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What's wrong with Africa?


agora

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May 9, 2004
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106
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www.doonesbury.com
Some interesting points in the article, but ultimately a quite biased and ideologically motivated one. The underlying message (never actually stated, but clearly implied), was that the aid agencies should simply stop trying to help these indolents and let the free market and sensible people like the IMF sort out the mess. The comments about water privatisation are particularly telling as he seems to believe that being a left wing fanatic is the only possible reason one would have for opposing the privatisation of a water system.

I don't know about the Dar el Salaam one, but in Bolivia when the government privatised water in many parts of the country the supply was completely beyond the reach of all but the well off and ridiculously, in order to maintain the absolute monopoly of the water company involved, people were even banned from collecting rainwater. The mass protests that followed left many poor people dead and were one of the factors behind getting Morales elected.

The idea that a failed public system has only one solution, ie: privatisation is a lazy and bigoted one, which is constantly pushed by the neoliberals and MNCs which continue to exploit and subvert the developing world. In the 1980s, it could be argued that our system of government had failed (mass unemployment, corruption, tax evasion on a massive scale by a favoured elite, very high inflation, etc). Does that mean that the only solution would have been to replace it with a more "efficient" dictatorship? Would "idealogically motivated" (ie: left wing) reasons be the only ones that one would put forward against it?
 

commentator

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Joined
Aug 3, 2005
Messages
51
Agora I see your point and much comment is ideologically partial but there is no sensible comparison between the 80s here and what appears to be the wholesale failure to deal with pressing problems in much of sub saharan Africa.

The Aid industry rally does need to be changed. I read recently of a situation where the govt of Niger is at one and the same time agitating for food relief and assitstance and alxo paying toward the francophone games (the French equivalent of the Commonwealth games) presumably in the hope of giving them glory. This kind of thing, and John O'shea's tirades against the disgrace of aiding the ciurrent ugandan govt. is another case in point tells me that the whole basis on which Africa is aided needs to be looked at
 

Zhirkov

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Aug 28, 2005
Messages
112


Seen Paul Theroux's comments about Bono and aid?
Whatever about his overall argument about helping Africa he hit the nail on this head with this bit, I thought
There are probably more annoying things than being hectored about African development by a wealthy Irish rock star in a cowboy hat, but I can't think of one at the moment.
 

commentator

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Joined
Aug 3, 2005
Messages
51
Zhirkov said:


Seen Paul Theroux's comments about Bono and aid?
Whatever about his overall argument about helping Africa he hit the nail on this head with this bit, I thought
There are probably more annoying things than being hectored about African development by a wealthy Irish rock star in a cowboy hat, but I can't think of one at the moment.
I have to agree. A multi millionaire benefitting from tax free status hectoring a government paid for by others to give others money away is a bit hard to swallow. i do not doubt his good intent and i admire the success he has made of his life but I would listen more intently if he voluntarilly opted out of tax free status. he might have a right to a view then.
 

FutureTaoiseach

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Mar 20, 2005
Messages
7,992
Website
greatdearleader.blogspot.com
The following are the problems:

A: Horrendous governments who spend the money on war and self-enrichment
B: Unfair terms of trade with Africa.
C: Heavy-handed IMF which won't let them get loans if Africans subsidise their agricultural industry.
D: A culture of dependency born of endless Western aid. They need to be encouraged to stand on their own two feet - though if their governments refuse we should still help those affected by disease epidemics and famine.
E: Most of these countres' boundaries were drawn by Europeans with disregard for ethnicity of the people and as such, ethnic-groups that were traditional rivals e.g. Hutus and Tutsis, were lumped together, or else homelands of ethnic-groups were carved up between different newly-created African colonies which later became countries. A key reason for civil wars which are rampant in Africa.
 

MacCoise

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Feb 10, 2005
Messages
102
when talking about Africa the west must get it into its head(s) that its not a matter of giving them a hand up, its more a matter of taking the western foot off their back.
 

barrym

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May 4, 2004
Messages
214
Jeevan Vasagar, who he? anybody got the lowdown??

I have worked in many parts of Africa as a development worker, and his article is pretty typical of the sort of commentary one gets. It is partly correct, partly political, partly ideological.... and mostly a waste of breath. The so-called "sovereign governments" of most African states are beholden to the IMF and World Bank. I have come across reps of both in various places, they are mostly economists with sliderule like analysis and since they hold the purse strings they are listened to. The NGOs, as the article states, fill the gap, doing the work on the ground, but mostly based on their own agendas, not the local people's. I am a little surprised at his specific criticism of Action Aid, my experience is that they are almost uniquely the NGO who listen, put in place a plan with locals, specify the local inputs, have a beginning, middle and end of projects, pull out when they said they would and employ local people to manage the local work, from the top down, and fire people who don't measure up. That is the sort of development that is needed, providing local experience and practical stuff. It will take a long time but it is the only way, not IMF and WB economic models...

