- By David BoscoDavid Bosco is an associate professor at Indiana University's School of Global and International Studies. He is the author of books on the U.N. Security Council and the International Criminal Court, and is at work on a new book about governance of the oceans.
Today’s Washington Times has a skeptical story on a new project by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation in Ghana:
One of the world’s richest men and a member of the Saudi royal family has received approval for a $26 million loan from a branch of the World Bank to build a luxury hotel in Ghana, a West African nation with a developing economy but where 40 percent of the people live in poverty.
Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, also known as Prince Walid, is a nephew of Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz. With a net worth of $19.6 billion, according to Forbes magazine, he is the 26th richest person in the world.
Yet his company was able to borrow $26 million to build a five-star hotel in Accra, the capital and largest city in Ghana, from the International Finance Corp. (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, under a program to encourage private development in developing nations.
It’s odd that a Washington Times story is challenging so directly the notion that large-scale investment by the rich can ultimately help the poor.