Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dead Aid?




One of the reasons that this piece interested me is that I was there (at TED conference in Arusha, in June 2007) when Bono and Andrew Mwenda went mano-a-mano. The author exaggerate the notion that Bono's used profane language. He simply strongly argued his case against Mwenda's misrepresentation. When Mwenda went on stage, he trashed the idea of aid and challenged the audience to name one country - just one - that has benefited from foreign aid. Bono, in the audience, raised his hand and said "my country, Ireland". And explained how the European Union assisted Ireland to transform its economy from that making potato chips to making computer chips. Then, Mwenda said "alright, alright, may be there is only Ireland, and that it is". Bono stood up again and said "Germany". And explained how the Marshall Plan (which was a foreign aid program), transformed Germany's economy. Then Mwenda got confused.

Anyway, the article below, which reviews a book by Dambisa Moyo, can be a source of a good debate on the role of aid in our countries. I have not read the book myself but I have questions about the thesis (that aid is a source of Africa's problem, and the way to cure our problems is to stop aid). Anyway, enjoy the article! January



Daily Mail, UK 10/03/2009

NOT SUCH COMIC RELIEF?

By Christopher Hart.

Red Nose Day is one of the high spots of the TV year, with our best-loved stars raising millions for charity. But a provocative new book by a black academic argues the billions Africa receives in aid are the very reason it’s trapped in poverty.

WE ARE accustomed to bizarre outbursts and posturings from multimillionaire celebrities, especially when they spot a chance to portray themselves as concerned philanthropists with almost painfully big hearts.

Their favourite method is to drop in for a few hours at some televised charity event — Comic Relief, Live8 and Live Earth.

Perhaps the best-known, and certainly the loudest among them, is U2’s Bono. His efforts have won him an honorary British knighthood, no fewer than three Nobel Prize nominations and the adulation of Tony Blair. Yet one of Bono’s most significant outbursts — rude, heckling and laden with expletives — took place away from the world’s TV cameras at a small conference it Tanzania recently.

Bono had been enraged by a Ugandan writer called Andrew Mwenda, who was presenting a powerful case that international aid, far from helping lift Africa out of poverty, might in fact be the very cause of its troubles.

Even the suggestion that this might be the case sent ‘ Saint’ Bono into a foul-mouthed rant, accusing Mwenda of being a comedian rather than a seriby ous contributor to political debate.

For his own sake, then, one can only hope that the pop star never comes face to face with the author of an incendiary new book. Called Dead Aid, its very title is a bitter mockery of that great institution and celebrity bandwagon, Live Aid.

But what it contains — particularly at a time when people are generously giving time, money and enthusiasm to this week’s Comic Relief fundraising events — is even more provocative. It argues that for 50 years the West has been giving aid to Africa — and in so doing has ruined the continent it professes to help. The author of Dead Aid is no lightweight courting controversy for its own sake. She is a highly qualified economist. More importantly, she is herself African — and what she has to say is as unsettling as it is important.

After years of listening to Western ‘experts’ such as Bono, Bob Geldof or Angelina Jolie pontificating about what Africa needs, here is a refreshing voice from Africa itself.

Dambisa Moyo was born in Zambia, where her family still live. She has a doctorate in economics from Oxford, a masters from Harvard, and for several years worked for the World Bank in Washington DC.

She is now head of research and strategy for sub-Saharan Africa at a leading investment bank. But here, you feel, is one banker who is still worth listening to, not least as she has witnessed the way her home country has become blighted by poverty. At independence in 1964, Zambia was a fresh, optimistic young nation, eager to embrace the future. Its GDP was around a quarter of the UK’s.

Today it is one-26th, and the country is mired in corruption, poverty and disease. So what went wrong?

One by one, Moyo examines the usual lame excuses for African backwardness, and dispatches them with ruthless efficiency. Africa has a harsh, intractable climate, with huge natural barriers such as jungle and desert? Well, so does Brazil, or Australia.

Many African countries are landlocked, always an obstacle to economic growth? That hasn’t done Switzerland or Austria much harm.

African countries are too ethnically and tribally diverse? So is India, and its economy is booming.

Africa lacks democracy? So China, Thailand and Indonesia, Asian tiger economies.

As for any lingering mutterings about Africans simply not being up to it, or inherently lazy, she doesn’t even consider them. She herself is eloquent proof of the idiocy of such Victorianera racism. No, the problem can be summed up in one short word — aid.

Aid isn’t Africa’s cure, she believes. It’s the disease.

Let’s be clear, though, Moyo is scrupulously fair about distinguishing between three different types of aid. There is emergency relief for famine, which many of us support through donations or charitable fundraisers, which is not only well-meaning but absolutely necessary at times of international crisis.

Then there is the everyday work of the charities themselves, about which she appears neutral, although she quotes one cutting comment from a senior economist: ‘ They know it’s c**p, but it sells the T-shirts.’

This year, it is Stella McCartney’s Comic Relief T-shirts — featuring images of The Beatles and of Morecambe and Wise — that have become the must-have accessory of those who like to wear their conscience on their sleeve.

DESPITE the cynics, it is worth remembering that since its creation in the mid-Eighties, Comic Relief has generated £600 million — roughly two-thirds of which has gone to fund charities working on the ground in Africa (the other third goes towards charities in the UK).

That is an awesome achievement that has made a genuine difference towards alleviating suffering on a local scale in some of the most deprived nations on Earth. No one should belittle that work.

But charities are ‘small beer’ compared to what Moyo perceives to be Africa’s real problem: the billions of pounds’ worth of aid poured into the continent by Western governments.

Consider the figures. In the past 50 years, the West has pumped around £ 35 trillion into Africa. But far from improving the lives of ordinary Africans, the result of stateadministered charity on such a colossal scale has, argues Moyo, been ‘an unmitigated political, economic and humanitarian disaster’.

The effects are easy to see, yet always ignored. Over the past 30 years, the economies of the most aiddependent countries have shrunk by 0.2 per cent per annum.

Yes, in the UK we have been in recession for six months or so now, but countries like Malawi and Burkina Faso have been in recession for three decades. How is this disaster related to thoughtless Western aid? Directly. And Moyo cites a brilliant example of how the whole concept is flawed.

Imagine there’s an African mosquito-net maker who manufactures 500 nets a week. He employs ten people, and this being Africa, each of those employees supports as many as 15 relatives on his modest but steady salary. Some 150 people therefore depend on this thriving little cottage industry, producing a much-needed, low-cost commodity for local people.

Then, Moyo writes: ‘Enter vociferous Hollywood movie star who rallies the masses and goads Western governments to collect and send 100,000 mosquito nets to the afflicted region, at a cost of a million dollars. The nets arrive and a “good” deed is done.’

The result? The local business promptly goes bust. Why buy one when they’re handing them out for free? Ten more people are unemployed, and 150 people are without means of support.

