Category: Odious Debts

African leaders call for tax reform, not foreign aid

(May 11, 2010) A number of African leaders are now saying that foreign aid is no longer the only answer to economic development of the continent. Instead, they are calling for reform of the tax system, pointing out that Africa currently has one of the lowest tax-to-GDP ratios in the world.

Foreign aid and under-development in Africa

(April 17, 2010) Foreign aid has generally benefited the ruling elites in Africa, by among other things, enabling and perpetuating corrupt governments’ hold on power, and by extension, entrenching the pervasive underdevelopment. Over the past five decades, foreign emergency assistance to Africa has helped to avert hardship for many of Africa’s poor, but failed to promote any significant economic development.

Tackling corruption in Haiti is possible. Here’s how

(March 30, 2010) Haiti and its donors need to face up to bad governance and failed aid. They need to develop a strategy against corruption. This means more than controls and audits, more than training and technical assistance, needed though they are. We must ask how the design and implementation of Haiti’s reconstruction and development strategy might address what public administration experts Derick Brinkerhoff and Carmen Halpern called the sanctioned plunder that was and remains the core of Haitian politics.

HIPC debt relief is not the solution

(March 30, 2010) HIPC was a necessary evil we agree. We also recognize that it is a stop-gap measure that addresses the symptoms of our under-development, rather than the causes a half-hearted response to the ever-growing agitation for total debt cancellation that characterized the 1990s. But, even total debt cancellation will not solve our problems. At best, it will provide a temporary respite from the excruciating poverty we have known for decades now.

Foreign aid takes another blow–this time in Australia

(March 3, 2010) Criticism of the high salaries being offered to contractors working with AusAID, Austrialia’s national aid agency, is the latest example of the increased scrutiny facing aid agencies around the world. The criticism comes after a recent audit showed that a number of aid workers are earning more money than the country’s Prime Minister. And they’re doing so tax-free.