Sunday, July 09, 2006

"Aid only feeds Africa's Corruption"

ASK Andrew Mwenda how rich nations can help Africa and you get a quick and disturbing answer.

“The best thing the West can do is nothing,” he says.....

“White society is being blackmailed. The white world looks at Africa from a position of guilt,” he told a seminar at IPN, the London think tank. The beneficiaries of aid are governments, politicians, the staff of aid agencies and charities, he says. Head in hands in mock despair, he reels off a list of “charities” that sprang into being when the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria began to disburse its millions. “There was Children of Hope, there was Hope for Children, there was Help the Children.”

Vast sums vanished into the pockets of politicians and corrupt government officials. Money from Western taxpayers, corporations and individual donations raised with rock star endorsement was siphoned into private bank accounts. The scandal eventually forced the Global Fund to suspend its $200 million (£110 million) grant to Uganda.

“The sick and dying in hospitals never saw the money,” he says....

Africans don’t need handouts, they need better institutions, land reform and access to cheap mortgages.

“Countries and individuals get richer out of self-interest. Capital is a by-product of development, not an input,” says Mr Mwenda.

Aid is directing self-interest elsewhere because, instead of engaging in a risky dialogue with their citizens about reform, African politicians would rather talk to aid donors and solicit handouts. “Africans need to move on from the slave trade and stop whining,” says Mr Mwenda.

He compares the old colonial administrators rattling around in Land Rovers with today’s army of foreign aid officials and government bureaucrats. “There were 72 colonial administrators and frugal public expenditure. Today, there are 2,800 foreign expatriates. They fight poverty in a BMW. When was Uganda more colonised, in 1962 or today?” .....

Note: The guy complaining may run for Uganda's president...

No comments:

Free hit counters
Free hit counters