The Corner

The Shadow of Paul Woflowitz Lengthens

The BBC relates :

A report measuring the quality of government in 212 countries from 1996 to 2006 found Africa had shown the greatest improvement. The report judged whether countries had free media, political stability, the rule of law and control of corruption. Countries in decline included Zimbabwe and Venezuela, but there were as many gainers as losers.

Legitimate and effective political authority in managing society’s affairs is crucial to eliminating poverty and lifting the standards of living of the citizens in a country, the report concluded. “Such improvements in governance are critical for aid effectiveness and for sustained long-run growth,” said Daniel Kaufmann, co-author of the report and director of global programmes at the World Bank. “Bribery around the world is estimated at about $1 trillion (£494bn) and the burden of corruption falls disproportionately on the bottom billion people living in extreme poverty,” he continued.

Good governance has increasingly become a key factor in granting aid to developing countries, and was a policy closely associated with World Bank head Paul Wolfowitz, who was forced to resign last month.

History will remember that Wolfowitz championed the anti-corruption campaign. It will also remember that his championing of it is the real reason he “was forced to resign last month.”

Mario Loyola — Mr. Loyola, a former foreign-policy adviser at the Pentagon and in the U.S. Senate, is a visiting fellow at the National Security Institute at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School.

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