The Moral Failings of Strauss-Kahn, The IMF, And The World Bank

Chika Ezeanya
By Chika Ezeanya

In his first television interview since his arrest in New York City, former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) described his encounter with the African maid from Guinea as a “moral failing.” It was a consensual act, DSK insisted; there was no “violence, constraint or aggression” involved, and she had “lied” in her accusations against him.

DSK’s acceptance of “moral failings” towards an immigrant African maid correlates strongly with the relationship that has been in existence between the institution he only recently headed, and countries of sub-Saharan Africa.   When in the 1980s the IMF imposed the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) on vulnerable, ill-advised, gullible sub-Saharan African countries, the institution insisted that it was “consensual,” “an agreement,” it was called.

 For close to two decades, IMF forced African countries to cut their minuscule public spending on education, health and food subsidies. As a result, millions of Africans died who could not afford even the most basic healthcare. Millions dropped out of school who could no longer afford the exorbitant school fees. Education became a luxury item, accessible only to the very rich. Brain drain became imperative for the highly qualified, research oriented professors. Their less qualified, money minded counterparts were retained. For indeed, there was money to be made from students in the form of bribes and sale of “materials.” Food subsidies were cut, and pictures of starving African children became the acceptable poster for global poverty. Interest rates were hiked and access to credit facilities frozen. African countries were mandated to throw open their borders and allow toothpicks, chewing gum, cotton wool, sand, or just about anything to flow in, unencumbered. Central Banks were directed to reduce barriers to trade such as tariffs and import duties, and to devalue their currencies in order to attract foreign direct investment.

Years later, the effects of SAP in Africa are all too glaring. In a rare collaborative effort, the World Bank, national governments and civil society, funded a three year study on the effect of SAP on several countries. The Structural Adjustment Participatory Review International Network (SAPRIN) report was released in April 2002. It states categorically that SAPs have been “expanding poverty, inequality...increasing tensions among different social strata, fuelling extremist movements and delegitimizing democratic political systems. Their effects, particularly on the poor are so profound and pervasive that no amount of targeted social investment can begin to address the social crisis that they have engendered.”

Again, just as DSK accepted that he had sex with someone he hardly knew her name, IMF intimately permeated sub-Saharan African economies with little or no knowledge of the dynamics and specific challenges of the continent. Consultants were flown in from mostly the United States who had never read an article written by an African or about Africa. This was not considered necessary to the IMF officials, the Economics textbooks the consultants flew in with was deemed sufficient. African culture and social realities did not count; the distinct historical experiences of the continent did not feature. The indigenous social, political and economic systems of African countries were deemed irrelevant. One size fits all, from America to Africa - undiluted - with love. Years later, Africa, like Nafissatou Diallo the Manhattan Maid, is nursing wounds, very serious wounds from that intimate encounter.
Very similar to Nafissatou’s actions after the sexual encounter with DSK, also, quite a number of African intellectuals and informed citizens have protested against the injustices of the IMF imposed conditionalities on Africa. In books, journal articles, opinion editorials, documentaries, and other legitimate means, concerned individuals have voiced their strong thoughts about the destructive effects of the SAP. Comparable with Nafissatou’s experience, however, these calls have been dismissed by the white owned mainstream media and intellectual platforms. Like Nafissatou, Africa has been branded an unreliable glutton who is searching for who to leech on to solve her numerous troubles.
Very much like DSK, who at first would not as much as acknowledge that he ever met Naffisatou,   the IMF initially denied the crippling effect of SAP on sub-Saharan Africa.

“Adjustment is Working” the institution said in a report released in 1994. As evidence exponentially mounted, humility set in. DSK acknowledged his “moral failings,” and IMF began to note that “development is a complex phenomenon...nobody has all the answers... we keep learning from experience... there are rapidly changing realities.” All these said without formal apologies or restitution; not from DSK to Nafissatou, and not from IMF to sub-Saharan Africa.
Nafissattou, like sub-Saharan Africa remains violated and sore. Wounded, poor, but not helpless. Nafisattou has applied for civil hearings, legitimately taking justice in her own hands, refusing to be intimidated. So also, Africa must take the reconstruction of her economy in her own hands.

