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Alternatives to the current development aid model…

A Der Spiegel interview with Kenyan economist James Shikwati was probably one of the most linked to articles during the Live 8 debate (excerpt below). Now it looks like he’s putting his money where his mouth is…so to speak. Kudos to him and everyone else who is working on alternative solutions to Africa’s problems.

SPIEGEL: Mr. Shikwati, the G8 summit at Gleneagles is about to beef up the development aid for Africa…

Shikwati: … for God’s sake, please just stop.

SPIEGEL: Stop? The industrialized nations of the West want to eliminate hunger and poverty.

Shikwati: Such intentions have been damaging our continent for the past 40 years. If the industrial nations really want to help the Africans, they should finally terminate this awful aid. The countries that have collected the most development aid are also the ones that are in the worst shape. Despite the billions that have poured in to Africa, the continent remains poor.

SPIEGEL: Do you have an explanation for this paradox?

Shikwati: Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need. As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa’s problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn’t even notice. Only the functionaries would be hard hit. Which is why they maintain that the world would stop turning without this development aid.

Addendum: Some interesting post-Live 8 commentary.

4 comments to Alternatives to the current development aid model…

  • I couldn’t agree more with Shikwati. We have been turned into beggars in our own backyards. We have been made to understand that we are neither smart nor savvy enough to overcome our problems through entrepreneurial participation. Think about it, Africa has it all, Gold, diamond, oil, tea and even coffee (you know how much a latte goes for!) and yet these minerals have driven us deep into conflict. The reason for that conflict is pure and simple, greed from European and American businesses. Yes the corrupt leaders we have are also in the pockets of such European and American businesses. For those who think that we cannot survive without the aid, I say you have been brain washed and you belong to that group that lacks the spirit of Africanism

  • JKE

    Shikwati also published an interesting paper on IPR with the Friedrich Nauman Foundation some time ago…

    @Ory: how about a “LiveCommentPreview” WP-plugin for comments?

    Having problems downloading the program.

  • Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the internet the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people think about worries that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  • […] erview in German news magazine, Der Spiegel with Kenyan economist James Shikwati on “Alternatives to the current development model”. Sokari Ekine   « Uganda: fir […]