Like all such aid hand-outs, it’s an idiotically short-sighted way to treat a complex problem.

And that’s not all. In a year or so, those nets will have sustained wear and tear, and will need either mending or replacing. But the local net-maker is no longer around.

So now those previously independent and self-sufficient Africans have to go begging the West for more aid. Intervention has actually destroyed a small part of Africa’s economy, as well as its spirit of enterprise. Thus aid reduces its recipients to beggary in two easy moves.

Yet despite this ongoing disaster, we still have the celebrity harangues, the self-applauding rock concerts, ‘making poverty history’ from the comfort of your private jet.

At some point in the Eighties, as Dambisa Moyo observes, ‘Public discourse became a public disco’, reaching its eventual nadir, perhaps, with Madonna addressing her audience at Live Earth as ‘motherf***** s’ and declaring: ‘If you wanna save the planet, jump up and down!’

Moyo is blisteringly critical about the ‘Western, liberal, guilt-tripped morality’ that lies behind these jamborees, about the tax-avoiding Bono lecturing us all on poverty and advising world leaders at summits, and Blair’s craven admiration for him.

Ordinary Africans do not, on the whole, have much admiration for Western pop culture at its noisiest and most foul-mouthed.

So what do they make of the bizarre spectacle of some ill-qualified Western pop star moralising with such supreme arrogance on ‘what Africa really needs’? Africans themselves have ideas about what they really need, if only someone would listen. But as one such African comments: ‘My voice can’t compete with an electric guitar.’

Another effect of aid, well known in the West and yet consistently and shamefully ignored, is that it props up the most thuggish and kleptomaniac of Africa’s leaders.

That parade of grotesques who have filled our TV screens almost since independence, it seems — Idi Amin in Uganda, Mobutu in Zaire, Mengistu in Ethiopia, the ‘ Emperor’ Bokassa in the Central African Republic — were always the greatest beneficiaries.

Bokassa spent a third of his country’s annual income on his own preposterous ‘coronation.’ The genocidal Mengistu benefited hugely, it is said, from the proceeds of Live Aid.

TODAY we have Mr Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace, 40 years his junior, going on £ 75,000-a-time shopping trips to Europe or the Far East, while her people starve, inflation runs at 230 million per cent, and Zimbabwe’s Central Bank issues $100 trillion banknotes.

Such tales echo Mobutu’s reign of terror in Zaire. He once asked the West for a reduction of his country’s colossal debt. The West, feeling guilty, promptly granted it.

Mobutu’s response? He hired Concorde to fly his daughter to her wedding on the Ivory Coast. In all, Mobutu may have looted £ 3.5billion from his country’s coffers. Nigeria’s President Sani Abacha stole about the same.

Even the World Bank itself reckons that 85 per cent of aid never gets to where it’s meant to. ‘When the World Bank thinks its financing an electric power station,’ says one jaundiced commentator whom Moyo quotes, ‘it’s really financing a brothel.’

So the aid industry causes poverty, corruption and war. Yet it continues. Why? Could aid just be something the West indulge in to buy itself an easy conscience — regardless of what effect it has on Africa?

Whatever the case, we should turn the taps off immediately, says Moyo.

Would this mean the end to the building of new roads, schools, hospitals? No. They’re mainly built by investment, not aid.

Would it be the end to many a kleptomaniac despot? Most certainly. But would millions would die of hunger within weeks? Of course not.

The aid we send doesn’t reach them anyway. Life for them would in the short term be no different, but in the longer term immeasurably better.

What makes Dead Aid so powerful is that it’s a double-barrelled shotgun of a book. With the first barrel, Moyo demolishes all the most cherished myths about aid being a good thing. But with the second, crucially, she goes on to explain what the West could be doing instead.

We all share the well-meaning belief that ‘the rich should help the poor, and the form of this help should be aid’. The first part of this is plain morality. But the second part, as she so forcefully demonstrates, is false — lethally false.

We shouldn’t be giving aid to Africa. That’s not what Africa wants. We should be trading with it, and idle chatter of ‘economic imperialism’ be damned. She has no time for such Left-liberal pieties. Of course we should be using Africa’s vast pool of cheap labour to make our clothes, assemble our cars, grow our foodstuffs. In fact, one country already is — it’s called China.

China is building roads in Ethiopia, pipelines in Sudan, railways in Nigeria. It’s buying iron ore and platinum from South Africa, timber from Gabon and Cameroon, oil from Angola and Equatorial Guinea. China is pouring vast sums of capital investment into the continent, enriching both itself and Africa in the process.

Dambisa Moyo is not much bothered by Western concerns that China does nothing to further democracy in Africa. An villager with six children doesn’t lose sleep over not having the vote, she loses sleep over what she will feed her children tomorrow.

Address poverty first, says Moyo, and democracy later.

The greatest example for Africa today, she believes, could be the Grameen Bank, which means, ‘The Bank Of The Village’, in Bangladesh. Moyo hopes that, in time, the nations of Africa can develop such a bank for themselves. For it is an extraordinary and heart-warming success story.

It was devised by Muhammad Yunus, who quite rightly won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his efforts. Yunus’s inspiration was to ask: ‘Where lies the wealth of the typical Bangladeshi village?’

A village may not have money, goods or assets. Yet it is a wonderfully tightknit, loyal little community, where nobody locks their doors at night, nobody steals, everyone knows each other. This is a tremendous kind of wealth — but how to translate it into money for these impoverished, decent, hard-working people?

YUNUS realised you could lend money to such a community and be sure of getting it back if you worked according to a plan — a plan with the simplicity of genius. You lend not to an individual but to a group, but only one member at a time. So you might lend one woman £20 (and an amazing 97 per cent of the Grameen Bank’s customers are women. That’s enough for her to buy a new sewing machine, and so start a thriving little tailoring business.

A year later, she repays the amount, with interest. At which point, the original £20 is passed on to the next person in the group.

But if she doesn’t repay the loan — and here Yunus saw how to turn the village’s ‘social capital’, its trustworthiness and deep-rooted sense of community, into economic value — then the next person in the group, quite possibly her next-door neighbour, her sister or cousin, doesn’t get it either.

The result? This humbly named Bank Of The Village now has 2.3 million customers, and a portfolio worth a colossal £170 million— in one of the poorest countries on Earth.

There is something deeply moving about it, especially when you learn that the reliability of the Grameen Bank’s customers has proved to be virtually 100 per cent.

No greater contrast between our own inept but limitlessly greedy banks and Bangladesh’s Bank Of The Village could be imagined.

The failed fat-cat Cityboy still awards himself a £500,000 bonus for his own incompetence, while these trustworthy women care for every single cent of their precious £20 loan.

More than that, though, it is a humbling example of the way that trade — not aid — can help Africa lift itself out of poverty. Certainly, there is still much that we can do to help Africa help itself. We should act, and fast. But pouring billions more in aid won’t change a thing.

Moyo concludes her book with a wise old African proverb. ‘The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.’

