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African economist Dambisa Moyo has a book entitled Dead Aid. There she refers to the international aid Africa receives and reflects on the benefits and damages that this donation from the international community has caused to the continent.
Emmanuel Rincón, editor-at-large at El American, analyzes in Culture War the reflections of Moyo, who has a Ph.D. in Economics from Oxford University and a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University and talks about the importance of innovation and private investment for the development and generation of wealth in the countries.
The first thing that Rincón highlights in this episode is that Moyo justifies with data her theory that international aid has made Africa poorer.
“The African economist’s main argument is that the international community’s economic aid, instead of promoting economic growth, has condemned the continent to poverty and to continue depending on international aid to survive,” said Rincón.
In this sense, Emmanuel assures that at least 50,000,000 dollars are donated to the continent and yet its nations continue to be submerged in misery. In addition, he explained that economic growth is very slow, which paralyzes social development.
Africa and international aid
He also explained that the money is spent to address the social crisis. However, he mentions that it is necessary for the aid received to be put into production to generate wealth. He also warned that this money is often used to keep totalitarian regimes in power and to make citizens dependent on them for aid.
“More than 350 million people live on less than $1 a day. If you don’t put the money you receive into production, people will be scraping by, but they will never be able to overcome poverty,” he said.
Finally, he insisted that societies must generate enterprises and economic structures to achieve the advancement and development of society. He indicated that no country can emerge just by receiving international aid.
“No nation can move forward or grow its economy with eternal subsidies and without entrepreneurship and private enterprises. Not all aid is good, there is aid that kills. Without economic structure, without education and training and without employment, every handout will continue to postpone the bad works of societies condemned to external gifts to survive”.
I haven’t read the book but did listen to a program where an informed African woman stated that the number one problem to overcoming poverty was corruption. As they continue getting aid the political leaders use that money for themselves and their cohorts. Until corrupt politicians can be booted this cycle will continue as long as they continue receiving aid. Sadly I listened to another program where one African man did want to stop the corruption, ran for office, was elected, and worked to better the country (forget which country it was in Africa though). Unfortunately, as he became aware of how corrupt the system was and how he had to bribe people just to get things done he too became corrupt.