Foreign Policy quotes Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham on the African Development Bank under its new leader, Akinwumi Adesina, who hopes to use the bank’s influence to achieve change in Africa:
But even if its finances are limited in comparison to the World Bank — that institution offered $65.6 billion in loans, grants, and investments in 2014 — the African institution can offer what Western ones cannot: moral authority on a continent increasingly hesitant to accept Western aid.
As J. Peter Pham of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center put it, African leaders who are responsible for their own countries’ sluggish development will have a harder time dismissing the bank’s plans or projects to revitalize their economies than if it were a Western institution. “The bank has the ability and political authority to criticize,” Pham told FP. “With the World Bank, you get people calling it neo-colonialism, and the United States and Britain can be dismissed by those who choose not to be reformist.”