Latin America and Asia realized this long ago, and breaking away from Western manipulation, have been able to build up their economies to what it is today. Africans must learn from the past experiences of slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism. The past should remain in the past, yes, but the past could re-appear uninvited in the present if lessons are not learnt and carefully noted.

African development lies squarely on the shoulders of Africans. African development will only thrive on a solid foundation of indigenous knowledge and African consciousness. Late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere addressing the South African Parliament on 16 October, 1997 puts is so succinctly, “we have to depend upon ourselves, both at national level and at the collective level.

Each of our countries will have to rely upon its own human resources and natural material resources for development.” Indeed, the time has come for African countries working together, to take up responsibility for their own development. Salvation for Africa can never come from the West nor from the East, but from within.

36 comment(s)
Post a comment

The notes of Julian Pike, then-lawyer for the company, as the

The notes of Julian Pike, then-lawyer for the company, as the
country he is meant to be attended by only the david cameron 17 countries using the euro, arguing that Greece would be
choosing to stay in. Construction work on the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station development going.

His call for more welfare savings was aimed at the Liberal Democrats and are demanding". Gemma Tetlow of the IFS said: There is a pause.

The analysis is a functional

The analysis is a functional breakdown of how our beloved continent Africa has been conditioned and manipulated by the so called Western nations. You talk about corruption. why people are corrupt? The corruption we are experiencing here is a manipulative process of the West. The few are used to accumulate our wealth and send it back to them by conditioning our leaders informing them here is hell and theirs is heaven, they should store their wealth in heaven where moth and rut does not exist. But the recent economic meltdown has shown that they are venerable. Our leaders should be wise and learn from that. It's time for Africa to take the lead.

The analysis is a functional

The analysis is a functional breakdown of how our beloved continent Africa has been conditioned and manipulated by the so called Western nations. You talk about corruption. why people are corrupt? The corruption we are experiencing here is a manipulative process of the West. The few are used to accumulate our wealth and send it back to them by conditioning our leaders informing them here is hell and theirs is heaven, they should store their wealth in heaven where moth and rut does not exist. But the recent economic meltdown has shown that they are venerable. Our leaders should be wise and learn from that. It's time for Africa to take the lead.

Good write up but that's

Good write up but that's where it ends. Naffisato is as guilty as DSK. Would she have voiced it out if it were not DSK? Greed, greed and greed.By the same token, our leaders are as guily as the IMF. Fact is we have opportunists as leaders. They know next to nothing and they would not accept it. They would rather sacrifice our collective good for personal interest. Would you blame the caucacians for protecting their interest? Naffisato just like our leaders had a choice, like Tristane Banon, but she blew it.

Re: This Intelligent lady...

KS, there is no analogy between the 'quid pro quo' arrangement that went awry between DSK and maid on one hand and your expressed ''rape on the continent'' on the other hand.
What/who stopped stopped us from behaving like the Chinese, Japanese and the Asian tigers?
The fraud we perpertrate on ourselves surpass any wrong advise we might have been following from Bretton Wood institutions. On that note, I however agree we need to introspect more and treat ourselves better.....and might I add, this begins by not seeing others as morons....even if you feel they havent thought processes comparable to yours.

Kudos Chika

Kudos 2 Chika Ezeanaya for this well-thought-out and splendid article!With no intent to disrespect Miss Diallo, her story clearly portrays the harsh reality Africa/sub-Saharan Africa under-went thru the IMF sponsored SAP program. Today,the ugly encounter has fizzled out of public and it wont surprise me to see DSK clean.
Sadly, government of African countries are yet to foster effective regional integration to strengthen our economies trade and co-operation.

Again, congratulation for an excellent piece............