By all means give to Comic Relief when the fun gets under way this Friday. It is a worthwhile humanitarian cause that makes a real difference to people in desperate circumstances. But as for a long-term solution to Africa’s immense problems — that may require a new way of thinking.

DEAD AID by Dambisa Moyo(Allen Lane, £14.99). To order a copy (p&p free), call 0845 155 0720

51 comments:

Mchangiaji said...

I could not agree more..

I just bought one now!

40% off the original price, on UK Amazon Shop, £14.99 now sale for £8.99.

By Mchangiaji

Chambi Chachage said...

What questions do you have about that thesis of 'Dead Aid'? Are you insinuating that we, especially we in Tanzania, had/have 'Live Aid'? Ever read 'Lethal Aid' by our very own Prof. at UDSM?

January Makamba said...

Chambi,

Thanks for your comment, and your questions. I should admit that I have not the read the book. But, from this review, I think she oversimplifies Africa's woes: to say that Africa's problem is simply aid, and once you stop aid Africa will be fine, is like saying don't go to the hospital because people die in them. Aid can be fixed...and aid can be targeted to areas that will eventually lead to these countries to graduate from dependence (agric, infrastructure, education, "capacity to trade", etc). If few dictators end up stealing aid money, the remedy is not to stop aid.

I also think she falls into the old trap: that every of Africa's misery is a result of Western transgressions. For her, the transgression is not colonialism, slavery, etc - it is aid! I need to read the book the competently gauge her empirical case...but, from the review, I think she recycles those convenient odd stats, and I think the figure £35 trillion is a bit of an exaggeration.

I also do not accept the notion that aid is inherently crippling. The old adage is apt here: You can give somebody a fish every day (which is aid), or you can give him a fish rod (which is aid) and teach him how to fish (which is also aid - "technical assistance"). One type of aid (fish) perpetuate dependence, another (fish rod and fishing lessons) encourage independence.

GAME THEORY said...

Saw her promoting her book on AL-JAZ(al jazeera) the other day...in terms of her looks she's nothing special but these yellowbones do tend to be my kryptonite for some reason.

I've read the book and there isnt anything new that we already dont know..ahh well, it was interesting but totally simplistic and outright delusional in places in regards to Trade.

There are two central problems with Dambisa's prescriptions. The first problem is that she fails adequately to question the questionable orthodox prescription for economic development, centred on liberalisation and privatisation, although she favours supplementing it through more and better direct government investments in public health, education and infrastructure...in otherwords,she being a banker with Goldman Sucks (those bastards turned me down for a apprenticeship when i was undergrad)...anyways she supports the typical "Washington Consensus Plus" which it includes all the elements of policy that have been promoted for the last two decades by the U.S. treasury, the IMF& WB but adds some other elements besides...dAMBISA's view departs sharply from that of prominent critics of elements of the Washington Consensus, such as Professor Joseph Stiglitz,(who is an *ss) or Prof Jagdish Bhagwati (who has emphasised the potential dangers of free capital mobility).

Dambisa's prescriptions may ultimately create some problems as well as solve others.Lakini the second problem is that she relies heavily on the idea that today's development problems have a technical fix. In reality, it is impossible to know in advance exactly how to achieve any end — as is evinced by the dismal record of past attempts at comprehensive central planning....lakini again what did you expect from a Harvard grad? and dont get me started about Oxford is the rich and pompous educating the rich and stupid soon to be pompous. Ohhhh how can we forget kuwa our Finance minister bwana Mkullo ana Fake degree from PACIFIC WESTERN mumbo jumbo university!

ahhh hebu nijitokee zangu mie:

CURRENT READING STATUS:The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein...strongly recommend this book

salama said...

Haven't read the book yet, but before anything I'll get a little bit out of topic. I'm so Sorry guys, I have some few words for my friend,

GAME THEORY.

"In terms of her looks she is nothing special.."

Oh! no you didn't!

As if this is more important than the topic being discussed here, it's really not but I thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to raise the issue since that, that's how you started your comment.
Well, my friend, I'm sad to say that am a bit disappointed. What does her looks got to do with it?
Will I be wrong if I call this, another form of SEXISM?

Is this how you were judging her when you were listening to her interview? her looks and not the message behind the looks? the girl is FINE!, may the way we see ourselves is totally different from the way you guys see us. Interesting.
But, my point is, she came out with a challenging, provoking powerful idea and for her to get judged for her looks "first" and before the important message she has, I don't think it's right.

It's not something new, I understand that but, it's not a bad idea either to raise the awareness when opportunity presents itself. The whole notion that "looks", "Reception", "Mguu", "some junk in a trunk" "medium" and all things of that nature to be presented BEFORE, our skills, education, hardwork and many great things we can be and do, is wrong. How come men don't get judged by their looks? you wouldn't say that if it was a man, would you?
Not cool my friend, not cool at all.
Okay, back to the topic.

It's a question to ask ourselves and donors/lenders/givers, after all this time and all the money we've been recieving from foreign countries how come there's either nothing, nada or so little change to the targeted audience when it comes to poverty reduction? It's time for us to realize that foreign aid does not increase economic growth at all, and we need to start taking some draconian measures.
"Dead Aid" is a wake up call.

Inno said...

Bloggers,

Foreign aid to developing countries is another form of capital inflow just like FDI and Portfolio Investments. I think the debate should be on the pro and cons of these forms of capital inflow to Africa. As it has been said before by proponents of the subject, aid could prove beneficial to developing countries if it is channeled in social sectors and capacity building programs to create an enabling environment in order to attract other forms of capital inflows such as trade and investments. So should Tanzania turn down capital in the form of aid? Hell No!

Inno
P.s. It's pleasure to be back in da house. New members, welcome.

misokasick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
misokasick said...

I think we should not be quick at disputing her facts. We should all take it as a challenge. January be honest, there has to be some truth on what has been said. I think we can not just suddenly stop accepting Aid, but it is imperative that we start rethinking on rebuilding our countries with our own policies and efforts. Hand outs lead us to more dependency. Afterall, there has not been an independent body that could even trace how the Aid is being spent. Some facts presented here might have been exagerrated, yet are worth to be considered for the future. Bono might be cool, but lets wake up and figure our own stuff jamani. I think we should really set a timeframe on Aid asistance.

Ciao
misokasick

Iddy Mwanyoka said...

Well said January, Chambi, Mchangiaji and GT. Game Theory eeehh I think Joseph Stiglitz exposed World Bank and IMF, but I spared that argument for the next time topic.

I just order the copy of the book, because I don't want to deliver conclusion based on bias perceptive. However, looking from the brief summary I think Dambisa analyzed more from social lather than economic point of view. I think aid from Comic Relief, Live8 and Live Earth, is more of a charity and it doesn’t have a huge economic impact over the period of time.

