March 11, 2005
Aid and Africa.
Just a small snippet from the Torygraph on the new proposals for aid to Africa. (And yes, I will be returning to Jim and Own’s comments later today...sorry, but real work has got in the way of blogging pleasure.)
Its main remedy for the continent's ills is thus a depressing throwback to the 1960s school of aid and development - that Africa should get an extra £13 billion of aid by 2010 and another £13 billion after that.
Bitter experience suggests that even if these huge sums were multiplied tenfold, they would do little good. For Africa received £220 billion of aid between 1960 and 1997, the equivalent of six Marshall Plans, and finished up even poorer than before.
With the possible exception of President Robert Mugabe, everyone now accepts that Africa's central problem is not a shortage of aid but "bad governance". Put simply, the continent is filled with repressive and incompetent regimes whose chief pastime is grand larceny.
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» Commission for Africa from New Economist
The final 460-page report of the UK-sponsored Commission for Africa will be released at 9.30am GMT today. A broadcast of PM Tony Blair's speech will be broadcast live from the No 10 website. Mr Blair set up the commission, which includes several Africa... [Read More]
Tracked on Mar 11, 2005 7:26:54 PM
A particularly stupid article, even by the Telegraph's standards. Firstly, just because governance is one of or even the main problem facing Africa does not mean that a shortage of aid is not also a problem, yet that is precisely what the Telegraph is implying.
Secondly, we all know that billions in aid was wasted in the past when donors were more interested in propping up their favourite client dictators than in development and didn't really care where the money went. Now more African countries are democratic and well-governed than ever before, but the Telegraph says that now we should cut aid?
Thirdly, as you know, the evidence is that Africa would be even poorer if it hadn't received so much aid, so this argument that "Africa got loads of aid, but got poorer, therefore aid doesn't work" is just idiotic. Like Jeffrey Sachs says, this is equivalent to sending a single fireman to put out a forest fire and, when he fails, deciding that sending more would be simple encourage the fire to spread.
Posted by: Jim | Mar 11, 2005 7:50:28 PM
EU is just using African countries as pawns in there politicle chess game
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