Sunday, October 7, 2018

Postscript to African Aid vs Development #2 of 3. A Brief Exchange: Dambisa Moyo and Economic Development vs Kumi Naidoo and Reparations for Colonialism

Click here to read the original Cautious Optimism Facebook post with comments

2 MIN READ - The Cautious Optimism Correspondent for Economic Affairs and Other Egghead Stuff continues his series of quick read postcripts on the problems with Africa's economic development or lack thereof.

(This is the second in a series of three short postscripts to October’s detailed interview with Dambisa Moyo expounding her critique of and alternative to the failed seventy-year African aid model. To read the original article visit the link at the end of this column.)

Dambisa Moyo: “Well I think first of all it’s a great shame that African governments were not… actually not just African governments… global policymakers were not operating with the anticipation that one day Africa would be required to stand on its own two feet which is why we’re in this situation where African governments in many cases are 70 percent or even higher dependent on aid. The fact of the matter is aid has not worked.

The original architects of aid had two goals in mind—one was to deliver growth and number two was to alleviate poverty and on those two metrics it’s absolutely failed. The expectation that Africa and Africans should sit back and expect the world to step in and help them is completely absurd and as far as I’m concerned it’s really the root of the problem that we’re seeing right now.”

Kumi Naidoo: “But that presumes that what we are asking for is charity. What we are asking for is justice. Let’s be very clear that Africa and the rest of the developing world have not been compensated properly for the injustices of colonialism. Africa is one of the richest continents underneath the ground and precisely for that reason we are one of the poorest continents above the ground, and right now we are saying… …we need the aid modalities to be reformed. Conditionalities that rich countries put as burdens on developing countries need to be addressed…”

BBC moderator to Moyo: “Without aid what will happen?”

Dambisa Moyo: “Well what I think will happen is we’ve seen in other places in the world where emerging countries have actually been able to achieve double-digit economic growth when they actually take another approach. They focus on building their economies through jobs and entrepreneurship and they encourage their economies—the private sector of their economies to grow...

...This whole notion of focusing on colonialism in Africa’s past, it will always be part of Africa’s past. India was also colonized and yet we don’t sit around feeling sorry for India and neither do we hear Indians on the global stage saying we want to be compensated. You get on with it. It’s been 50 years since many African countries were given independence. You know personally I don’t want to sit around for another 10, 20, 30 years hearing Africa whinge about the fact that they were colonized. It’s time to move on.”

Dambisa Moyo is a Zambian economist with degrees from American University (BS, MBA), Harvard University (MPA), and University of Oxford (PhD). She was a consultant at the World Bank for African development and Head of Economic Research and Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa at Goldman Sachs. Her book “Dead Aid” argues that the seventy-year aid model has failed Africa and the continent must focus instead on the international bond market and capital investment as a long-term solution.

Kumi Naidoo is an African human rights activist who has served as International Executive Director of Greenpeace, Secretary General of Global Call to Action Against Poverty, and is currently Secretary General of Amnesty International.

ps. To read Dambisa Moyo's original Guernica interview on what's wrong with an aid model that she says keeps Africa trapped in poverty go to:

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