Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Beyond Aid

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda puts the case for a development agenda in Africa that is not driven by aid.

The pro-aid activists will, of course, baulk at the very idea: "African development without aid? Impossible!"

And yet consider the evidence:
  • No country in history has ever developed as a result of the injection of aid. (And before anyone throws post-World War II Europe at me, that surely was a case of reconstruction not development.)
  • The only available precedents of rapid socio-economic development have all, without exception, been self-driven.
  • Heavily aid-dependent countries have regressed not progressed as they've sunk deeper into the swamp of foreign aid.
Could it be that what the pro-aiders really believe, perhaps unconsciously, is that Africans are somehow incapable of doing what Europeans, Americans and Asians have done before them?

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