Stop the aid to Africa?

From Sunday’s New York Times Magazine:

You argue in your book that Western aid to Africa has not only perpetuated poverty but also worsened it, and you are perhaps the first African to request in book form that all development aid be halted within five years.
Think about it this way — China has 1.3 billion people, only 300 million of whom live like us, if you will, with Western living standards. There are a billion Chinese who are living in substandard conditions. Do you know anybody who feels sorry for China? Nobody.

Maybe that’s because they have so much money that we here in the U.S. are begging the Chinese for loans.
Forty years ago, China was poorer than many African countries. Yes, they have money today, but where did that money come from? They built that, they worked very hard to create a situation where they are not dependent on aid.

What do you think has held back Africans?
I believe it’s largely aid. You get the corruption — historically, leaders have stolen the money without penalty — and you get the dependency, which kills entrepreneurship. You also disenfranchise African citizens, because the government is beholden to foreign donors and not accountable to its people.

An interesting perspective that I’d be interested in hearing more about than the short interview provides. Hopefully she’ll do the radio circuit. Thoughts?

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  • http://partofthejourney.wordpress.com Josh Barton

    Interesting for sure.
    I do think that the aid that does go over needs to be monitored much better. I don't know that I agree with the idea that if we stop aid to Africa that in 40 years they will be able to be self-sufficient too. That seems to be the idea they are proposing.

    There are so many other factors that come into play. Resources, oppression, 1 billion people.

  • http://partofthejourney.wordpress.com Josh Barton

    Interesting for sure.
    I do think that the aid that does go over needs to be monitored much better. I don't know that I agree with the idea that if we stop aid to Africa that in 40 years they will be able to be self-sufficient too. That seems to be the idea they are proposing.

    There are so many other factors that come into play. Resources, oppression, 1 billion people.