Chika, next time you pick a

Chika, next time you pick a topic to write on, also do yourself a favour and pick your audience. Most people coming to SR are not particularly intelligent and may not grasp the logic in your analysis, especially on this ocassion. This analysis in the article is not about whether DSK had sex with this lady, it is about whether DSK had regard for the lady in question, hence his first inclination was to deny it outrightly and even after admitting having sex with her, there was no apology for his initial denial - and that is the way the caucasians see African in general sense. They sold the dimmy of economic policies to African nations which turned us to beggars, ut did they even admit their mistakes? No, they didnt. We need to stop looking up to them, and learn one or two things from the China and Japans. With or without the western world, China, Japan and the likes are forging ahead and are now a force to be reckoned with. That is the lesson in this article, not DSK!! Dunmb heads.

These intelligent lady has

These intelligent lady has made a fine analogy between the rape of African continent by the caucasians and the sexual assault/advantage by DSK on a helpless black girl, but some less-than-intelligent morons on this web can't even see the correlation between the two. The moral lesson for us as Africans in this article is that, just like China, Japan and the rest of asian world, we need to look inward for our salvation and stop looking up to the caucasians for our salvation. We believe that our heritage and value are inferior, so we imbibe western culture, values, religion, social, economic and political lives. Where has it got us?? No where!! Chinese carry their heritage and value wherever they go, and they don't allow anyone to come into their domain to dominate them. Hope you morons on SR will see the logic in this article and stop hating!! Caucasians are not better than us, I work with them, so i know.

My Goofy Girl at It Again.

Since the demise of ND Girl and Sunday Njokede (may their souls rest in peace), there is no shortage of wackos to fill their shoes on SaharaReporters... report it yourself! Abuse is what you get when anything is made free. This is at best Foto-show journalism! Starlet Chika is just flirting with vulnerable minds here, with topics she understands little of. The idea of SAP is to curtails this type of Abuse. When countries like Greece, Spain and Italy allow their workers to sleep between 12-1600hrs and they pay them for sleeping, those are the perks SAP seeks to forbid, Angel. Lovely Lady, do you know that one legislator's salary (and perks) is enough to feed an entire LGA in Nigeria of today, and it's a secret? Lolly-pop, it is corruption and nothing else that is responsible for our fate today. No finger pointing. IBB legalized it. Then it was in Billions, so it is today. And getting worse with inept leadership. Go marry Rudolf Og. Okonkwo and forget it, this is trash!

Full of erudition. You said

Full of erudition. You said "Latin America and Asia realized this long ago, and breaking away from Western manipulation, have been able to build up their economies to what it is today" Your article spoke mind 100%. The greatest challenges we have in Africa is that we copy every aspect of our lives from others, nothing is real or home-grown. I am talking of religious, political, social and economic lives. Because we consider our heritage and values as inferior. Until we are able to look inward and determine who we really are, everybody will continue to push us around. Look at China, look at Japan, they dont give a damn about the western world yet they are successful. Today, they are a threat to western economies - US, Europe and these are the same imperialists that African nations continue to look up to as solutions to all their problems. In the FINAL ANALYSIS I really wonder whether we are not under a cruse of some sort.


Na DSK wahala dey disturb u?Look at our home front,my dear sister.What our leaders are doing is worse than what DSK is doing.Ranging from our high institutions to the society and our polity,what do we see daily in Nigeria?Deciet,Lies,Looting at all levels of government,insecurity,pervetion of justice by government officials,political thugery,legalised violence,government of compromise,poverty,bad roads,joblessness etc name it urself which is a result of bad governance.Lets leave DSK alone and sort out our own palavar for the sake of our children."The Moral Failings of Nigerian Leaders" is worse than "The Moral Failings of Strauss-Khan."

you are a foolish bastard for

you are a foolish bastard for ur slur against the holy prophet of Islam


Why must one man be mentioned each time there is sexual assault or indecent assault case whether concentual or not. It is like the proverbial tortoise whose name keep rearing up whenever death conspiracies are mentioned. Peharps it is high time time to cage himand lock him out of the society.

