Background Image

» Aid For Africa? No thanks!

October 15, 2018

Aid For Africa? No thanks!

[ted id=159]

After spending a year abroad in a first world country where inequality is almost zero* (as measured by the Gini Co-efficient where zero indicates perfect equal distribution of income), I find myself questioning why this is not a reality in Africa? Moreover, why does it seem like this reality is still a very long way away? This leads me to a subject that we have mentioned in a previous post and still remains a sore talking point, Aid in Africa.
Andrew Mwenda, a Ugandan journalist, asks us to re-frame the challenge of poverty to the challenge of wealth creation. It is a fundamental shift in the way we think about African success and the role that aid plays.
*The Gini co-effecient is measured between 0 and 1, where 1 is an indication of perfect inequality. The UK has a Gini Co-efficient of 0.268 according to the IMF compared to 0.63 in South Africa

  • Assessing the efficiency of foreign aid is really a pain in bottom part of the back… There are tons of literature and none is defining. The TEDTalk makes sense, money falling from the sky are not always good and the idea that the only way to develop sustainable income generating investments is by injecting capital (the big push model), is at least questionable. What is missing in the talk is that many donors (countries or NGOs allocating the funds) make their decisions based on trade or political interest something like “Ok, you can get our medicine, but you have to vote the way we want you in the UN council” or “Sure we will build hospitals for you, if you buy our Apache Helicopters” so foreign aid does not always fund the right projects. There are even articles which show that countries who vote in the same way like the USA during UN meetings get generally more funds from USA…. It would be interesting to see which countries are the largest beneficiaries of ODA (Official development assistance) lately, see for aid statistics.

    • Thanks for the insight Rado! Wasn’t aware of how significant the political motive is, question is how does Africa free itself from this seemingly endless foreign aid/debt continuum? Dambisa Moyo (economist) broached the subject in her book, Dead Aid. It’s definitely worth a read.