Making Aid Work

Idasa recently hosted the ‘Southern African Civil Society Consultation Workshop & Multi-Stakeholders Consultation on Aid Effectiveness: Catalysing Broad Implementation Of The Accra Agenda For Action (AAA)’. This was one of a series of workshops on the African continent and around the world. Others have been held in the Philippines and Columbia. These workshops are aimed at providing information and building capacity for participation in the aid reform process, ultimately making aid more effective, transparent and democratically accountable in achieving mutually-agreed development objectives. See more here.

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Live or Dead Aid – Who is responsible for development in Africa?

Who is responsible for development in Africa?

Dambisa Moyo

Dambisa Moyo

This is the question I’m mulling over, after a presentation by Dr Dambisa Moyo, author of Dead Aid.  The book has caused quite some controversy, not least among NGOs and recipients of the aid that Moyo critiques.

Foreign aid is a complex subject and one that has many vested interests. Any discussion on the future of aid is likely to be heated and emotional.  There are those of us whose very livelihoods depend on it, for without that donor money, we wouldn’t be able to pay our own bills.  And there are those of us lefties who struggle with the politics of the author – neo-liberal, economic focus, seemingly aligned to the interests of global capital. Her work experience is at the World Bank (seen by some as an arrogant manipulative International Financial Institution (IFI)) and Goldman Sachs. Her background at these institutions dents her credibility in South African development circles, where your politics and credentials are judged before you’ve opened your mouth.

Some people view her ideas with skepticism and see her as an emissary from yet another global institution that is intent on imposing their own agenda. Moyo contests this vocally, saying she is born and bred Zambian and has strong roots in the heart of Africa.  For most of us, despite any critique, it is fabulous to have an African academic raising these issues for debate. Continue reading