"Aid only feeds Africas corruption"

#1
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,19609-2260652,00.html

Interesting article.

Aid is the problem, not the solution, he says. Debt relief is a moral hazard. What is the incentive for country “A” to continue paying interest on its borrowings if country “B” steals the money, defaults and then gets debt relief.

“Countries that are deserving don’t get aid,” says Mr Mwenda. Aid creates the wrong incentives, he argues. It makes objects of the poor, passive recipients of charity rather than active participants in their own economic betterment. Africans don’t need handouts, they need better institutions, land reform and access to cheap mortgages.

“Countries and individuals get richer out of self-interest. Capital is a by-product of development, not an input,” says Mr Mwenda.

Aid is directing self-interest elsewhere because, instead of engaging in a risky dialogue with their citizens about reform, African politicians would rather talk to aid donors and solicit handouts. “Africans need to move on from the slave trade and stop whining,” says Mr Mwenda.

He compares the old colonial administrators rattling around in Land Rovers with today’s army of foreign aid officials and government bureaucrats. “There were 72 colonial administrators and frugal public expenditure. Today, there are 2,800 foreign expatriates. They fight poverty in a BMW. When was Uganda more colonised, in 1962 or today?”
The implicit attack on the "charity industry" is especially interesting, but turning to Africa, surely the question must soon be asked as to why it is still so undeveloped - did SE Asia really have that much of a head start or is there something specific to Africa that is holding it back and will continue to do so?
 
#2
There are groups and factions all over Africa that abuse aid. Just take a look at this pic

The tragedy is that no matter what anyone does, warlords and guerillas will exploit it to cause misery for their people. Hunger and poverty are just part of a very complicated set of problems.

Remember when Jolie was down there in a luxury hotel, and everyone was kissing her arse about being noble about bringing attention to the problem. All the celebrities are down there, posing for photos, then driving away to a resort in a bmw.

Anyway, I'll stop before I get to ranting. Great article.
 
#3
Chief_Joseph said:
There are groups and factions all over Africa that abuse aid. Just take a look at this pic

The tragedy is that no matter what anyone does, warlords and guerillas will exploit it to cause misery for their people. Hunger and poverty are just part of a very complicated set of problems.
Chief, for all you know, that chap with the rucsack could be escorting children to the aid station.

Dangerous to use a random picture to prove a point. :wink:
 
#4
I lost the caption, but I know he's a guerilla fighter. The pic is from the Congo

And if he was, that still proves the point. That people need to have an armed escort to get food and medicine is a sign of the tragic situation down there.
 
#5
Chief_Joseph said:
No, that's a pic from the civil war in the Congo.
Thats as maybe, Chief. Posting a random pic with no context to 'prove' a point is meaningless IMHO. As I said, it could be a picture of a chap working for the good guys. Just posting it to say 'look, this proves that all aid goes to gun totting warlords' is erroneous.
 
#6
The Lord Flasheart said:
Chief_Joseph said:
No, that's a pic from the civil war in the Congo.
Thats as maybe, Chief. Posting a random pic with no context to 'prove' a point is meaningless IMHO. As I said, it could be a picture of a chap working for the good guys. Just posting it to say 'look, this proves that all aid goes to gun totting warlords' is erroneous.
I'm not saying it is. I'm saying it can and does get stolen and abused. Like I just said, he could be with the good guys, but the fact is that it's tragic that they even need him. It's sad that people need to weapons just to get food and medicine. There are people down there working for good, I don't dispute that. My grandfather was in Uganda not long ago helping out.
 
#7
I totally agree with you, Chief. I was only making a small point about your use of pictures to prove the point.


True, it is sad that armed people are required but thats life and thats what we humans are like. Up until a couple of years ago, over 20 armed soldiers would be needed to assist a policeman to deliver a benign court summons in the UK...routinely.
 
#8
I understand about the picture. However, I make a point of only using a picture I'm reasonably sure of. Maybe I should ax the "reasonably". I just think it's an important pic for people to see, political points aside.
 
#9
On its own as a 'look at this for contrast' picture for sure but as I said, its a misleading thing in the wrong context and in particular, this one.

