I strongly believe that Aids & Charity is making Africa still underdeveloped. Hear me out –
In the past 50 years, Africa has received more than 1 trillion dollars in charity and developmental aid. The funny thing about developmental aids is they sometimes come with strings attached and when you look at it, where has this $1 trillion left us as Africans?
Dambisa Moyo wrote a book titled “Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa” (get it and read it).
In her book, she asked why African countries ‘flounder in a seemingly never-ending cycle of corruption, disease, poverty and aid dependency, even though African countries have received more than $300 billion in development assistance since 1970?
She went on to answer that This aid is the root of all of these problems. Despite the strongly held belief that developed countries should help underdeveloped countries, the reality is that aid slows the rate of development and growth of countries in development.
Tracing back in time, aids has never really worked out well as it has been a political and economical disaster for Africa.
the most aid-dependent countries had an average annual growth rate of -0.2% in the negative and during the peak of aid to Africa between 1970 and 1998, the poverty rate in Africa grew from 11% to 66%.
One major reason Dambisa pointed out is that Aid encourages corruption and violence while entrepreneurship is discouraged.
It’s far better to give grants for business and entrepreneurship as it will lead to skill improvement, value creation and lots of Jobs.
If you look at how other countries were developed, I’m sure you’d not find aid as a major driver but entrepreneurship and trade.
Then why is a major conversation about Africa around aids and handoffs and not private and government investment in entrepreneurship and also fair and equal trades with Africa?
Charity is not an effective way to reduce poverty reduction or national development.
What Africa needs is global partnerships that can enable entrepreneurship development, fair wages for our labour and also our resources which many global economies depend on.
Just think for a minute that the Global chocolate industry is worth $102 billion, but Ghana only sees $2 billion of that and Ghana is the worlds second biggest cocoa exporter. Does that make any sense? Can’t Ghana tap into the production of chocolates for the world since they have the raw material and share in the $100 billion? Create more jobs?
African leaders need to think strategically if Africa must truly achieve its potentials.
China has lifted over 800 million people out of poverty and this was not through aid or charity but by providing the right environment and infrastructure that encouraged and made innovation and entrepreneurship thrive and till today, they are investing billions of dollars to that.
Charity doesn’t create jobs and once there are no jobs, unemployment and poverty sets in.
To unlock our potential as a country and Africa, Entrepreneurship is the key and Jobs and jobs creation, fair global trade and wages for labour is the way to go not Aids and Charity.