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Professor urges African countries to seek economic alternatives beyond Bretton Woods institutions

February 27, 2024
Professor urges African countries to seek economic alternatives beyond Bretton Woods institutions

Professor Vijay Prashad, a renowned historian and journalist, has advised African nations, including Ghana, to explore alternative sources of economic support outside the Bretton Woods institutions. Speaking at the launch of the fourth edition of the book “Great Deception” at the Socialist Movement of Ghana's headquarters in , Prof. Prashad criticized the and the () for their ineffective assistance to developing African countries.

According to Prof. Prashad, the support provided by these institutions often benefits Western interests while hindering the economic progress of African nations. He emphasized that the World Bank and the IMF, controlled by the Treasury Department, serve the interests of the West and capitalist powers rather than addressing the socioeconomic needs of African countries.

Proposing alternatives, Prof. Prashad suggested that African nations consider seeking support from other international such as the New Development Bank. He highlighted the importance of filling the financing gap for social and economic infrastructure to foster the continent's growth and development.

Moreover, Prof. Prashad lamented the persistent inequities in the global system, noting that despite engagement with Bretton Woods institutions, developing nations like Ghana continue to face developmental setbacks. He urged Ghana's political leaders to revisit the goals and ideologies of Dr. , the country's first President, to reclaim its leadership both globally and within Africa.

The Bretton Woods Institutions, established in 1944 to promote international economic cooperation, have faced criticism from various quarters. Prof. Akua Britwum, a lecturer at the , highlighted their role in undermining Africa's nationalist leaders, particularly Dr Kwame Nkrumah. She pointed out that the institutions' reluctance to provide aid and economic support contributed to Dr Nkrumah's overthrow in 1966.

Prof. Britwum emphasized that Dr. Nkrumah's legacy as a Pan-African and Marxist leader remains significant, as his projects laid the foundation for Ghana's development. She highlighted how institutions like the World Bank and IMF utilized aid and debt policies to destabilize Ghana and facilitate political instability.

The discussions underscored the complexities surrounding international economic cooperation and the need for African nations to reassess their engagement with traditional financial institutions to pursue

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