative (HIPC) is requiring Liberia to repay $1.5 billion in arrears before it qualifies for any debt relief.
It’s not only unjust to hold Liberia responsible for debts and bad lending practices accrued under dictatorships and cruel regimes, but the debt is impossible for Liberia to pay.
EURODAD’s figures from the Central Bank of Liberia list Liberia’s arrears to three multilateral institutions at $1.47 billion.
- $735.4 million to the IMF
- $396.3 million to the World Bank
- $256.9 million to the African Development Bank
The Real Cost of Oil
In other news, the leader of Senegal, another West African country, speaks about the affects of fluctuating oil prices on African economies in the op-ed “Africa Over A Barrel” in today’s Washington Post.
Senegal’s President Abdoulaye Wade makes the argument Jubilee USA has begun to make this year that high oil prices are hurting African economies.
Senegal is a HIPC and has seen debt cancellation, but only to see its oil bill skyrocket.
For more information on the link between debt and oil, see our policy brief released in July 2006, "Time For a Clean Energy Revolution".