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Chad president accuses World Bank of bias

Chad's president, Idriss Deby, is accusing the World Bank of unfairly excluding his country from access to development funding:

Speaking after meeting leaders of more than 50 French firms to try to drum up investment interest, Deby said the World Bank was punishing his country because it did not approve of the way he was handling its development.

The World Bank withdrew from a loan accord in 2008 backing the Chad-Cameroon pipeline, one of its biggest investments in Africa and billed as a test of how the continent's oil wealth could benefit the poor if spent properly.

It said at the time Deby's government had failed to comply with agreed commitments to set aside a chunk of its oil revenues for local communities, health and education.

"I am happy to cooperate, but I don't want anything imposed on us," he said accusing certain institutions of wasting 90 percent of project resources on studies and forums before leaving the country even more indebted and with nothing.

For an account of the Bank's 2008 decision to end funding for the pipeline, see here. The Bank still lists four ongoing projects in Chad but does not appear to harbor much hope that the country's economic and social standing will improve in the near future (see the Bank's gloomy country brief).

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