When highly regarded international banking executive Yusra Abrar was appointed governor of Somalia’s central bank in September 2013, the idea was to install a credible, trustworthy gatekeeper in order to help assure the international community that war-ravaged and notoriously corrupt Somalia had turned over a new leaf. The goodwill that came with Abrar’s appointment, Somali leaders hoped, would persuade prosperous nations to open the spigots of financial aid that would put their nation on the path to economic recovery.
Instead, a scant seven weeks later, Abrar had resigned her post amid dueling accusations of malfeasance and negligence. The debacle shone a harsh light on how billions of foreign aid dollars are typically misdirected from the struggling people they are intended to help to the rich and powerful. The chaotic chain of events also calls into question the sincerity of the global central banking community’s purported desire to set underdeveloped nations on the path to prosperity.