For example;

US Forces keeping the peace in Iraq


Back to the thread I guess. :)
 
#10
The Lord Flasheart said:
I totally agree with you, Chief. I was only making a small point about your use of pictures to prove the point.


True, it is sad that armed people are required but thats life and thats what we humans are like. Up until a couple of years ago, over 20 armed soldiers would be needed to assist a policeman to deliver a benign court summons in the UK...routinely.
Some. I presume you are referring to Northern Ireland? Tasty as the West End of Newcastle was when I was growing up, I don't remember it being that bad.
 
#12
Sorry, I'm not that gullible :wink:

Anyway, on to the other point I made about the celebs and aid types. I think this bit is interesting
He compares the old colonial administrators rattling around in Land Rovers with today’s army of foreign aid officials and government bureaucrats. “There were 72 colonial administrators and frugal public expenditure. Today, there are 2,800 foreign expatriates. They fight poverty in a BMW. When was Uganda more colonised, in 1962 or today?”
 
#13
Intresting article with some good points. Its a view that finds support among some more modern historians, Fergusan points out in his recent book Empire how most African countries GDP has dropped since independence when compared as a percentage of the UK's GDP between then and now. The biggest hurdle to overcome is a lack of education and an exploding population, deal with the first the second will start to control itself, but before you can educate you need security. Security is a job for the government, if cannot enforce the law and provide internal/external security for its citizens then it is extremely difficault for anything else to be achieved.

Africa is a rich continent but unlike much of the Asia/Far East did not have a tradition of advanced economics prior to colonisation apart from a few areas that traded with Arabs/Moors and Asians. This is not so much of a negative spin on the people it was just for the most part there was no need for it, in areas were there was a need it existed and was later destroyed or taken over by outsiders if it competed.

Personally I don't like giving to charities that spend most of their money overseas, I'm a firm believer that charity starts at home and am very skeptical of how much aid actually reaches the people you intend it for. Obviously there are times when external aid is needed but again the best aid we can give is law and order rather than sending a few popstars.
 
#14
The Lord Flasheart said:
On its own as a 'look at this for contrast' picture for sure but as I said, its a misleading thing in the wrong context and in particular, this one.

For example;

US Forces keeping the peace in Iraq


Back to the thread I guess. :)
Severely misleading... that's VietNam.
 
#15
B_G_L said:
Africa is a rich continent but unlike much of the Asia/Far East did not have a tradition of advanced economics prior to colonisation apart from a few areas that traded with Arabs/Moors and Asians. This is not so much of a negative spin on the people it was just for the most part there was no need for it, in areas were there was a need it existed and was later destroyed or taken over by outsiders if it competed.
The continent has few navigable rivers and even fewer natural harbors. It's no wonder few advanced civilisations grew there. Civilisation requires commerce. Commerce requires transportation. To this day water is the cheapest source of transportation.
 
#17
sawdusty said:
B_G_L said:
Africa is a rich continent but unlike much of the Asia/Far East did not have a tradition of advanced economics prior to colonisation apart from a few areas that traded with Arabs/Moors and Asians. This is not so much of a negative spin on the people it was just for the most part there was no need for it, in areas were there was a need it existed and was later destroyed or taken over by outsiders if it competed.
The continent has few navigable rivers and even fewer natural harbors. It's no wonder few advanced civilisations grew there. Civilisation requires commerce. Commerce requires transportation. To this day water is the cheapest source of transportation.
Seems a bit trite if I may say so.
 
#18
clownbasher said:
sawdusty said:
B_G_L said:
Africa is a rich continent but unlike much of the Asia/Far East did not have a tradition of advanced economics prior to colonisation apart from a few areas that traded with Arabs/Moors and Asians. This is not so much of a negative spin on the people it was just for the most part there was no need for it, in areas were there was a need it existed and was later destroyed or taken over by outsiders if it competed.
The continent has few navigable rivers and even fewer natural harbors. It's no wonder few advanced civilisations grew there. Civilisation requires commerce. Commerce requires transportation. To this day water is the cheapest source of transportation.
Seems a bit trite if I may say so.
Too simplistic? I'm sure I've left all sorts of variables out but I believe a look through any history book will bear me out. The Incas are a notable exception as I'm sure a few others are too.
 

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