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Is development aid to Africa effective?

Development aid is the donation of money, goods, and services to foreign countries for the purpose of long term development. It is distinct from humanitarian aid, which is focused on short term relief during events such as natural disasters. Many opponents of development aid reluctantly believe factors such as corruption render this form of charity ineffective.

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Experts and Influencers

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Agree
Experts In Politics


Barack Obama    United States President
Agree
For the last twenty years, U.S. foreign aid funding has done little more than keep pace with inflation. Doubling our foreign assistance spending by 2012 will help meet the challenge laid out by Tony Blair at the 2005 G-8 conference, and it will help push the rest of the developed world to invest in security and opportunity. As we have seen recently with large increases in funding for our AIDS programs, we have the capacity to make sure this funding makes a real difference.
23 Apr 2007    Source


Experts In Music


Bono    Singer, Celebrity Activist
Agree
There was abuse of aid for 25 years, even longer. ... It can be argued that aid has propped up dodgy regimes, even recently. But that is getting less and less true, and more people are getting smart as to how aid is spent and distributed. I don't believe that a laissez-faire approach to the problems of Africa will finally sort itself out. We cannot leave the people in their hour of need, let the government fall, let there be chaos. ... This position is understandable, but completely immoral.
30 Jan 2006    Source


Experts In Animal Rights


Peter Singer    Philosophy Professor
Agree
Another obstacle to giving is the belief that most aid is wasted by corrupt regimes and never reaches the people for whom it is intended. ... Misappropriation happens, of course — but the poor live on so little, and need assistance so much, that even if some aid is wasted, the remainder will almost certainly do much more good than the money we donate would have done for us, had we retained it.
13 Mar 2009    Source


Experts In Business


Bill Gates    Microsoft Cofounder, Philanthropist
Mostly Agree
Governments and nonprofit groups have an irreplaceable role in helping [developing countries], but it will take too long if they try to do it alone. It is mainly corporations that have the skills to make technological innovations work for the poor. To make the most of those skills, we need a more creative capitalism: an attempt to stretch the reach of market forces so that more companies can benefit from doing work that makes more people better off.
31 Jul 2008    Source


Disagree
Experts In Economics


Milton Friedman    Iconic Economist of 20th Century
Disagree
What is true for India is true much more broadly. Foreign aid has done far more harm to the countries we have given it to than it has done good. Why? Because in every case, foreign aid has strengthened governments that were already too powerful. Mozambique, Tanzania, and many another African country testify to the same effect as India.
01 Nov 1991    Source


James Shikwati    Economist, Kenya
Disagree
The countries that have collected the most development aid are also the ones that are in the worst shape. ... Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need. As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa's problems.
04 Jul 2005    Source


William Easterly    Economics Professor
Disagree
In truth, Africans are and will be escaping poverty the same way everybody else did: through the efforts of resourceful entrepreneurs, democratic reformers and ordinary citizens at home, not through PR extravaganzas of ill-informed outsiders. The real Africa needs increased trade from the West more than it needs more aid handouts. A respected Ugandan journalist, Andrew Mwenda, made this point at a recent African conference despite the fact that [Bono] was attempting to shout him down.
06 Jul 2007    Source


Dambisa Moyo    Economist, Zambia
Disagree
I believe it’s largely aid [that has held back Africa]. You get the corruption — historically, leaders have stolen the money without penalty — and you get the dependency, which kills entrepreneurship. You also disenfranchise African citizens, because the government is beholden to foreign donors and not accountable to its people.
19 Feb 2009    Source



Comments

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0 Points      Gabriel Kitenga      10 Jan 2011      Stance on Question: Disagree
No one begged their economy to success. Morover, a substantial amount of AID funds has been wasted not in soving problems but in admnistration, studies and talk shops where resolutions are made with no followup. One of the biggest failures of Aid has been the handling of funding by aid agencies which either do not have an Idea or do not have the machirery to implement projects. Africans and other poor nations have been insulted and robed of their dignity by high flying know it all agencies which compete with governments for the donor's purse. No thank you. it does not work


0 Points      Anonymous      25 Mar 2010      General Comment
Bono may be an expert musician, but he is by no means an expert economist. I am sure that most visitors to the cite are aware of this, but the way the information is presented, it invites you to apply the term "expert" indiscriminately to all of the opinions presented.


0 Points      Benja      30 Mar 2010      Editorial Comment
Thanks. I updated the heading to say "Experts and Influencers" rather than just "Experts".