In Leveraging Project Finance for Development: The Chad-Cameroon Oilfield Development and Pipeline Project, George E. Mitchell offers an incisive and balanced assessment of this critical development project case. He adroitly points to the governance mechanisms and culture that lead to unique relationships and decision-making processes between the World Bank, the IMF, donors and transparency NGOs. He traces the consequences of balancing—or not—generational views of development, capacity and pressing security concerns. We see a parallel with concerns for capacity and security issues in alternative development programs raised in an earlier article in this Volume 1 of JCSST with the “War on Drugs” in Bolivia. Mitchell’s article is excellent read for anti-corruption activists, development scholars, donors and students of development administration. Read the abstract and follow the link to the full article.
“The Chad-Cameroon oilfield development and pipeline project was a major attempt by the international community to leverage an extractive industries project to promote development in a fragile state. The project is notable for its size and ambition, and for the intensive participation of multilateral institutions, multinational corporations, governments, and civil society. The centerpiece of the project was an elaborate revenue management program designed to funnel oil revenues to priority sectors in Chad. However, unanticipated developments, including a deteriorating security situation, gradually eroded the Chadian government’s compliance with the program, resulting in disbursement suspensions and renegotiations. The program was prematurely terminated when the government of Chad fully prepaid its remaining financial obligations to the World Bank after just seven years of the project’s anticipated 20-30 year lifespan. Once hailed as a newly emergent model for development, the project now offers important lessons stressing the need for greater pragmatism in the future”.