Tuesday, 10 March 2009

If I said this, I'd be branded a racist

I know, because I've been saying it for years, and I've consequently been branded a racist:

Development aid does more harm than good in Africa, says Zambian economist and author Dambisa Moyo, so we should stop it. She has the ear of at least one African president, Paul Kagame of Rwanda. 'Why should Bono be the one to determine economic policy in Africa?

It was during her studies at Harvard that she first started wondering why Africa is the only continent that is forever struggling. Later, as she was working on her thesis at Oxford, she tried to figure out why poor Asian countries like South Korea or Thailand managed to join the world of emerging nations when no African country did. For the next eight years, she worked for the US investment bank Goldman Sachs. Gradually her conviction grew stronger: Africa will never get on its feet unless it makes a clean break with the system of development aid.

It is aid itself that is keeping Africa poor. This in a nutshell, is the argument Moyo develops in the first half of her book, Dead Aid, which came out last month. She is referring only to government aid, not to emergency humanitarian aid or charity. "Development aid simply doesn't work," she says. "It was supposed to lead to sustainable economic growth and a reduction of poverty. Name one African country where this has happened."

Dead Aid caused a sensation in Great Britain. Here was a young, successful, educated African woman trespassing in a world dominated by middle-aged white men. Economist like William Easterley and Jeffrey Sachs. Rock stars like Bono and Bob Geldof. What's more: she was arguing for pulling the plug on development aid.

Good. Not only will letting them stand on their own feet do them good, it will do them even more good. And if you need more proof that I'm right:

"The danger is that this book will get more attention than it deserves," wrote The Guardian. "Her proposal to phase out aid in five years is disastrously irresponsible: it would lead to the closure of thousands of schools and clinics across Africa, and an end to the HIV antiretroviral, malaria and TB programmes, along with emergency food supplies, on which millions of lives depend.

As usual, the Graniaud is ignoring decades of evidence in favour of their patronising racism.

Development aid doesn't develop and it doesn't aid. Plus, stopping it will save the taxpayer some money. AND it will fuck off the liberals.

What's not to like?


David Davis said...

Dear old Prof Peter Bauer (whom I had the good fortune to know, slightly, in London, in liberal circles etc) used to say:

"FOREIGN AID" is a method of taking money away from poor people in rich countries, and giving it to rich people in poor countries.

He was of course excrated as you would expect - except by Thatcher, but by then it was too late for her, and anybody she touched was doomed.

Sue said...

Africa's a bottomless pit and I hate Red Nose Day too!

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for the first African state to have its "Ceaucescu Moment". Only then will things (gradually) start to improve there.

Instead of sending food aid, why not piano wire? The thicker, stronger stuff though. These corrupt dictators aren't known as "Big Men" for nothing...

Dennis said...

Don't get me started on Bonio.

All right, then. He's at a Live Aid concert before a vast auditorium of the adoring brainwashed, who sit in rapt silence as the Great Man holds forth.

He starts clapping his hands, once a second, like a human metronome. "Every time I do this," he announces, "a child in Africa dies."

[Said to be a true story]
A voice come from the body of the crowd. "Well, stop doing it, then."

Anonymous said...

You don't need a degree in econmics to see that a poor sodding farmer trying to sell his produce when aid agencies are giving the same stuff away free is not going to be a millionaire anytime soon unless he lives in Zimbabwe.

Anonymous said...

been saying it for years.

give them skills and tools and then leave them to it, the future is then theirs.

keep giving them free food and free aid and they will remain a third world version of englands proffesional unemployed.

Oldrightie said...

Hang about here, what would Mugabe use to fund his wife's shopping and mugging habits with?

Roger Thornhill said...

As Anon says, it is the Welfare State writ large.

Self serving, self indulgent guilt tripping by self loathers.

BulloPill said...

Nothing to add, except perhaps, "About time someone pointed out this obvious truth"

wv: mulla IKYN

Prince Umbongo said...

No no. I need my learjet

Ross said...

There's a good interview/discussion featring her in Standpoint:


I'm becoming increasingly convinced that much of the Aid industry exists to give western liberals tha chance to go to 3rd world countries and boss people about.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

I'm becoming increasingly convinced that much of the Aid industry exists to give western liberals tha chance to go to 3rd world countries and boss people about.

And it gives them the chance to travel around the world on someone else's money telling everyone how kind and good they are.


Good point, Obo. Development Aid is a disaster - particularly because the handout is accompanied with the imposition of a Western cultural matrix that doesn't fit various African countries' styles of living and personal community development; and the additional imposition of crooked economic dealings, such as China buying up huge parcels of land to be set aside for growing food when the rest of the world runs out. Encouraging a 'victim' mentality is the last thing the continent needs - I know, I've worked out in Swaziland; Africa isn't a country, its people aren't backwards, nay subhuman and in desperate need of benevolent Western help. I wish for once that we could just mind our own damn' business and just let people get on with the business of living. Our govt could stand to learn that lesson, too

Bristol Dave said...

Doesn't most development aid headed for Africa end up purchasing BMW X5s, Mercedes MLs and a shitload of gold anyway?

Fuck em. I don't see why it's my responsibility that their country's leader lets them starve.

Thankfully I've been told where so-many-billions of pounds is pledged in aid, only a fraction of it actually gets paid. Good, frankly.

SteveShark said...

