Two recent articles from Reuters address the much debated topic of aid for the African continent, posing 2 very distinct arguments. Thanks to Jonathan for these links.
The first article, "Time to Stop Aid for Africa?" discusses a new book entitled, "Dead Aid" by Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo.
"Moyo believes more than $1 trillion in development aid over the past 50 years has only entrenched Africa’s poverty, distorted economies and fuelled bureaucracy and corruption. She sees alternatives such as encouraging trade - particularly with emerging markets - encouraging foreign direct investment, microfinancing for enterprise and seeking funds from capital markets."
In the second article, entitled "Time to Stop Aid for Africa? An Argument Against," Savio Carvalho, Uganda country director for aid agency Oxfam GB, says that aid can be the key to helping countries climb out of the deep abyss of poverty, if done the right way. He says,
"For individuals, access to resources – including aid - is like an investment. Aid can build up poor people’s assets, support good governance and enhance skills and capacities to bring about transformation. But it can become a bane when it makes communities dependent, lazy and hopeless. Governments, aid agencies and the United Nations need to ensure the delivery of aid is well planned and coordinated, leading to higher self-reliance among poor communities.
Aid is also beneficial when trade is fair. There are several examples in Africa, like the case of coffee farmers in Uganda, where aid has been used effectively to improve the overall quality of the coffee seeds, thereby giving farmers better prices for their produce."
Both of these articles address the need to make trade fair. Until that happens, though, I can't imagine pulling aid out of Africa.....
What are your thoughts?