The World Bank and the IMF (the International Monetary Fund) were set up during the end of the Second World War to rebuild the economies of Europe. However, in order for the world bank and the IMF to implement their policies, they (the world bank and the IMF) began offering loans to poor countries but only if the poor countries privatized their economies and allowed western corporations free access to their raw materials and markets. That was a poverty trap and many poor countries realized it when it was too late. We were already in chains.
That was the beginning of much of the problems we face today in Africa. Now we are in a vicious cycle of poverty and there seems to be no way out. The western corporations flourish while the poor in Africa and other parts of the developing world, continue to die in poverty.
The general perception is that, the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO help fight poverty and hunger in the developing world. However, in reality, this is far from the truth. It is a new form of warfare whereby the rich western corporations employ deception, the poverty of the poor, and the ignorance of the innocent, as top weapons of mass destruction. In fact, the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO (the World Trade Organization) are the triple enemies of progress in almost every developing country in the world today. Now let's see how the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO operate in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Take a country like Ghana for example. Ghana is blessed with abundance of natural resources. The World Bank and the IMF are very interested in countries such as Ghana where they can easily control the natural resources and the markets.
There used to be some prosperous rice farming communities in the northern parts of Ghana. In fact, the government of Ghana used to give those rice-producing farmers some farming subsidies to enable them produce rice on a larger scale to help feed the nation. However, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and the IMF stood in and told the Ghanaian government that, they (the World Bank, the IMF, etc) would not give Ghana any more loans unless the Ghanaian government cut the farming subsidies, and the main reason behind it was that, Ghana had to import rice from "partner" western countries such as the United States (a major partner of the World Bank and the IMF).
Now Ghana imports most of its rice from abroad at huge prices every year. So at the end of the day, Ghana owes the World Bank and the IMF huge amounts of money. However, the money did not remain in the Ghanaian economy because Ghana had to use the loan to import food from abroad. Meanwhile, the rice-producing communities in Ghana could have helped produce enough rice to feed the nation (and even exported some abroad to make more profit). Now the northern communities in Ghana remain the poorest in the country with no better jobs and no opportunities at all in most parts. Young boys and girls, some as young as 9, are migrating to the southern parts of the country to major cities and towns such as Kumasi and Accra (a very dangerous journey for kids) all in search for jobs so they could take care of their poor dying families back home. Most of these kids (locally known as "kayayo") never return home. Some die along the way and some return worse than before, and all thanks to the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO.
Although the money was returned to them, we still owe them. That is why most developing countries owe the World Bank and the IMF a lot in loans. Sometimes you hear "debt cancellations" and you may think they forgive poor countries their debts but that is not how it works in reality. The World Bank and the IMF never forgive, and because of the huge debts developing countries owe, they (the World Bank, the IMF, the WTO, the United States of America [a major partner of the World Bank], etc.) control almost all the affairs of those poor countries. In other words, if you don't obey what the World Bank, the IMF, etc. say then you must pay back the debt and because you cannot pay back the debt, you must obey whatever they tell you to do.
Any leader who doesn't obey the World Bank, the IMF, the WTO and co is often labeled a "terrorist" and must be assassinated in most cases. For example, when there is an oil discovery in a developing country (that owes the World Bank and the IMF) and the leader of that developing country is not ready to co-operate (so western corporations can easily take over the oil exploration), the World Bank and co quickly get rid of such a leader sometimes through war (just like what happened in Iraq). The World Bank and co elect their own "obedient" leaders to rule those poor countries so that they (the World Bank, IMF and co) can easily control that country's economy and market.