Well, there seem to be two stark choices here - keep on chucking money at corrupt regimes or stop doing that and let it all reach some sort of status quo.
As we haven't tried the latter and the former doesn't seem to be working let's stop the aid but only after writing off all African debt.
At least Africa won't be in any more debt and have to kowtow to any more Western industrialists and bankers and maybe sopme of the corrupt leaders will be overthrown. I'm with Anonymous and his piano wire scheme.
An added bonus would indeed be no Red Nose day and maybe Sir Bob and that cock Bono will just shut up at last.
The only sand in the KY is the arms trade...

Anonymous said...

Well the Groan doesn't like it, that's good enough for me, it's a fucking brilliant idea.

(And obvious - which explains why the right-brain assholes at the Gruaniad are opposed).

The Penguin said...

Hang on, isn't McBroon keen on saving Africa?

The Penguin.

Anonymous said...

Fucking bono is a patronising cunt.

If he wants to help the Africans why doesnt he piss off to Africa and take all HIS money with him.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Trade not aid.

That's Africa fixed.


Obsidian said...

The only 'aid' Africa needs from us is to let them ignore patent law internally, and to lynch all those loony Catholics telling them condoms are bad.

It's pretty stupid of the West to throw them alms when our protectionist systems like the EU and the US have keep them from selling their shit, and we have the likes of Spanish emptying their fisheries for fun.

We're get taxed to subsidize the fucking EU's retarded concept of a free market, then get taxed to fund the consequences of it. The joy.

End of the day, all this international aid is just a sop to whinging lefty twats without the testicular fortitude to go over and help the starving, after all passing a tenner to Red Nose Day works out cheaper than a shrink, acupuncturist and monthly detox trips.

You'd think if a bunch of Welsh miners could go fight in Spain to fight Franco, a couple of wealthy, aging Irish rockers could run a few hundred soup kitchens. But then, thats probably not as much fun as making a big carbon footprint with a new tour, or watching your talent-vacuum daughter shag/marry anyone who might get her gormless mug in the tabloids.

leogex said...

Now if he was in a certain other country certain minority 'spokesman' would call him an Uncle Tom or a 'step -n- fetch'.

Jack Maturin said...

How could we prop up all of the jobs in the British arms industries if we didn't funnel taxpayer-looted cash through the Armoured-Mercedes class of Africa?

Do you hate British arms workers, Obo? I think you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

And just think of all of those Swiss gold bullion dealers you'll be putting out of a job, too.

You are a disgrace.

Mitch said...

Maybe a trade in scheme, say an AK47 with 100 rounds gets you a ten day course in growing food,an RPG a well drilling kit and so on.
The less weapons they have the better,let em choose.

Your right about aid though it just salves the collective conscience of the gruniad reading fukwits.

Damo Mackerel said...

Here's some further reading:



John Collier, John Collier - the window to watch! said...

It always irrtates me how much the righteous left/Bono et al will dictate to us about the poor starving masses and yet these same masses always seem to have enough $$ for their AK's, bullets and RPG's.

When have you ever seen a starving African soldier?

Congrats on the prize, Obo said...

The 2009 Oliver Reed Prize


wv. humshou
Well somebody stepped in a dog egg and it bloody wasn't me

oleuanna said...

I am going to have to agree......look at the Uk's benefit system, all it has done is create a society of the Jeremy Kyle class...(why no one has punched him in the ear is beyond me!)

Unfortunate victims of sporadic guerilla warfare, volatile 'hide the world bank money', governments and environmental catastrophic durations.

They know little else but handouts, which somehow obscure any need to create their own sustained development. Aid was never the answer but a quick fix for the rest of the global consciousness. It's the bloody missionaries all over again and again...this time in the guise of democratisation.

But there are plenty of organisations that are working out there, to help teach community's to sustain themselves with environmental developmental and education for sustainability..it's not all Aid led and hopeless!!

And can everyone stop saying Bono...I can hear his obsequious erection grow and seep his gangrel seed.

Martin said...

I say we stop not just aid to Africa, but aid to anywhere else.

On a not totally unrelated note.....

What the fuck is this cunt doing?

John Demetriou said...

I applaud your article. An excellent fucking effort. No, you're not evil for saying it, but people will think you are - so I admire the nollocks.

Sadly, your views are in a minority of what is said in public discourse. Whether your views are a minority of what is felt in the hearts and minds of the masses at large is another question and one we'll probably never have conclusive proof of. Though one can of course speculate.

Keep up the good work, Obs.

John D


Doctor Cat said...


Good point - what the fuck is that arsehole George Galloway giving 'aid' to Hamas? "Allah Akbar" they cried when he announced it. If you look here you will see the same Hamas chanting the same "Allah Akbar"


Galloway said he was 'personally' donating 3 vehicles and £25000 cash.

He probably put Gaza down as his main home a la Smith and I hope the vehicles were HPI checked before they left the UK.

Hugh said...

Development Aid = Welfare State same shit, different budget.

Hugh said...

Dennis, the event you recall actually happened at a U2 gig at Hampden, not a chavity event

Anonymous said...

C`mon Obo, How the fuck else are they going to fund civil wars. Think of how many can be killed with an AK47 in a day as opposed to a spear. Have a heart.

Alec said...

I'm becoming increasingly convinced that much of the Aid industry exists to give western liberals tha chance to go to 3rd world countries and boss people about.

Funny you should say that:


Oh, Obnoxio, you turn my stomach. Just had to do summat to save my soul.