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« Guardian readers: 'Does not compute' | Main | Quote of the day »

Trade not aid

There's an interesting article in the FT about Dambisa Moyo, an economist who wants to scrap all of the aid programmes to Africa. Somewhat surprisingly, her views seem to be not unpopular, with at least two African leaders inviting her to talks.

It's certainly a breath of fresh air to have someone speak about "exit strategies" rather than simply demanding more handouts.  The FT speaks ominously,however, of a groundswell of opposition from the aid community. This is only to be expected. There are taxfree lifestyles to be maintained among the "misericorderati", so they can certainly be expected to fight hard and dirty.

But it's only trade that offers a long-term solution to the problem of poverty in Africa.

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Reader Comments (6)

Reminds be of Bono shouting down an African journalist because he didn't like the message:

"What man or nation has ever become rich by holding out a begging bowl?" asked Mwenda.

(Anything by Bill Easterly is well worth reading on this subject)
May 24, 2009 at 9:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterKit
When I first read this woman's comments I blogged this, from a NZ perspective....Africa seems constantly embroiled in a steady stream of horrors, the likes of which are not seen anywhere else on the planet. Why? Are Africans innately different from the rest of us? Nonsense, says Moyo. She blames aid...
...and by so doing blames socialist welfare statism...exactly the system that is producing an underclass wherever it is applied. Africa ? think Murupara/South Auckland/Otara...

Just as the green church has the blood of innocents on its hands after the hysteria over DDT, the aid organisations have to look at themselves over the institutionalism of corruption and famine in Africa, propped up by Western aid.
May 25, 2009 at 1:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterAyrdale
Add to the list the Australian Aborigines, who have been utterly destroyed by aid and well meaning social policies. For as long as the test is doing what feels good, rather than what actually achieves a good result, the aid industry will create as many (or more) problems than it solves. There is a huge difference between helping someone when they are down, and taking over their lives and running it for them.
May 25, 2009 at 6:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterRathtyen

Love it. May steal, hope you don't mind; will acknowledge if public.
May 25, 2009 at 11:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Duffin
I worked in Africa as chief executive of a broadcasting organisation for four years. Aid is not only crippling African enterprise, it is also the root of most corruption, and is also the reason why China (and before that Moscow) holds such a sway on the continent. There's no harm in "pump priming" - eg providing enterprise capital - but providing aid for "projects" is the equivalent of pouring money down a well. All of the tranzis (supported by DFID and the World Bank) think they are doing a wonderful job, but in reality, they are the the biggest brake on genuine development and economic enterprise. Those that I met from DFID were to a man and woman, unimaginative, bureaucratic, self-serving, and motivated by Guardian-left values. The UN sits at the heart of the web of corruption, holding endless conferences on how to make things better, but it is only making things worse.
May 27, 2009 at 8:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterRobin Horbury
Hi Bish.

We do a lot of extra schooling at home. We came across the word *paradox* and wanted some good examples. Wikipedia threw up some lame examples - some involving trime travel...

The best I could think up was that leaving the fridge door open will *warm* the room.

But now we have a perfect example of a paradox: *AID* programs.

The explanation is that money and goods are sent to africa, schools are built, wells are drilled, goats are bought, etc. So far so good. But when you stand back and look at the net effect of this experiment over the last 30 years the results have all been negative - every single aid project has backfired and made the recipients poorer.
Jun 1, 2009 at 1:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

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