Few weeks ago I wrote an article called Foreign Aid: A Glaucoma to Tanzania. My argument was very simple that foreign aids hadn’t empowered Tanzanian common man, instead it only served to further donor’s policies and regulations to our nation through “conditionality”. Foreign aid to Tanzania between 1965 and 1985 was $6.5 billion and yet data shows our economy was shrunk by 0.3% a year. If the Tanzanian are yet to be benefit from this aid, then who is beneficiary? Misaada was supposed to be temporary strategy to help our economy become self sustainable, however; for the past 47 years we received more than 14 billions dollars (equivalent to Tanzania current GDP) and yet life is not getting better for majority of Tanzanian. In African continent we’re in top three of the countries which received more money in form of aid. I asked my self what went wrong?

There are two types of aid that come from donors. One, foreign aid with string attach such as $20 million that we received from Chinese government few days ago. Most of these aids come in the form of quid pro quo, like Chinese government gave us that $20 million with the condition that we need to invest in agriculture and second we have to buy machines (matrekta) from China. What the pundits don’t tell us is the long term effects of that condition, if the machine brake down you will have to buy parts from China, when new technology pop up you will have to go back to China. Through that condition we can’t negotiate or shop around for reasonable price with good quality. So, in a long term strategy the $20 million will recycle back to China and Tanzania officials (diplomatic beggars) will go back and beg for more dollars. There are tones of example that I can give to you to show how conditionality aid cripple us instead of helping. For instance when a donor give us some money with the conditional that you have to build school, they don’t discuss after the school is built who will pay for maintenance, who will fund teachers and many others things. At the end of the day when the donors are gone Tanzania government is the one which stuck with the project.

The second aid is the one which come without string attach, it is hard to find a big donors into this one. Madonna, Bono and many other small donors are part of this group.

The notion that there is a smart man out there who should solve our problem is total insane. Tanzanian must liberate ourselves, as we see poverty to our nations, western nations they see wealth and potential to their investments. Most of so called “aid” given to us finds its way back to the donors as consultant fee and purchased machine.

It’s about the time to rise the question of when are we going to balance our budget by using our own money? We have been collecting taxes for years, TRA is striking high record every year, but yet more than 40% of our budget is financed by donors. We need to read our budget page after page and erase those projects which don’t work. We need to restructure our government and reduce its size. For Instance, some of the ministry and departments needs to be combined together in order to increase the efficiency and effectiveness. Also, hold accountable all MAKATIBU WA WIZARA for their action and enforce transparency in government expenditures. It’s crazy to give Wizara ya Elimu billon of shilling without to ask them to come back and explain how they spent it.

Anonymous said...

"It’s about the time to rise the question of when are we going to balance our budget by using our own money? We have been collecting taxes for years, TRA is striking high record every year, but yet more than 40% of our budget is financed by donors. We need to read our budget page after page and erase those projects which don’t work. We need to restructure our government and reduce its size. For Instance, some of the ministry and departments needs to be combined together in order to increase the efficiency and effectiveness. Also, hold accountable all MAKATIBU WA WIZARA for their action and enforce transparency in government expenditures. It’s crazy to give Wizara ya Elimu billon of shilling without to ask them to come back and explain how they spent it." - Iddy Mwanyoka

Based on your conclusion, thats says all, I think we are in the same conduit, and it is the right one, REFORM! REFORM! REFORM!

And I believe that is the right mantra we should take on board, and again, forget about the deemed EXAGERATION and undermining of our AFRICAN PROBLEMS by Mrs Moyo, I haven't read a book, I read countless reviews since yesterday, and I thin that is an EXAGERATION on the MEDIA, and INTEREST GROUPS, against her IDEAS, the woman is offering alternatives!, whats wrong with that?, I believe that Moyo absolute INTENTION, in resolving our Financial instability, bring in SUSTEINABILITY and GROWTH, as you clearly stated above, and it has never been a new concept, it is ideology which we have been bitching about for some time right here on this blog, but worthy a cry!

I dont believe for a second, that she is fundamentally a critique of AID, but she is only arguing that it CAN BE DONE BETTER!-gurdian interview, explaining her book - audio- She should be taken SERIOUSLY!

From her Diary while in RWANDA!
"Following Kagame’s lead, Rwanda is already obsessed with turning the “no-aid” development theory into a reality. This is not to say that the country does not use aid, nor that all of the country’s aid programmes have been wholly ineffective (some argue that the country has managed to eradicate malaria using aid programmes). But the fact that Rwanda’s leadership is actively making strides away from aid dependency is a clear acknowledgement that they feel, as I do, that engagement with the markets is the proper way to deliver long-term growth and to reduce poverty". read More from FT.com Mrs Moyo

By Mchangiaji

Anonymous said...

Following her interview with NY TIMES,

"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. Read More...

Anonymous said...

she also suggests:
"
...a telephone call from every donor nation to every aid-dependent government in Africa, warning that in five years the taps will turn off. This, she believes, would trigger the search for alternative financing on a commercial basis, and force governments to create conditions in which business would thrive."

Compelling!, again I dont think she is serious, and she knows that, it is unreliastic but a wake up call for African leaders to take matter on their own hands, CUT OFF THE BUREAUCRACY, let the wheel of progress and DEVELOPMENT ROLLINGs! is that simple

On Celebrities:

“Most Brits would be irritated if Michael Jackson started offering advice on how to resolve the credit crisis. Americans would be put out if Amy Winehouse went to tell them how to end the housing crisis. I don’t see why Africans shouldn’t be perturbed for the same reasons,” continue reading

Fowarded by Mchangiaji

GAME THEORY said...

Salama,
i had no bad intentions,maybe my fault was comparing her with "Amy Holmes" lakini that said i still think she should tone down on fake hairs an intelligent sister like her can do better than that. Seen her with different hairs more than 4 times doing tv interviews promoting her book. Lakini each to her own. No pun intended so chill...and i am not sexist

ZM said...

I agree with Salama, what she looks like should not be a factor in this debate at all! And I doubt very much if the same would've been said had she been a woman...weave or no weave, cut the woman some slack! She should also not be criticised for having graduated from top universities. In fact I think she raises some interesting points. For how long are we going to be aid dependent? Having said that one can only truely understand her arguments by reading the book, not by what an article by one individual says. Just my two cents worth!

ZM

GAME THEORY said...

the more i read her interviews from the links provided by some posters here the more she reveals herself like other Harvard contemporaries,she comes across as pompous and self-important to the point of distraction. It's amazing to have to say that about a book about AID in Africa, but it's true.

Jamani hana kipya huyu bibie, the book is like a travelogue of adventures in high-level negotiations, focusing on Dambisa's experience with GOLDMAN SUCKS advising governments about problems infinitely less complex than the one she wants to address in her book.Ahhh well in my humble opinion,kila kitu kilishaandikwa kwenye ile COMMISSION FOR AFRICA but then again CANT KNOCK HER HUSTLE...but then again,if you want to feel good about the ivy league capitalist youth -- that promoted free market policies across numerous developing countries to disastrous consequences then go ahead, this is the book for you; if you want a rigorous introduction to the issues, look someplace else...Naomi Klein would be a good start in my opinion

Inno said...

