Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Time to Stop Aid for Africa?

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?


  1. Fair Trade would be the ultimate solution for sure! But it would be sinful, shameful! to pull the rug out from under millions of men, women and children who only have that rug because other people care enough to provide it to them.
    It is hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel if there arent people there to help guide the way!

  2. I agree that only giving money is creating a welfare system and that doesn't work and give them independence, so if fair trade accomplishes that then that's what I believe need to happen.

    On the other hand I can't see pulling aid away, however if aid is currently fueling tension, war & corruption I think it's also unwise to contribute as is.... It's a mess that's for sure, which is why until a good solution can be found I contribute through Blood:Water Mission and World Vision....

  3. We had a Ugandan woman in our home for a few days. She shared her frustration with her government. The Ugandan gov't received money and mosquito nets from the US government. She said it never met it's intended target. Sometimes I think it is better to go through agencies that work in the country with the people.


Leave a comment - your opinion matters.