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BBC NEWS | Africa | The pitfalls of Africa’s aid addiction

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2008 at 8:04 pm

This is a great article – the video at the beginning is excellent as well.

BBC NEWS | Africa | The pitfalls of Africa’s aid addiction

Any of us that have lived and worked in Africa have seen this firsthand – how anything from the developed country aid-organizations can end up being packaged and resold in the parallel markets. I admit, when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger I once bought cans of tuna from my local grocer stamped “Gift of Denmark.”

The larger issue is the strategy behind the development aid. I’ve harped on this in several previous posts, from the One Laptop Per Child project to the Food-for-Peace initiatives – that the aid interventions need to be much, much more participatory, and allow for the indigenous innovation and motivation of Africans to shine through.

It’s a bad cycle. Our agriculture policies enrich our farmers at the expense of those in less developed countries, which we then sponsor aid projects to help, which further enriches our farmers and agribusiness.

The other problem I struggle with philosophically is – is it truly better to let countries specialize in their comparative advantages, or is it destructive to the environment and leaves countries vulnerable to violent commodity-price swings? I don’t know. And I’m not in school any more so I can’t spend a lot of time really looking into it.

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  1. Hello so you were a peace corps in Niger here is a website I suggest you http://www.niger1.comI am a nigerien in New york niger1.com@gmail.com

    Like

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