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Forum Home > Book reviews > Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa. By Dambisa Moyo. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2009,

Luther Gwaza
Site Owner
Posts: 9

As the Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo argues, the concept of foreign aid is flawed -- not just because corrupt dictators divert aid for nefarious or selfish purposes but also because even in reasonably democratic countries, aid creates perverse incentives and unintended consequences.

February 6, 2010 at 8:36 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 22

I can't help but agree with some of Dambisa Moyo's major arguments. Recently i was in a taxi, stuck in one of Nairobi's famous traffic jams, and wishing i had carried a novel to while up time. The taxi driver kept swearing under his breath and tapping his fingers impatiently on the steering wheel (as if it was the first time he had seen this!).

Deciding it was not the jam causing his irritation, i decided to politely ask him if he was okay. It was as if i had opened a dam wall. He began pouring out to me how he seemed to be always broke yet working so hard. he wondered how other people managed to get rich. He had so many responsibilities to his family and relatives who demanded money from him every month and seemed to have unending needs.

I smiled inwardly. This was not the first time i had heard such a story. Indeed i had never really understood it until i grew old enough and started working and had people around me who needed my support. It was a story i had heard from my work mates, friends and even a recurring theme in the popular Nigerian/ African movies and even books. A plague that seemed to poison mama Africa, the beloved extended family that was being abused by many people and perpertrating laziness among the young and old. The extended family that acted like the criticised welfare system and unemployment benefits of the West.

Aid, whether at such a personal and family level or country level creates dependency and complacency from the receipient and even destroys the creativity and potential ability of the person.

Trust me, i believe charity still has its place and it is good to give but let us not abuse this and grow lazy. Our grandfathers and mothers were hard workers and their society punished lazy people. They had enough pride and dignity to know that blessed is the hand that gives than recieves  and to know that every gift received created an obligation on you to give back. (and not sit back and think i deserve this). Surely God will judge some people on the talents (gifts/skills) they have buried instead of working to multiply them.

February 25, 2010 at 8:05 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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