Mwanyoka,

You're touching upon the problems on the receiving side of aid which in the hands of Tanzanian government and its civilians to fix. But does that make aid necessarily bad?

Like I said before, we can look at aid as another form of capital inflow to Tanzania. How aid is being dispensed once it gets in the pocket of our national treasury that is a different story. We can discuss aid either as a capital input or as a capital output. Making that distinction in our on going discussion in this house is very important because the two require different analysis.

Inno

GAME THEORY said...

Wow!
Let me get some facts right kabla hii issue haijawa blown out of proportion

My point was why does an Ivy league educated sista like her need to subscribe to a European hair aesthetic? It's just not workable or something one should aspire to.

On all occasions i've seen her on telly her hair looks so unrealistic and fake that even Stevie Wonder and the late great Ray Charles could spot it traipsing down Broadway.

And no i'm not part of the you must wear your hair all natural all the time brigade,hell, I wouldnt like it if a girl wears same Manolos everyday....it would be boring


lakini when it comes to hair its a different ball game...she is representing new breed of African women, surely it wouldnt have hurt if she'd have blow dried her hair to a different texture,pressed it a few times,wore twists,wore afros etc.I'm all for versatility,but when you veer so far away from what is actually you,I would suggest that one needs to ask themsleves the difficult questions about self esteem and perception, regardless you are promoting a book on AID or giving us lectures on how we should get our act together.

misokasick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
misokasick said...

GT, I think it would be very wise and humbling if you could admit a simple error. As you keep trying to ellaborate on what was your point, it still sounds fishy. I think sometimes we all get carried away and make comments that could offend others. In the future everyone in this blog should remember, just because this blog was started by a man, it does not mean there are no women in this blog. Lets be careful on how we make our comments.

January Makamba said...

Miso, Salama, ZM,

Cut GT some slack. Since when has it become a sin to remark over other people's looks (in fact women are the biggest "sinners" in this, not just against men but against themselves). A brother has strong views on how women should look. It is perfectly natural. Let him be.

Back to the topic, Inno has mentioned something interesting - implying that money inflow into Africa, in all the forms, aid included, is a good thing. Granted. But Dambisa's point is that this, the expectation of a hand out, creates dependence and cripples entrepreneurship. For me, this is not a valid point because it entirely depend on where you direct the money.

misokasick said...

January Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.................................... I will stop there.
FDI and AID are two different things and they have different outcomes. You like it or not Aid creates dependence.

January Makamba said...

Miso,

I don't entirely agree that aid creates dependence.

Let us go back to the fish example. You have someone in need of protein. As donor, you have two options: to give him fish or to give him a fish rod and teach him how to fish. These are two types of aid. But one creates dependence, another does not.

January Makamba said...

...alternatively, so to be sure, you can teach him how to fish without cost ("technical assistance"), and then give a concessional loan or interest-free loan to get a fish rod.

Inno said...

Misokasick,

What ought to be done is to use aid in the manner that January and I tried to pointed out. That is: Aid be used as a means to free our continent from an aid dependence path. Otherwise it is very unrealistic to expect that nations in Africa can wean off foreign aid overnight. This is not a political argument or anything, it is simply a pragmatic point of view.

Inno

salama said...

I definately need to read the book.

We absolutely need some sort of aid under our current circumstances. In fact, the whole continent need a bailout. Period.
We can't afford not to receive aid but, at the same time we need to take a second look on how effective it really is, and what impact it has on us, in the long run. Two of many things we need to explore, REFORM AND TRANCEPARENCY.

This piece from 'policy, politics and culture, vol iv, no.3' caught my attention,
"A 2007 report by a Canadian Senate committee concluded that more than $ 12 billion in aid had not changed living standards in Africa. The reason: bad gov. and corrupt leadership..The British development economist Paul Collier has found that less than 1% of the funds granted to Chad for rural health clinics was actually used for their intended purpose"

What I'm trying to say is, how come they "(DONORS)" have all this imformation but, still, there's no serious action taken, whatsoever, to change the situation and help bring development to poor countries? May be I need a talk down on this (and read a book) but, I think Miss Moyo is ringing a bell to our ears that, we need to wake up and take action on our own instead of waiting for what others have to decide and say on our behalf. How come Chinese gov. has become a major supplier of capital to Africa on terms of borrowing us money, and mind you, it's a developing country. Not only them but also a couple of Asian countries that miss Moyo has mentioned, as a good exampe of taking matters in their own hands. What do we have to say about ourselves? AFRICA WE HAVE A PROBLEM, but there's a solutions if we take actions.

January & Game theory,

GT, I didn't say you're a sexist.

January. "..a brother has strong views on how women should look"
Oh! puh leez, J., give me a break!, who is anybody else to say HOW we should look apart from ourselves? I won't refuse the ADVISE but, no, I don't prefer to be told 'HOW' I should look. I think it's a personal issue. I agree that, we need to work on our 'weakness' when it comes to opinions on ourselves and others but, frankly speaking, personally, I would go vocal on something like this whether it comes from a man or a women.

If miss Moyo has something fake on her, I think it should be between herself and those close to her, and not us to judge whether she should or shouldn't look a certain way. This's what has become us, we're WOMEN FIRST and other things SECOND and it doesn't matter how important those other things are.

TYPICAL STEREOTYPING!

GAME THEORY said...

4 things:

1)After scouting the net for her interviews i have concluded that the book is one that you would only read when you cant sleep at night..nothing new..way too optimistic, reviving outdated theories of the '50s and '60s (esp Rostow).



2)January Makamba needs to diversify this blog...man its tiring reading about Economic theories and all...there are so many things we can talk about here instead of SIASA 24/7


3)Some dudes in here are behaving like "simps"...you know the types that have MEN ARE FROM MARS and WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS beside their beds



4)Me and Salama needs to make up in the wake of this..dont know how lakini I am open for suggestions from other members

CURRENT LISTENING STATUS: "time is now" Jean Grae ft Phonte

misokasick said...

January
I am not saying that we should phase out from foreign aid overnight, I think at some point we have to minimize our dependency on foreign Aid. We can take baby steps until we reach a point we are on own two feet. If we set goals it is possible to at least cut 25% of our dependency on foreign Aid. It is just a matter of setting goals. We can set a 20 year timeframe and reevaluate ourselves every 5 years. Right now we cannot afford to just suddenly cut off ourselves from foreign Aid, but it is also not so bad of an idea to envision ourselves partially free from foreign Aid.

Inno
I agree 100% that the problem might be much more on the recipient than the donor. Tracking down Aid and how it is being dispensed is probably a solution. Check your email.

misokasick said...

