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Thursday, July 07, 2005

For God's Sake, Please Stop the Aid!

SPIEGEL Interview with African Economics Expert:

SPIEGEL: Mr. Shikwati, the G8 summit at Gleneagles is about to beef up the development aid for Africa... Shikwati: ... for God's sake, please just stop. SPIEGEL: Stop? The industrialized nations of the West want to eliminate hunger and poverty. Shikwati: Such intentions have been damaging our continent for the past 40 years. If the industrial nations really want to help the Africans, they should finally terminate this awful aid. The countries that have collected the most development aid are also the ones that are in the worst shape. Despite the billions that have poured in to Africa, the continent remains poor. SPIEGEL: Do you have an explanation for this paradox? Shikwati: Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need. As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa's problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn't even notice. Only the functionaries would be hard hit. Which is why they maintain that the world would stop turning without this development aid.
Read the whole thing, fascinating. (via Vodkapundit)

2 Comments:

Blogger Brian said...

Shikwati's not the only one who feels that way. On the flight back from Cape Town in January, I sat next to a South African missionary/educator who felt the same way. She suprised me a little, at first, when she boldly stated that "there's plenty of money in Africa." But after listening to her a while I found myself agreeing. The unfortunate truth is that the things Africans really need (rule of law, property rights, noncorrupt government) we can't give them.

7/07/2005 12:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

It was definitely a great read. Reminded me of when, back in the 1980s, you had Band-Aid, USA For Africa and others producing records to generate money to help people in Africa... yet then I heard stories about how a lot of the supplies sent there didn't even get to the people who needed them.

7/08/2005 10:04:00 AM  

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