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The following is quoted from Paul Theroux’s book, “LAST TRAIN TO ZONA VERDE my ultimate African safari“.
“Many African economists, including Dambisa Moyo, from Zambia, and the Kenyan James Shikwati, have convincingly argued that most aid is harmful. In her book analyzing foreign aid to Africa, “DEAD AID”, Moyo declares that the $1 trillion that African countries have received since the late l940s has discouraged investment, instilled a culture of dependency, and created corruption, all of which have impeded growth and retarded the nations’ economies.”
That premise, though unproven, could very well apply if “United States” (or any other country) were of concern Regarding the US, the conservatives would promulgate it.
Especially in Africa, it seems glaringly obvious that so much “aid” to a country has been “squander” by the donors. The horrendous squalor of the masses is unmitigated while those of the “ruling” (unto demon-despot) class indulge themselves in robber-baron binges of everything that money can buy.
But a couple considerations before any conclusions.
First, any comprehensive and rational comparison of the US and Africa reveals there’s no comparison, really. Yes, there may be some corruption here, upper-echelon social-service personnel “skimming” beyond their excessive salaries. Yes, there are recipients who “use” the system to fund their perpetuated helplessness, including addictions. But in America there are no tribal-ethos potentates flaunting from “castles” and caravans of armored limos. And there may be slums in the U.S., but nothing to compare with those of Africa (or India or some South American countries).
Second, were it not for welfare programs in the US (and elsewhere), since the feudal system is extinct, family-agriculture is usually impossible, and private sector employment (jobs) has evaporated (or out-flowed) . . . were it not for welfare, would it not be that the populations of many other countries would be decimated to the level of the African poor? Including here?!
And regarding Africa per se, at least there are the incidences of specific benefits to at least segments of the population. Schools, hospitals, roads, AIDS and malaria programs and more do not create corruption and ongoing dependency. Without the infusion (“investment” might be too idealistic a term, true) of capital (monetary and mentalitary), into the countries of the continent, how much worse it might be. (Yes, there are the different Aleph levels of . . infinity!!!)
Without Western inter-involvement, even interference, to what extent would Africa, just from its inherent ambition, exploitation, aggrandizement, capitalization, united nationalism . . . by its own managerial and mercantile and scientific class’s bootstraps . . . . to what extent would Africa, on its own, become a “first world nation”? Or even erect “world-class cities”?
A final thought. “Aid” comes in many forms. “Aid” came in a form that has resulted in those African cities’ skyscrapers, luxury hotels, and all. And though from the heights of those the view down is but a short distance away to the surrounding shanty-slums, at least there are those core dynamics of advance. And the fruit from the core flows to the great number of people who have jobs in the offices, hotels, even if the masses’ positions are no higher than to pick up the messes (janitorial, housekeeping, dishwashing, etc.}
My point,: it wasn’t from a collection passed around the shanties, or taxed from the roadside vendors, or established as a monetary/financial system (and its shares and scrip and all). The capitalization for the “pockets of profitability” for Africa’s populace . . . . came in from outside the country.
It’s not the aid that corrupts, that paralyzes initiative into dependency. Given not being given, thus starvation and disease, the basal business of the vast population would be to turn against each other!
The problem with “aid” is that it isn’t administered, actually infused, in a socio-economic system designed, engineered, even “Colonialist-configured” so that investment is the result -- thence return on investment.
But this would require donor-control continuance.
And this would result in overthrow of the occupier thru revolt, confiscation, conflagration? (as in Zimbabwe?)
And this would result in the fomenting despot or dictator or outright psycho seizing the “spoils” of social success.
For the closure of the cycle seems to be the primacy, ostentation, indulgence, megalomania, greed, brutality, even carnage “enjoyed“ by those “Last Kings of Scotland“. The population can‘t be seen from their castle-compounds or through the smoked-glass/bullet-proof windows of their Mercedes..
But though flawed so drastically the dynamics of foreign aid, worse would be the state of affairs without it. For given the population-to-productivity of the ecology (the land) . . . . have we not seen sufficient mass famine that I don’t need to continue my thesis here . . . . . . . . . . . . .