GT,
You are a good and Intelligent person and I honestly enjoy reading your comments and you can be funny. I just think, you should just admit you made a mistake and you do not intend any harm period and may be in the future be more sensitive. I think any woman reading such a comment will be offended. I personally felt the same way as Salama. Anyways, you have stated your case very clearly and I strongly believe you did not intend any harm, but please avoid such comments in the future.
Ciao

January,
You should know better to come out here and make such comments about women. You know better than that. I actually I could not believe I just ended up writing Plllllllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeease to you. The comment hurt so bad coming from you.

Iddy Mwanyoka said...

Inno
I think you need to come clean on what are you trying to emphasized? There is a big difference between capital inflow and aid with conditionality. Capital inflow such as FDI or Portfolio investment is total different with aid.

My argument doesn't based on how the government processing the aid, my argument based on donors condition which most of the time hurt the whole economic development. You should be aware that aid without condition can produce more benefits compared with the aid with string attached.

Most of the time the donors are the one who benefited in a long run. For, instance in Ethiopia official were forced to liberalized trade in order to receive aid for school projects. Now how can trade liberalization have to do with funding eduction sector? It's so common for donors countries to imposed conditions which at the end of the day crippled our system.

My argument based on the fact that between 1965 and 1985 we had good government with less corruption figures plus we received $6.5 billion but our economy was shrunk year after year. So, if data shows that we were not getting better despite the fact we received a lot of money then why can't we find what is wrong?

I think the good aid is the one that come without string, but the $20 million we received few days ago fail in the same old trap.

Iddy Mwanyoka said...

Since the beginning of post-colonial era, aid has been always one of the instruments in the Western powers’ panoply of interventions in the formal colonies. I total agree that there are few countries in the world which benefited from foreign aid (South Korea and Germany). However, those countries were considered strategic in geopolitical or economic terms received substantial unconditional amounts of aid. Plus combine with the doctrine of non-intervention in internal affairs that boosted those few countries to become the successful story when it comes to foreign aid. Before I proceed with my argument I total believe we all aware that each country has a different economic development path.

There is a quite wide spread of skepticisms on the useful absorptive of Official Development Assistance (ODA) flows to Africa, some economist even took a step further to call it “curse of aid”. We (Tanzania) received more than $13 billion in the past decades, but yet there is no substantive improvement in growth and poverty. I total believe that one shouldn’t argue that “corruption” is the main axis on why the ODA couldn’t resuscitation Tanzania economy. The reason behind failure of foreign aid is, soon after collapse of Berlin Wall development assistance was extended conditionally to encourage countries to adopt economic policies associate with “Washington Consensus” views, characterized by reduced tariffs, appropriate foreign exchange rates, trade liberalization, privatizations and low inflation.

Post 1995 after Tanzania full adopted Washington consensus as the precondition from donors, more small business were close down under the pressure of international competition. Donors’ ideology that more jobs will be created if we’re going to adopt Washington Consensus left us with huge unemployment and 7% GDP growth which doesn’t trickle down to a normal citizen in Kilwa, Kibaoni, Sikonge or Mkata.

I think we need to replace dependence on aid with a one time investment that leads to long-run sustainability lather than $20 million here and there. Recently we saw Washington crafted (MDG) a strategy of lowering African poverty in halves by 2015; however I total believe that will fail too. Western nations need to realize that aid with unfair condition is not a solution of improving African Economic development.

Mchangiaji said...

What is AID. according to Mrs. Moyo.

"Broadley speaking there exist three types of aids, Humanitarian or Emergency Aid, which is mobilised and dispensed during calamity, ie. TSUNAMI, etc, Charitable AID, and SYSTEMATIC AID, aid transferred from Government to Government or from INSTITUTIONS such as WORLD BANK!"

Here is an argument
"....It forces these countries to export products such as food, at the expense of providing for themselves, it forces devaluing of their currency so they earn even less and actually specifies less investing in healthcare and education in order that the money repays the debt. The problem is not that the aid flows whatever. It is the aid flows in return for the West receiving cheap goods, plundering the third worlds resources put them into greater debt, leading to more aid and more debt.... Perhaps the fact that the author has worked for the World Bank has distorted her outlook since they themselves think that because aid is not working it must be Africas fault and none of its own. "

My take on BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE
To me I find her, no difference to Ann Coulter, I am no way undermining her message, but I find that, SHE UNDERMINES AFRICAN PROBLEMS in general,
* She is pretty much on BUSINESS MISSION, shock and AWE on this book, expects more to follow... NO DOUBT!, she is seeking attention from her customer base, in particular Europe and the West in general, thats where she can sell the brand and TOTAL PACKAGE.. This is my business intake, build reputation to sell more in return..

My MORAL intake:
If she really care and want to make difference, she should have come to AFRICA take on the project be specifics, rather than generalizing all African problems onto one BASKET, thats what world bank have been doing, and not a single country to my knowledge, where their solutions has been working, not just Africa alone!

On Psychological perspective.
She is rebelling against the system, Her mind is more on protest, rather than looking and locking deeply onto specifics on the issues, which she is trying to offer solutions. May be because of her own personal experience, ie. Bono and other Celebrities have been weight more on the Argument about African problem rather than her be an ECONOMIST, or it can be work experience, race or many other issues, she is definately protesting....

Why trading with China only, while Germany can do the same job, if we are willing to engage them.

Conclusion.
But, I am in no doubt, she is offering a challenging argument, and choir is still the same!

By Mchangiaji

Mchangiaji said...

My suggestion to you all..

Kaza Moyo - Msondo Ngoma LOL!

by Mchangiaji

Inno said...

Mwanyoka,

Aid, according to the way I described it earlier, is the receipt of capital in the form of grant, be it in the monetary form or non-monetary form. The grant could be a recoverable one or a non-recoverable one. In Tanzania national account books, aid is measured as Net Unilateral Transfers in the current accounts of Tanzania balance of payments while FDI is measured in the financial accounts of the balance of payments. Both have one thing in common: receipts from foreigners! After having said that, capital is capital, be it in the form of FDI or AID

Do I make myself clear?

Inno

Inno said...

Mwanyoka,

Once you agree with me that both FDI and AID are capital inflow in the eyes of national accounts, then we can choose to talk about whether the discussion should focus on where aid comes from at that point or where it is heading. But I wanted you and everyone else to understand what I mean by associating AID with FDI as forms of capital inflow. They are both consolidated in national accounts as capital stock and flow respectively.

Inno

Iddy Mwanyoka said...

Inno
I total agree with you concern recording AID and FDI in the balance of payment. You actual stimulate more idea that i can argue toward how it pile up the defecit and mess up the whole balance of payment identity. Which i will spare kwa siku nyingine.

Now since we're agree to one another that both FDI and AID has implications in balance of payment, one is affect the capital account and another affect the current account.

So, i guess you will agree that AID contribute the defecit in our balance of payment which at the end of the day caused IMF to get big mouth sababu short term loan wanazo tupa ili kubalance hizi account zetu.