Up you!!!! you are a great

Up you!!!! you are a great guy, a sincere bigot, an uncivilised human. How is your life beter now that you have abused a person who does not and will never know you. Can you see the senseless vain futility of your stupid action?? you only end up upsetting normal humans like me, am sure you envy diallo because she is in yankee and you are not.

thank u morah

poorly written piece from this young woman again.......what could easily have been an interesting topic was damaged by the writer`s penchant for attacking individuals..this is a proof that the acquittal of mr.khan did not go down well with our chika..its becoming obvious that this young woman always has an axe to grind against successful people..its either she is mocking the the poor,or she is attacking the rich.but you must accept that the guinean lady after a consensual affair with khan,saw an opportunity to extort money from the man..unfortunately for her,she could not cow the american justice chika`s world,there is relationship between individual moral failings and headship of the IMF...i wonder then what we should expect from christine lagard or what chika and her feminist ilks will tell beginning to hate this girl.

@ jude morah

You are crazy man. pregnant virgin? haven't seen such.

Chika, thank you for changing that picture!

Chika, I note that you have sent a more mature photograph of yourself to Sahara Reporters. Now we can appreciate that you are really an adult. The former picture, that which appeared you were in pinafore, depicted you as possibly a school girl in one of our Federal Girls Colleges. Thanks for your article though.

Good Piece but Africans need to start holding the fort!

Part 2: The African Continent should have come of age but we continue to lurk on the waysisde of everything detrimental to our existence and the survival of our people. Hence the continent is seen as a dumping ground by the West.
It is no surprise that the West continues to dictate as they wish and how they want it done. On the same note, the West or IMF sees Africa and Africans as their property or even their cash cow. Forget that many African countries proclaim themselves as sovereign nations. The only thing soverign about the continent is war,disease,poverty, proliferation of small arms and high mortality rate.

Good Piece but Africans need to start holding the fort!

Part 1:Good piece but IMF did not have a gun over African countries to implement SAP. The truth is, IMF careless about the welfare of Africans and the same applies to African Leaders. Most African leaders are clueless and are quick to delve into many contraptions set-forth by the West. In other words,perpetual ignorance of African Leaders is not an excuse and IMF or the West is not to blame for the stupidity exulted by many African countries in signing on the dotted line with IMF.



Great analysis. However, once the credibility of the defendant becomes doubtful it is very difficult for the prosecution to continue. The most damaging being her phone call to her boyfriend in jail. In the call she clearly gave away her motive to make money.

Just read!

Saying that Islam is evil is an understatement, otherwise, why does Iran want to kill a Christian cleric? The poor man accepted Christ and has refused to renounce and they have condemned him to death, you can read the full story on BBC, They are worried because of the increasing numbers of house churches in Iran, hence they want to use Yusuf Naderkhani as an example, just as they are worried because of the rising numbers of churches in Nigeria hence Boko Haram. Islam is nothing but a satanic cult, and the paedophile Muhammad (pieces upon his dick) is the cult head, it is a cult that propagates through fear, intimation and sword. Tufiakwa, Allah kiyaye!!! I would rather be a pagan than to be a Muslim.

Gun dey fire and na so blocos sef dey fire

@Alhaji Umaru Obi Danbiri: Gun dey point and na so prick dey point. As gun sef de fire na so prick dey fire him own bullet. So e fit be say na fear catch de woman make she comply....after all na who no dey fear 'gun'

Let’s be real here Chika. IMF

Let’s be real here Chika. IMF lends their money to countries that approach them for loan and rightly so on IMF terms and conditions. No force and no victim so far. Just like a bank, when we approach the bank for a loan, there are some set conditions before they let go their resources (money) to you.

When a country fails, neglects, sabotages the policy to make things in their country, rather are happy to buy cloths with designer names on them made in a sweat shop in China, I say please don’t blame the IMF, is my take.

I quit trafficking in the blame game since science has proved to the world that a pregnant virgin is real.

