Last Updated 31 Dec 2020

Why Foreign Aid Is Hurting Africa

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In this article Dambisa Moyo, is arguing that money, in the form of aid given to African nations has not only trapped many of these nations in debt, but has started a cycle of corruption as well as slowed down economic growth and poverty. To solve this isuue Moyo suggests cutting off the flow of aid to these African nations. Many developed countries will gladly give aid to Africa, these countries do not give small donations they donate by the millions.

This continued donation of aid has only been putting Africa further in debt. What many do not realize is that aid is not given to Africa freely, the African nations receiving aid must pay this money back plus interest. Moyo provided an example of this stating that “African countries still pay close to $20 billion in debt repayments per annum, a stark reminder that aid is not free. In order to keep the system going, debt is repaid at the expense of African education and healthcare” (Moyo, 2009). This is what is slowing down economic growth and keeping those countries in poverty.

A country can not achieve econmic growth if its workforce is not educated, an uneducated workforce means the people in the country have little to no skills. Certain skills are required to get better jobs, if the people are not being adequately educated they will be forced to remain in a state of poverty. Healthcare is alo important, and the countries keep cutting the healthcare budget. If your workforce is not healthy enough to go out and work to spark the economy you can never expect to achieve economic growth. Education and healthcare budget cuts are not the only problems Moyo discussed that are keeping African nations from developing.

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Other issues include corruption in the government and developed nations supplying resources for free keeping African producers out of the market. According to the African Union, an organization of African nations “In 2002, it was estimated that corruption was costing the continent $150 billion a year, as international donors were apparently turning a blind eye to the simple fact that aid money was inadvertently fueling graft” (Moyo, 2009). This is because the donations are being given with “no strings attached” so the funds are being used for everything except what they were meant for, development.

Political elites are using these funds to finace their own expidentures as well as financing their families and home life. The other problem is countries like the U. S. Implementing programs like the U. S. Food for Peace program, which buys American food and ships it overseas to African nations. This program is not helpful, it is a hinderance to Africas economic growth. By supplying American food for free, the U. S. is putting African farmers out of business. Moyo suggests that instead of purchasing American food, they U. S. ould purchase food from the African farmers to distribute to the African nations. Done this way the African farmers are benefitting from the program and are able to compete in the market. The opinions presented in this article relate to many of the concepts we have touched on in this course; views on poverty, the development, as well as the international aid system. The article opens up stating “A month ago I visited Kiberam the larget slum in Africa” (Moyo, 2009). When we hear the word slum, we perceive a negative connotation and relate this term with a place in poverty.

We can see the inequalities between developed and undeveloped nations, according to the article “a mere 2% of the country's population has access to mobile phones compared to a wireless survey that found 91% of Americans have access to cellphones (Moyo, 2009) (Forseman, 2010). This is a huge inequality African citizens are not even close to being equal to the technology avaliable to American citizens. Another concept this article discussed is development, Africa has been trying to become a developed nation for years and after receiveing billions in aid this country has yet to become a developed nation.

The contry remaing in poverty is mainly because if the international aid system. This system continues to allow African nations to receive donations without the country even showing any signs of growth or development. This continuous acceptance of aid is keeping African nations in poverty. ' I agree with the author of this article in all of the arguments he gave on why foreign aid is hurting Africa. Developed countries are continously give large donations to the country year after year and there is no progress being made. However, I do not fault Africa for this lack of progress, they are only doing what any nation in their situation would do.

They are continuously being given money and not required to put the money towards efforts to achieve economic growth, they know that the aid is not going to stop being donated so it is in their best interest to remain in a state of poverty and continue receiving aid. The countries donating to Africa are not providing the country with opportunitites to become a pro-market governnment because they are donating goods for free and taking African producers out of business. The politicians in Africa are not being closely watched and are not looking out for the social welfare of the country, but are looking out for themselves.

Africa needs a more accountable government that is concerned about the people and the future of the country as well as their economy. Once these nations stop receiving aid, get better leaders, and African producers are able to tap into the market the country will be on the way to achieveing economic growth.

Works Cited

  1. Foresman, C. (2010)Wireless survey: 91% of Americans use cell phones. [online] Available at: http://arstechnica. com/tech-policy/2010/03/wireless-survey-91-of-americans-have-cell-phones/ [Accessed: 15 Feb 2013].
  2. Moyo, D. (2009) Why Foreign Aid is Hurting Africa . The Wall Street Journal, p. W1.

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