Ijumaa njema

Inno said...

Mwanyoka,

I don't mean to belabor on AID issue than necessary but I want to make a recap on our balance of payments discussion. I disagree with you that AID increases current account deficit.

Here is why I think you're wrong. Net Unilateral Transfer is divided into two parts- 1) Donations to the rest of the world, 2) Donations from the rest of the world. You and I are talking about number 2: Donations from the rest of the world (AID). Donations from the rest of the world DECREASE Tanzania's current account deficit and not the other way around as you put it. No need of hard math to prove the point.

Exports, Income payments from the rest of the world, and donations from the rest of the world compose current account surplus whereas imports, income payments to rest of the world as well as donations to the rest of the world compose the current account deficit. I hope this helps to clarify things. And my apology if this is boring to the rest of people in the house.

Inno

Anonymous said...

It has been really quiet here for the last two days!

World Economic Forum. Interesting TALK, Participants, Mkapa, Bill Gate, Gordon Brown, and others

The problem with the price of our TRADING COMMODITIES have no added VALUE, it therefore result for the developed countries to buy them for a VERY LOW/UNFAIR PRICE... By Mkapa,

So, president Mkapa if you see that NOT ADDING VALUE to our trading Commodities, you see as an issue, why DONT WE CREATE AND TACKLE THE PROBLEM, by creating industries that would add value to our Commodities and CREATING and FOSTER Business environment within our country that would allow such a move, so that we can trade them with FAIR price in the WORLD MARKET?


Botswana is doing the same with DIAMOND, and their flourished economy is mainly dependant on this gemstone, why dont we do the same here in TAnzania, with GOLD, TANZANITE, and other commodities.


World Economic Forum Video

By Mchangiaji

Che Solasi said...

I have not read the book, but there's some validity in what the lady is saying. Unfortunately just like my opinion, the conclusion she gives amounts to nothing but an opinion. Yes, there has been little economic growth as the result of aid. Yes, there has been dependence on aid by many gov't in Africa. And yes, there's a problem to the current format of the aid being dispensed into many countries in Africa. Yet, she seems to largely embark on a radical notion that if aid was completely cut-off then African nations will achieve something through that. I don't think the problem is the aid, rather the method of it's implementation.

Aid was never designed to be a permanent fixture in our daily lives nor for the next generation, I think that much we all agree. In fact, she's right to characterize our dependence on it like an addictive drug. It kinda reminds me of the welfare state in the U.S, whereby you've 3 generation of a families have become accustomed to seeing this as a way of life. Foodstamps, Section 8 housing, medicaid and etc. I do believe that poverty is everywhere in this world, and there will always be poverty in this world that is guaranteed.

J, I agree with the saying, "you give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day but teach him how to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime." The unfortunate part about this is, whose choice is to be taught.... the teacher or the student? To me this is a question of initiative, we can't just sit back and wait for answers.... we've gotta stand up and fish them up.

GT, you're so right about "it is impossible to know in advance exactly how to achieve any end." But on the other hand, if what was done before isn't working, it's better to try something else than to keep on the same failing path. Either the policy has been failing or it's implementation is in error something need to change. BTW on your 4 points....

1. Even if she's exploring old concept, still I commend her for trying to find solution to this matter, I think her pasion for it can't be question.
2. You can always post something and you can always start other blogs if you're not satisfied with issues being discuss.
3. Don't judge because you'll be judge with the same measure
4. no comment

Iddy, you're so right on the point. It's wrong and I should say immoral in my opinion to do our budget with foreign aid at any percentage. I don't disagree with accepting aid but no "household should do the everyday budget by counting how much they will get from charity"... that is just wrong concept of poverty mentality. I don't think any person or country should live beyond their means and this is not stress hard enough in many parliaments and state-houses across Africa. It's not the donor's fault we are so hungry for their aid if we can plan our lives without them.

Whether they give aid with peverted motives or guilty conscience, they've some sort of interest by doing it. On the other hand, what is the reason for us to accept any aid?

Iddy Mwanyoka said...

Inno
I guess you had a nice weekend, so do I. I am back in economic junk section. I should agree that I am not into details about technicality of foreign aid when it comes to BoT balance of payment entry. IMF who initiated this system after collapsed of Bretton Woods system they kept this double entry transaction system as a hidden agenda.

One the other side of the coin, I guess the argument concern harmful of foreign aid is still valid. I would love to hear from your side, what do you think about this system? Do you believe it works on our advantage? If yes then how? Then how does economic data shows for the past 47 years, does the data support the argument?

Good Monday for all,

Inno said...

Mwanyoka,

National accounts principles were not designed by IMF, they are part of macroeconomics. And the principles of economics are ubiquitous whether it is in the national accounts or other areas of economics. Enough of this, brother. I'm not in this house to lecture people on econ.

As for my views of foreign aid and what not, please scroll down from head to toe of the "Dead Aid?" discussion and you will see my comments on the subject in segments

Cheers,
Inno

GAME THEORY said...

che solasi,
Huyu bibie hana jipya all she is doing is displaying displays the same sorry imperialist logic that got (so-called) Third World countries into debt in the first place. When milions of people are dying from starvation in the real world, it is irritating to listen to tired self-justifying academic rubbish.

Lor lets just say,book would also be redundant to a boring degree.

Iddy Mwanyoka said...

Inno
I went through all of your arguments, and I found few points from your side on why are you supporting foreign aid.

As I mentioned on my previous arguments, the technicality of where Aid is posted in Nation accounting system(Balance of Payameny Identity) has less implication to Tanzanian daily life. I think the whole purpose of the arguments is to provide strong evidence on why/why not foreign aid is a corner stone of Tanzania Economic Development. As far as where the transactions need to be recorded I think it all blends in academic (area)/experience and not BS Economics. Because I went through all of my junk which deals with international finance, and I didn’t recover a peace explained about how developing nations record their aid.


Coming back to the argument, I wish to know how aid helps Tanzania to recover from stagnant number of people who are living below poverty level (35.7%), even though Tanzania is receiving billion of dollar from donors. Despite the GDP growth of 7%, the unemployment is over 25% for many years. All this arguments are valid.

Inno said...

Mwanyoka,

You said, Quote "I wish to know how aid helps Tanzania to recover from stagnant number of people who are living below poverty level (35.7%), even though Tanzania is receiving billion of dollar from donors. Despite the GDP growth of 7%, the unemployment is over 25% for many years. All this arguments are valid." End of quote

I didn't say that AID is or will be a panacea for all Tanzania's socio-economic development needs. But it could serve as capital supplement needed to direct Tanzania to a much less aid dependent nation. You didn't see this in my previous comments?

The whole point of lecturing you on the balance of payments stuff was because you wrongly thought that aid increases Tanzania's current account deficit. Sorry you had to dig deep in the books of international finance/ economics trying to see where aid is recorded in the balance of payments. You're right, financial statements (or econ analysis, for that matter) has never been reader-friendly!

