My advice to the BAD

The African Development Bank or Banque Africaine de Developpement (BAD) was long based in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, seen as one of the most stable places in Africa. Then when the crisis got too bad in 2003, the bank evacuated its staff and moved to Tunis, Tunisia.

From a discussion on

Things fell apart in 2002, when rebels attempted to overthrow President Laurent Gbagbo, triggering massacres and civil war. With gunfire in the air, managers of the development bank frantically evacuated about 1,000 employees and their families in early 2003. The bank picked Tunisia as a temporary refuge in large part because of the stability offered by the dictatorial government of President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali.

The new home sparked something of a culture clash, both bank and Tunisian officials say. The influx of thousands of bank professionals and their families jarred a country that had little experience with black Africans, except as students or laborers. Bank professional staff earn between $48,000 and $150,000 a year, far more than the average Tunisian, and many drive Mercedes or BMW sedans with easily identifiable African Development Bank license plates. They say they have often returned to their parked cars to find them intentionally scratched.

So dear BAD, if you are looking for stability, how about not choosing a dictatorship as your base next time?   How about a country where the will of the people is reflected in its governance and where civil liberties and political rights are respected?

This map from Freedom House where countries are ranked according to respect for civil liberties and political rights can serve as a starting point:


Green = "Free", Yellow = "Partly Free", Violet = "Not Free"

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