The Moral Failings of Strauss-Kahn, The IMF, And The World Bank

Well put, Chika. If it is so obvious that for Africa to come out of the underdevelopment doldrums it finds itself, it needs an "identity reexamination" and the principle of "self-reliancism" why then have our ineptitude leadership failed to see this glaring sensible approach? Spinelessness or corruption or both? The truth is that unless we go the way of Frantz Fanon's true meaning of freedom and liberation, Africa will forever remain under the clutches of the neocolonial and Brettenwood forces to be toyed with, experimented on and scorned at!It is up to us to free ourselves...

Well Written.But.... (2)

Where do we situate corruption both moral, financial and intellectual? And this is where I agree with your conclusion that Africans, like the Asians and Latin Americans have to take their destiny in their own hands. I hope to see you in politics someday.
To the Nafissatou case. This woman might have been violated. But there is no way a criminal trial against DSK could have succeded. Her integrity is already in question. I guess the best way to look at it (for me) is what my lawyer friends say during arguments: "He/she who comes to equity must come with clean hands."

P.S. Thanks for the new Avatar.

Well Written. But.....

Chika, thanks. Your metaphorical comparison is succinct. And yes, I was old enough to remember the IMF Debates in Nigeria. The Naira is overvalued debate, too many subsidies, cuts in public spending....But while you look at the angle from the IMF, I think Africa (and in this instance I would draw on Nigeria) has a lot of the blame. Where for example do we situate intellectual depth amongst Nigeria's leaders. Babangida's coup speech specifically mentioned that Nigeria's economy had to be Structurally Adjusted. Like you might know, Olu Falae, Kalu I. Kalu and Chu S.P. Okongwuw were the arrowheads for the programme. None of them had any ideas on how targeted infrastructural spending can boost economies.

They are not the problem

Was it IMF and world bank that told IBB to misappropriate $12.4Billion? were they the ones that asked us to steal monies meant for the completion of Ajaokuta steal complex,what about NITEL,did they also tell us to kill it? any African particularly Nigerian who still thinks that these Breton Woods institutions are responsible for our woes must have been taught by a 20th century communist oriented political economists,wake up people,IMF and World bank are not the enemies.I hate DSK but what he did is not uncommon in our country,so many ladies in corporate offices have seen worse things,CEO's,lecturers,policemen and even so called men of God are not spearing their parishioners,the women themselves,are busy flaunting nudity up and down hoping to catch the fancy of randy money bags just like our leaders went whoring after money from the Paris club having squandered our economies.If a prodigal brother comes back to borrow money from you after several lendings,what will you do?

Nice write-up. But I do not agree, totally.

Chika, I am in accord with your analysis of the relationship between IMF and Africa. However, I don't think anyone really cares about "a prostitution deal-gone-bad." I am of the opinion that relating Strauss-Kahn's moral failings (or patronage of prostitution) with the impact of IMF loans is only a dis-service to us. We all know that Africa's problem is largely due to corruption, poor leadership, having incompetent people rule countries (look at someone like Jonathan leading Nigeria), lack of sense of direction, greed and thievery, etc. In addition to the fact that no one forces any country to take out IMF loans, other than these loans are taken out by leaders who want to steal the monies. I understand why women have more interest in this case, however, I refuse to accept that prostitution should attract any sympathy no matter who is involved. This woman is a prostitute, and this time, the man refused to pay after sex, which has nothing to do with IMF and the world bank.

Dear Tonyoso, You are quite

Dear Tonyoso,

You are quite correct, after all, Buhari refused to take that IMF loan and that was 95% the reason why America found a willing tool in the useless IBB to overthrow him. IBB in the saddle in order to pretend as if taking the loan was not a pre-condition to gaining support from the US, dribbled th ewhole country by setting up useless commisiions- J.S Cookey, who nation-trottled to hold debates.

Eventhough the analogy drawn by Chika is so nicely and academically sound (would give her an A++++ without DSK-rising her)

DSK Moral failings, Nafissatou and Chika


Take my advice, Sister Chika,...please. With your looks, don't ever venture anywhere near that animal...DSK, please!!