Inno

Iddy Mwanyoka said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Iddy Mwanyoka said...

Inno

Since we both understood each other that aid is not a long term strategy of empowering Tanzanian into economic freedom. On your last argument you mentioned that “But it could serve as capital supplement needed to direct Tanzania to a much less aid dependent nation”. My question is when are we going to get to this promised land of “less aid dependent nations”? When Mwalim took the country in 1961 Tanzania was on top of the list of the countries which received plenty of foreign aid money. However, the result was like fuzzy math, Tanzania economy didn’t get better. One might say Mwalim faced many challenges during those times. I total agree with that argument; however what went wrong from 1985 to 2009? We did everything that donors want us do, we liberalized our market, we privatized our parastatals, and adopted some kind of free trade. But yet the data shows that the number of Tanzanian lived into nation basic needs poverty line has shrunk by only 3% to 36% (According to MKUKUTA report) for the past 20 years. This means 14.4 million people are still living below Tanzania basic needs poverty line.

Why we are still believed that aid is part of solution and not a problem? In my humble opinion I total believe we need to find our way out of this aid with conditions.

Inno said...

Mwanyoka,

"Be the Change you wish to see in the world..." -Gandhi.

Temu, A.B.S said...

I am yet to read the book. I am sure there could be many ways in addressing these issues, with myriads of approaches. Let me simply home to this one: no matter how one takes this debate, the bottom line as I see it, is, in simplistic terms, policies that promotes self reliance, transparency, rule of law and accountability - all with heavy local influence with outside being for supporting the policies and not to the detriment. Not just on paper, but also in deeds! Without these, this debate will be here for many, many years to come.

By the way, the Yunus concept mentioned was a motivation to one initiative - the KIVA ("http://www.kiva.org/lender/tanzania") which I think is quite an impressive tool - I have been trying and testing it out as above link. So far am impressed from the outset how this works.

Quote: And, according to Knowledge@Wharton:

"Kiva mixes the entrepreneurial daring of Google with the do-gooder ethos of Bono, the lead singer of the rock band U2. And with it, the Flannerys have managed to merge two recent socio-economic trends -- social networking and microfinance."
End Quote.

Anonymous said...

I agree completely, Aid is debilitating!

You can not build a family, community, a country based on aid. Hard work does. And people will never work hard if they can look somewhere for their needs.

Can anyone imagine what will happen if a country agreed to have no aid at all? Lets guess:

One: The poeple will build the roads thru labour intensive means, not with buldozers, which takes away the meal to feed the Moyos 150 people.

Two: Africa and its people will change its attitude of preferring handouts and learn to solve its own problems through work!

Three ...

Trade, markets ... anything but Aid!

I HATE AID, I REALY DO, AS IT DEMEANS/KILLS A HUMAN SPIRIT TO SELF ACTUALIZATION AND DEVELOPMENT!

The colonialists did a superb job for themselves, making us believe we could do nothing right, now they are doing the same through AID!

Wakeup Africa

Masaba said...

In order for us to understand and come to grips with this apparently "tricky" question of AID or NO AID we must abandon the old well worn thinking which is rampant on this blog and think outside the box. The problem is NOT AID per se but the intentions of the donors. What does the donor gain by donating? Don’t give me the guilty conscious talk! Why did AID work for IRELAND and GERMANY and not for Africa? Who in this world would possibly be interested in a dependent, undeveloped Africa? Why? What would they gain from such an Africa? Did you know that one dollar in AID brings back 6 dollars to the dollar at the end of the day?

There are many intelligent and well meaning individuals on this blog who argue that it is anathema to talk about African woes and underdevelopment in terms of its past history vis-à-vis its colonial legacy. When a cock sees an eagle it clucks with anticipation with good reason. I am of the view that we have to look at this AID issue from a bird’s eye view taking in other peripherals which are invisible when one tackles the AID issue in isolation. AID is simply a cog piece in a grand game of chess of a global scale. There exists interests on this planet which would not like to see you and I crawl out of the stagnant mess we have been and still are in now. You will be debating this issue of why we are still underdeveloped 50 years from today if this factor is not addressed consciously and without delay. But first we must educate ourselves about this force and fully understand it, its attributes, operations and its Achilles heels. This force for lack of a better term is The Anglo-Dutch Imperial Slime Mould. We shall in little steps learn more about it and will in the end leave you with no doubt to your questions of why doesn’t everything work as it does despite the “good” intentions! Can you now see why everyone on this blog is asking questions which in "normal" circumstances would be fait accompli?

This is the manner in which the Anglo-Dutch-centred international financial oligarchy operates. The oligarchy is essentially a private criminal enterprise which stretches across the globe, operating through a network of government agencies, private institutions, and both publicly owned and private corporations and financial institutions and even the UN organs! Some of these relationships are out in the open, while others are hidden. It is important for the reader to keep in mind that, while individual corporations are involved, the source of their corruption lies without, like an infecting virus. One must look at the larger operation in perspective, to understand how it actually works.

It is dynamic in that it changes with the times, absorbs or creates new parts while excreting the remains of decaying parts, while retaining its essential Venetian character and methodology. Individual parts come and go, but the slime mould itself lives on, absorbing as much of the world as it can. And its interests are not your interests and it has everything to gain when much of the world is in poverty, despair, at war etc – in other words under its grip. You can hide your head in the sand and pretend it does not exist but the facts are that it does and will not go away on its own! Next time you debate this AID issue try tracing the dots and you will be surprised what you unearth…

Anonymous said...

Aid can work if invested rather than consumed. Remember, investment is the source of economic development (esp. if you invest in human capital). Aid received by Africa is too tiny to trigger economic. Despite its infinitesimal size, almost everything we receive as aid is consumed. There's no way you can build a nation capital stock if you consume everything you produce. For more details(including some numbers), please refer "The End of Poverty" by Jefrey Sachs (remember, many disagree with Sachs).

NB: Mwanyoka, where are you? WWF, CARE, REPOA??

Anonymous said...

Masaba,

Since we know our interests (of which I doubt), it's upon us (on the receiving end) to defend them and make aid work. I think aid worked in Germany and other parts of the world because they knew what they wanted and where to direct foreign aid. It appears that we are not even prepared to utilize foreign aid in a meaningful way. If we cannot properly utilize our own money, how should one expect us to effectively utilize foreign aid? How can you invest more than TZS 100 MILL on a Minister vehicle while thousands of teachers are yet to be paid their monthly salaries? Or Doctors are receiving discouraging compensation? Or kids are dying because of mosquito bites? Or there's serious shortage of teachers in our schools and universities? What do we want people? Masaba, a serious German can never be that stupid to spend a fortune on an individual vehicle while there are myriads of problems facing the entire society. So, usipoteze muda kumtafuta mchawi, mchawi ni sisi wenyewe!