When James Wolfensohn became head of the World Bank, he bluntly admitted the bank had screwed up in Africa. Decades of loans had erected a vast modern infrastructure (dams, roads, and power plants) for Africa's poor, but the gap between rich and poor did not narrow. In fact, the policies of the bank and global financial regulators had created a new crisis in sub-Saharan Africa: These nations were now mired in debt they could not possibly repay. Africa's total debt at the time almost equaled the annual gross na- tional product of the entire continent. For instance, in Mozambique, where 25 percent of all children die from infectious disease before the age of five, the government was spending twice as much paying off debt as it was spending on health care and education.