The Paradox of Foreign Aid
By Professor Arthur Mutambara
In this article Professor Arthur Mutambara stresses that despite the stated intention to assist the poor economies; ostensibly most foreign aid benefits the donor countries. The modus operandi has been that the rich West provides financial assistance or loans to poor nations to engage Western consultants or institutions to carry out unsustainable and useless projects on the continent.
While he admits that there has been abuse, incompetence, and corruption by recipients, these constitute a second order challenge. The problem is that aid and debt have become a control mechanism to ensure that oil, minerals and other natural resources were channelled to serve the interests of Western economies
Instead, aid should aim to build stronger domestic institutions and transfer skills to local leaders, managers and entrepreneurs. There has to be close alignment of aid with national priorities, working hand in glove with African institutions. This approach stresses the effectiveness of aid as transitory support, avoiding long-term dependence.
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