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Aid, not AIDS, is killing Africa June 6, 2008

Posted by Al in : interesting,politics , trackback

I wasn’t sure I agreed entirely with this article when I first read it, as it had overtones of some anti-African bias. However, re-reading the article and thinking about it has persuaded me that there is a worthwhile case for stopping the aid we currently give to Africa, and letting Africa sort its own problems out. I’ve always been of the opinion that one of the biggest problems in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, is the fact that current country borders were drawn by us Europeans, with no thought about the ethnic ratios of the resulting countries. A lot of needless civil wars are still being fought to control countries that originally were created with 2, or more, strong rival ethnic cultures.

What I hadn’t thought about is the fact that aid workers may function in the same way as departments in a large corporation or government, where each department tries to increase its own power base by over-emphasising the dependencies of those it serves. In the case of Africa it might well be the case that aid agencies are accidentally creating these dependencies by supplying aid, and are unlikely to stop as doing so would reduce their own power and influence. An interesting conundrum, and one that few aid agencies would think of addressing.

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