Does Africa Suffer from our Help?

by OlivierNoel on February 5, 2014 - 8:39am



Dambisa Moyo is the author the article ‘‘Why foreign aid is hurting Africa‘‘.  She visited Africa, more specifically in Kibera. The point of her visit was to found how aid really helped African people. In fact Aid doesn’t help the countries to develop. Money that comes from the rich countries created a cycle of corruption and it slowed economic growth and poverty.  The money that goes to poor countries is in fact helping the government to be richer. Many presidents in Africa are accused and charge for theft of state funds. The corruption in Africa is estimated to be $15 billion a year. Also, the aid is making the economic growth slower because all their economy is based on aid. Therefore, no one is really working and 50% of the population is living on less than a dollar a day.  The aid doesn’t help the African to start a business. Per example, a mosquito-net maker in Africa is trying to sell is product and the Western Government thinks that mosquito net are a great idea. They send 100,000 nets in Africa and this puts the manufacture out of business. Moyo suggest that the aid should be given to manufacture and give food directly to local citizens in need. Ethical egoism is against everything that put the collective before the individual. This is why Moyo and Ayn Rand thinks the aid in Africa is not good because its taking the advantage of others and its leading to moral destruction of the self. Ethical egoism is providing you to work hard and overcome the standards of the rest of the society to pursuit excellence.

In this article, the only advantage that is shown to donate money in Africa is when they are directly donated to corporate. When we say that a human life has fundamental moral worth, making them poorer than they actually are is not how they should be treating. I think that everybody needs a chance to be healthy and having money to live. In those conditions, the Africans are starving and they are not considering as human beings by the government. Giving aid in Africa may look like a good idea but with all those problems, I think we should directly donate our money to the people and not to the government.  In this issue, should we donate more specific object rather than money?

Work Cited

Moyo, Dambisa, why foreign aid is hurting Africa, the wall street journal, Africa news,  March 21, 2009 Web: January 29 2014


I totally agree with you that one should give money to the people as opposed to the corrupted government. It is actually quite sad knowing that so many people give money to people in need, but are clueless to the fact that the money is not going to starving Africans towards their betterment. I value honesty and I believe that people should always be accountable and keep their word at all times. Having said this I am referring to the African government, I find that they should give some money to their people. I defiantly think that this issue should be discussed more often as it will allow people in "rich" countries to make better ways of actually giving money to people in need. Finally, if I understand correctly, how does the money come to Africans? Is it through organizations like World Vision?

I greatly agree with the author of the original article but not so much with your statement about giving the money directly to the people. I believe the only thing we should offer is our time. From a familiar experience, helping a family build their home and helping a community build a school has helped more than any amount of money could have. Providing them with currency won't help them develop. Supporting their education, their growth and their economic development within their area will. Imports only decrease GDP, we need goods and services to be produced within the continent, within those underdeveloped countries. Bringing everything to them won't help them grow as an independent economy. If we gave our children everything they needed and left them on their own once they had all they needed, would we expect them to survive, raise themselves and grow on their own?

What attracted myself in this article is the way the government treats Africans. For my part, I think corruption is absolutly wrong. So , it is obvious for me that we should give useful objects, foods, time, and everything that we can give that is not money to avoid corruption from the government. Without currency, the government will have to find another way to run the economy, and will then have to start some business. Futhermore, it will open doors for employements, and it can only help their economy. This post makes us realize that we never really know where our charity money is going to.

Wealth is not of a definite amount in the world. It can be created. But when we look a the three economic pole in the world, Government, Charities and Businesses, only the last one is actively creating wealth thus getting people outside of poverty, the two others are merely redistributing wealth but not creating more of it.

If we want to end poverty we should make sure that a real free market is at work, don't forget that regulations are not designed to protect the population. They are designed by big corporations thru lobbyisme to keep potential concurrent outside of the market thus destroying wealth creations for and by the poorer and effectively creating monopolies.

I strongly disagree with what you are saying. To argue that stripping away regulation and allowing companies to run wild in Africa would be the solution to their collective problems is counter-productive, to say the least. A look at Africa's modern history is full of examples of businesses being the problem, not the solution.

Opening up Africa to foreign investment has been a disaster for the continent, spreading poverty like a disease everywhere that it goes. The idea that you are describing has been tried before, when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loaded Africa with loans in order to "promote development." These loans came with attached clauses called "Structural Adjustment Programs," (SAP's) which forced debtor nations to use the borrowed funds to kick start a private sector export industry. In some nations the export was coffee, in others it was oil, and in others it was precious metals or minerals. The product is irrelevant, the point is that the SAP's REQUIRED the creation of an export market. In addition to this, the SAP's also required that debtor nations impose the 'holy trinity' of neoliberal capitalism: privatization of state-industries, deregulation of financial markets, and slashes to social spending. In the theories of Milton Friedman, Friedrich von Hayek, and other right-wing economists who you borrow ideas from, these elements should have come together to create a booming capitalist market economy. Except they didn't. They created a catastrophe.

The export industries set up by the SAP's had a problem. The corporations in the Global North which were buying their products had so much buying power, and markets were so flooded with cheap goods (because so many nations had taken loans with SAP's), that the increasingly productive African nations were actually seeing poverty rise, not fall. Their debts exploded, and that debt was used to further exert Western control over African economies. We are now in a position where Africa as a continent essentially exists as a colony for raw materials used to make goods for the Global North.

It seems to me like the only people who have reaped the benefits of so-called free trade has been the global corporate class. Businesses in Africa are wealth-EXTRACTORS, not wealth creators. If we really want to end poverty in Africa, and the world, we need to get to work creating a new economic paradigm.

(I also should mention that a large amount of the corrupt governments in Africa were installed and supported by Western elites, because authoritarian leadership is conducive to big business. For instance, after the CIA had Patrice Lumumba assassinated, they handpicked and installed Joseph Mobutu, one of Africa's worst dictators and a close ally to American business interests.)

For my Assignment, I decided to comment on your post because it criticizes the main obstacle to economic development in Africa: corruption.The aid provided by the Western countries is not helping out the people of these poor countries but it lines the the pockets of the rich leaders and the members of their political parties. It is not an efficient aid because those leaders are not investing in the education or health systems of their countries but prefer to buy personal assets that makes them richer and richer every day. Corruption has to stop in Africa. Instead of giving money, Western countries should invest in the education of these isolated populations. That way, these poor people will understand how they are robbed day after day. Through education, they will also have the opportunity to decide their future by themselves. Small business will then appear and the long-term development of Africa will finally begin. Investing in education is a thousands times more valuable than giving money to the leaders of the African states.