The debate on aid to Africa continues. This column argues that it is bad governments and institutions that cause poverty, not bad geography. Making sure aid reaches the poor will often mean not giving it to poor governments.
(June 2, 2009) Two well-meaning members of the Western establishment, whose advice over the decades has, as much as anyone’s, brought the Third World to its knees, both believe the Third World needs more of their advice. Though at last night’s Munk Debate, prominent African author and economist Dambisa Moyo passionately disagreed.
(June 1, 2009) Steve Forbes delves into situations where microfinance and venture capitalism can succeed instead of aid.
(May 30, 2009) Born and raised in Zambia but educated at Oxford and Harvard, Dambisa Moyo was an uncommon face as a black woman in the world of high finance. Now, as she makes her way to Canada for a highly anticipated debate on Monday with Stephen Lewis and others at the Munk Debate on Foreign Aid, she spoke with the National Post about her ideas and the hazards of opposing the aid orthodoxy.
(May 29, 2009) Professor Jeffrey Sachs continues the debate on aid to Africa originally prompted by Dambisa Moyo’s book Dead Aid. As usual, I will of course let Dr. Moyo defend herself against specific criticisms made by Sachs and his co-author John McArthur. But Sachs unveils such a strange geographic theory of Africa’s poverty, with strong implications for aid policy, that I am forced to respond.
(May 29, 2009) Aid critics have recently been blaming aid as the source of Africa’s poverty. This column explains how Africa has long been struggling with rural poverty, tropical diseases, illiteracy, and lack of infrastructure and that the right solution is to help address these critical needs through transparent and targeted public and private investments. This includes both more aid and more market financing.
(May 26, 2009) Ahead of the publication of my book Dead Aid, an author friend of mine cautioned me about responding to opponents who found it necessary to color their criticism with personal attacks. This, he argued, is a tried and tested way of side-stepping the issues and providing a smoke screen when faced with a valid argument.
(May 31, 2009) If Africa’s underdevelopment has been compounded mainly by official aid, as the Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo argues in her book “Dead Aid”, then addressing it might be as straightforward as she suggests. Aid could be turned off, African governments would work harder to foster growth and private capital might prove more effective in curbing poverty.
(May 8, 2009) The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), which provides billions of dollars in long-term interest-free grants and loans to the world’s 78 poorest countries, is apparently not too concerned about the fraudulent or corrupt use of its loans.
(April 30, 2009) Dambisa Moyo’s prescription for economic sustainability in Africa—which includes cutting off all aid within five years—might seem insane if the statistics weren’t so grim: despite one trillion dollars in western aid over the past sixty years, the economic lot of the average African has only gotten worse.
Nigerian historian Femi Eseku makes an eloquent and compelling argument for establishing stricter conditions for receiving aid in order to end the cycle of odious debts perpetuated by what he calls "carnivorous economic saboteurs, disguised as international donor agencies and their greedy oligarchic African recipients."
(July 16, 2009) The media has presented the G8’s L’Alqila summit promise of US$20 billion for food security and agricultural development in Africa as good news, but a closer look at the figures shows that G8 countries actually take much more out than they put into the continent, writes Yash Tandon.
(November 26, 2008) The Asian Development Bank, Chinese banks, and Indian firms are using foreign aid to build a mega-dam in Nepal where experts say an earthquake is likely. Nepal’s Federation of Water and Energy Users says the decision bypassed Parliament, violates the constitution and the human rights of Nepalese. Meanwhile, local micro-hydro operators are churning out cheaper, reliable, aid-free power.
(May 3, 2000) Without market discipline or public oversight, the ADB is a financial and environmental menace, providing a breeding ground for electricity investments that destroy the environment, create poverty, sink Asian citizens in debt, cost taxpayers in donor countries money, and deprive consumers of cheaper, better generating options.
(September 12, 2008) The Wall Street Journal’s Russel Gold and David Crawford look at the