Thursday, December 25, 2014


Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development indicate that net overseas development aid to Sub-Saharan Africa was USD$39 billion in 2008, USD$42 billion in 2009, USD$43 billion in 2010, USD$45 billion in 2011, and USD$44 billion in 2012. That is a total of USD$213 billion of aid donations in five years. Which then begs the question -- where did all this money go, given the fact that the population remains desperately poor? Six-hundred-million people, 70 per cent of population, are currently without access to electricity. 

The short answer is that aid is largely "lost in transition." Donated by political elites of donor nations to fund projects, programs or recipient's budgets, aid funds and programs are executed by two sets of officialdom -- donor and recipient bureaucrats. The same bureaucrats, together with thousands of consultants from mainly donor nations that consume billions of aid dollars, monitor and evaluate themselves. The aid machine keeps running not matter what. Dambisa Moyo argued that aid has trapped Africa in a vicious circle of dependency, corruption, market distortion, and grinding poverty. This leaves the continent "with nothing but the 'need' for more aid." 

Moyo’s solution in her book ‘Dead Aid’ of free market capitalism is also a dead-end. 

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