105 of 115 people found the following review helpful
Credible and Insightful!,
This review is from: Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa (Hardcover)
Over the past 60 years at least $1 trillion in aid was sent to Africa - yet, calls for even more grow steadily louder. Moyo - a native of Zambia, contends that evidence demonstrates that this aid has made the poor poorer. Real per-capita income today is lower than it was in the 1970s. In other words, aid is not part of the solution, it is part of the problem.
Even after aggressive debt-relief campaigns in the 1990s, African countries still pay close to $20 billion in debt repayments per year - at the expense of education and health care. Moyo also asserts that the roughly 500,000 individuals in the "aid business" have no motivation for that aid to succeed; meanwhile, well-meaning individuals such as Bono have choked off debate of its efficacy.
The author claims that the most obvious criticism of aid is that it enables rampant corruption and bloated bureaucracies. In 2002, the African Union, an organization of African nations, estimated that corruption was costing $150 billion/year. Transparency International, a corruption watchdog, states that Zaire's former president is reputed to have stolen at least $5 billion from the country. Across Africa, over 70% of government funding comes from foreign aid - enabling those governments to avoid accountability to local citizens since they pay so little.
In Cameroon, it takes a potential investor about 426 days to gain a business license, vs. 17 in South Korea. Under the auspices of the U.S. Food for Peace program, each year millions are used to buy American-grown food that is then shipped to Africa where it puts local farmers out of business.
Moyo's bottom-line is that other regions should stop the largess towards Africa, and Africa should focus on becoming more attractive to private investment. This includes ceasing to be the source of the world's greatest number of armed conflicts.
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Initial post: Jul 23, 2015 10:44:20 PM PDT
John M Davis says:
WOW! What a fantastic comment. Very well researched and insightful. I have lived in Ethiopia and Sudan. My wife is currently working in an IDP camp in South Sudan. This information is so heart breaking considering the enormous suffering. My wife and I struggle with this issue as a philosophical question: How does one go about helping when it seems the help actually hurts (in the bigger picture). I have no answer. I don't think anyone does. The only thing we know is nothing we seem to doing has helped solve the major issues. We may try to make a situation better and cause unintended consequences. We may work towards philanthropy and peace and yet, that may cause suffering in some other way we cannot hope to control or predict. Thank you for this perspective and information. Although it does make me feel rather hopeless. My wife is risking her life to help people in a war zone but her work may be only be part of an apparatus to continue suffering. I have no answer.
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