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Please Stop The Aid

Excerpt from a Spiegel interview with Kenyan economist James Shikwati:

SPIEGEL: Mr. Shikwati, the G8 summit at Gleneagles is about to beef up the development aid for Africa...

Shikwati: ... for God's sake, please just stop.

SPIEGEL: Stop? The industrialized nations of the West want to eliminate hunger and poverty.

Shikwati: Such intentions have been damaging our continent for the past 40 years. If the industrial nations really want to help the Africans, they should finally terminate this awful aid. The countries that have collected the most development aid are also the ones that are in the worst shape. Despite the billions that have poured in to Africa, the continent remains poor.

SPIEGEL: Do you have an explanation for this paradox?

Shikwati: Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need. As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa's problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn't even notice. Only the functionaries would be hard hit. Which is why they maintain that the world would stop turning without this development aid.

Read the whole thing.

Like I said before, if we want to solve the problems facing Africa we need to stop simply throwing money at the continent and start pushing for political changes that will bring to power truly free and democratic governments.

(via Outside The Beltway)

Rob Port owns and operates Say Anything.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Please Stop The Aid:

» dcthornton.com linked with Trade, Not Aid

» Rant Fever linked with Live-8, Schmive-8

» Chapomatic linked with http://gmapalumni.org/chapomatic/?p=996

» Rip & Read Blogger Podcast linked with Rip & Read #127 - 2005-07-09


Comments (8)

Watch this guy get called "... (Below threshold)

Watch this guy get called "racist"... it'll happen

But the goal of aid is NOT ... (Below threshold)
Annointed Leftist:

But the goal of aid is NOT to help Africans...it is to make us feel better.

Aid to Africa is just like ... (Below threshold)

Aid to Africa is just like our own current welfare and other social support systems. Why should people work for anything if they can get it for free. The "war on poverty" in America has been a 40-year long fiasco, the only way to make it worse would be to turn it over to the UN.

I wonder ... has anybody tr... (Below threshold)

I wonder ... has anybody tried microloan programs?


"Help as betrayal." Mr. Sh... (Below threshold)

"Help as betrayal." Mr. Shikwati is a courageous soul finally to come out and say it. I hope his cry for self-determined survival spreads far and wide within Africa and to the rest of the world.

Another example during the cold war years in Africa - the West poured in money while the USSR and China poured in guns and false hope... more African countries turned to communism than democracy. The people's hopes for a better life betrayed again.

In 1997 I went to Kenya wit... (Below threshold)

In 1997 I went to Kenya with 5th Special Forces Group and we conducted a Medical Civic Action Program (MEDCAP) in the northern part of the country. We set up clinics and treated the bushpeople and their livestock for 30 days.

During this trip I spent hours talking with people from all walks of life in Kenya, and I was amazed at the rampant corruption, beggary, and tribism that pervades the entire society. The country is led by 3 tribes that own every business, are educated, have every well paying govt. job, and controls all of the financial institutions. At the time I was there, the president Daniel Arap Moi's picture was on every denomination of Kenyan currency. There are also 3 tribes that are either unemployed or getting by on the fringes of society.

The consensus attitude of the Kenyans in the "power tribes" is, "I got mine." Period. We performed a minor surgery on a woman at a clinic that was managed by a man who was like a nurse (power tribe job). Before we left to go to a different location we stocked the clinic with supplies and showed the nurse how to care for our surgery patient. As soon as we left, we got word that the nurse closed the clinic, loaded up all of our supplies and drove straight to Nairobi to sell them. The truck drivers with us were saying, "We could have told you that would happen." They didn't bat an eye.

I tried to suggest the same... (Below threshold)

I tried to suggest the same things, generally -- depose despots for starters rather than collect more money for them -- but my site was then trolled by someone "channeling" a false Dr. Martin Luther King under the guise of bringing "healing" to my site.

I'll never understand the futility that occupies many among liberals. Poverty is a problem of the mind and spirit and from the looks of things, poverty just got a lot of encouragement from a lot of spiritually impoverished entertainers (some aren't, I realize, and the WHO comes to mind here).

We should all be generous -- that's not my point otherwise and the live8 events at least helped bring this issue of poverty to the forefront -- but the issue of poverty isn't a trendy one, and is difficult to challenge and solve and the worst thing that can and often does take place is that entertainers make the issue trendy and then like trendy people everywhere, it's quickly abandoned when another trendy thing comes along (and the same entertainers then log onto).

And, DER SPIEGEL is (again)... (Below threshold)

And, DER SPIEGEL is (again) proven to be a great source of editorial content...has become a weekly read of mine.






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