25 April 2011

“Our Friends at the Bank”

A visit to a friend at the World Bank a couple of months ago reminded me of this fantastic film I saw as an undergraduate at SOAS.

Remember how evil World Bank conditionality used to force poor countries to cut their social spending on health and education? This documentary shows World Bank officials trying to convince Ugandan officials that they need to spend more on education instead of physical infrastructure.

I think my favourite part is Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni explaining the concept of prioritisation to World Bank President James Wolfensohn, and Wolfensohn eventually caving in with “My guess is you’ll get your way, which I think you are used to doing.”

You can buy the video here. (It’s a little pricey as I guess there was a limited market. It also comes with English commentary instead of the French version I managed to put up here).

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