Nigerian Think Tank Says World Bank Strategy on Palm Oil Is Irresponsible, Denies Africans Job Opportunities

Oct 06, 2010, 12:36 ET from Initiative for Public Policy Analysis (Nigeria)

Letter to World Bank President Zoellick Requests a Halt to Palm Oil Investment Freeze

LAGOS, Nigeria, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In advance of the World Bank and IMF Fall Meetings, the Initiative for Public Policy Analysis (IPPA) wrote today to World Bank President Robert Zoellick in defense of African farmers and workers in the palm oil sector, calling the Bank's efforts to draw up a new framework on the crop a shortsighted condemnation of developing countries from those in the developed world.



The letter points to the importance of palm oil in two major ways: job creation and food production, two initiatives that align with the ideals of the World Bank. In Nigeria alone, 1.8 million jobs are provided by palm oil producers and smallholder farmers. IPPA's latest study shows that palm oil is an essential food item, with about 90 percent ending up in food products.

The letter was signed by leading Africans, including:

  • George Ayittey, Global Cheetah Palm Oil Company (Ghana)
  • Thompson Ayodele, Initiative for Public Policy Analysis (Nigeria)
  • Eustace Davie, Free Market Foundation for Southern Africa (South Africa)
  • Paul Adepelumi, African Center for Advocacy and Human Development (Nigeria)
  • Richard Tren, Africa Fighting Malaria (South Africa)
  • Franklin Cudjoe, IMANI Center for Policy and Education (Ghana)
  • Rejoice Ngwenya, Coalition for Market and Liberal Solutions (Zimbabwe)
  • Olusegun Sotola, Initiative for Public Policy Analysis (Nigeria)

The letter says, "We believe the surest way to cut poverty and protect our natural environment is by raising living standards and creating economic prosperity in poor countries. By cutting off much needed funding for palm oil producers, the World Bank threatens to generate poverty and economic dependency, instead of reducing it, a strategy which goes against the very ideals of the institution."

Click here to read the letter.

The Initiative for Public Policy Analysis (IPPA), the 2005 award-winning organization, is Nigeria's public policy research institute or think tank. Its major concern is with the principles and institutions that enhance economic development and wealth creation, with particular focus on Africa and Nigeria.

IPPA News Coverage:

Business Day Op-Ed by Thompson Ayodele and Richard Tren, Bank's Palm Oil Cop-Out Thwarts Its Goals, September 30, 2010

The Guardian, Nigeria's Palm Oil Industry Has Lots of Potential for Economic Growth, Says Expert, September 7, 2010

The Nation, IPPA Highlights Benefits of Palm Oil, August 26, 2010

The Hindu Business Line, Palm Oil Can Alleviate Poverty, Foster Growth: Report, August 23, 2010

IPPA Press Releases:

Nigerian Think-Tank Lauds Liberia Palm Oil Investment, Will Create New Jobs and Economic Growth, September 13, 2010

IPPA Report Frames African Case for Palm Oil, Urges Renewed World Bank Focus on Poverty Reduction, August 23, 2010

Initiative for Public Policy Analysis

Address: 9A, Adekunle Odunlami Street, Off Aina George, Ilupeju, Lagos, Nigeria

Phone: +234-1-791-0959, +234-(0)80-2302-507 / URL:

SOURCE Initiative for Public Policy Analysis (Nigeria)