Bye, Barry
 

Chrisco

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Jan 14, 2008
Messages
3,830
Aid is important to Africa, but Africa's long-term future is only going to come through economic growth. Over the past decade economic growth in Africa has picked up, with growth in the stronger economies of 5-6% p.a., even among those who do are not benefitting from the mineral and resource boom.

What's driving Africa's growth - McKinsey Quarterly - Economic Studies - Productivity & Performance

Africa's Hopeful Economies

Aid and charity are important, but not the full answer. So my challenge to those who say that 'do-gooder Europeans' are part of the problem, is to put their money where their mouth is: invest in Africa.

MyC4.com: lend directly to a small business in Africa

MyC4.com (and there are other similar projects) allows you to invest in small businesses in Africa, at the interest rate you choose. I have been doing this for a few years now, and think it is really worthwhile. Defaults are, on the whole, low (for me at least) and you can choose to keep your returns as profits, or you can choose to reinvest them - it is up to you. My average return on investment is 14-17%.

So, I say to all those free marketeers who think that giving to charity in Africa is a waste of time, and that it gets lost in corruption and charities' overheads: let's see you walk the walk.

So take €10, or €50, or however much you want, and let capitalism do its thing - if you invest wisely you will get a far better return that leaving it sitting in your bank account, and you will be helping Africa wean itself off dependence on aid.
 

Analyzer

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Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
46,201
Corruption.
The need of the modern suburban economy to have a plentiful supply of natural resources, and to pay for them in paper.
Military "assistance" from the West.
The Bonox and his like, using the crisis as a mechanism to get more airtime on radio stations, and to sell concert tickets.
Getting rescued by rodham everytime she needs a PR stunt.

Maybe, Africa might have been better off if the West never "discovered" Africa.

There would be a lot more oil and diamonds in the ground for the present inhabitants.

Most wars in Africa involve resources.
 

opinions

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Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
648
Africa has one of the richest natural resources in the world, oil, diamonds, gold etc. Only problem is the people who are determined to kill each other. As elsewhere the problems are the n!ggers who cause trouble wherever they in the world today. Get rid of the n!ggers and you get rid of the problem.
 

Telemachus

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Joined
Apr 8, 2004
Messages
6,565
Website
en.wikipedia.org
Well cognitive ability of the locals for one thing.

Measurable Negro IQ on average is lower than found in most other groups of people.

In all sorts of environments and in all sorts of societies this is found.

Of course this is a problematic statement for the prevailing blankslate ostrich view of mankind and innumerates with liberal arts educations.
 

Chrisco

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Joined
Jan 14, 2008
Messages
3,830
Aid is important to Africa, but Africa's long-term future is only going to come through economic growth. Over the past decade economic growth in Africa has picked up, with growth in the stronger economies of 5-6% p.a., even among those who do are not benefitting from the mineral and resource boom.

What's driving Africa's growth - McKinsey Quarterly - Economic Studies - Productivity & Performance

Africa's Hopeful Economies

Aid and charity are important, but not the full answer. So my challenge to those who say that 'do-gooder Europeans' are part of the problem, is to put their money where their mouth is: invest in Africa.

MyC4.com: lend directly to a small business in Africa

MyC4.com (and there are other similar projects) allows you to invest in small businesses in Africa, at the interest rate you choose. I have been doing this for a few years now, and think it is really worthwhile. Defaults are, on the whole, low (for me at least) and you can choose to keep your returns as profits, or you can choose to reinvest them - it is up to you. My average return on investment is 14-17%.

So, I say to all those free marketeers who think that giving to charity in Africa is a waste of time, and that it gets lost in corruption and charities' overheads: let's see you walk the walk.

So take €10, or €50, or however much you want, and let capitalism do its thing - if you invest wisely you will get a far better return that leaving it sitting in your bank account, and you will be helping Africa wean itself off dependence on aid.
Well cognitive ability of the locals for one thing.

Measurable Negro IQ on average is lower than found in most other groups of people.

In all sorts of environments and in all sorts of societies this is found.

Of course this is a problematic statement for the prevailing blankslate ostrich view of mankind and innumerates with liberal arts educations.
A perfect example: are you willing to walk the walk?
 

CookieMonster

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Joined
Feb 19, 2005
Messages
34,801
Epic bump!

2366 days old.
 

The Field Marshal

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Aug 27, 2009
Messages
44,414
The Africa continent overall has been a disaster since the decolonisation of the 1960,s.

Sad to say but when the white people reneged on their political responsibilities to that continent 50 years ago nothing but war, famine and corruption has descended on the place.
 

Chrisco

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 14, 2008
Messages
3,830
Aid is important to Africa, but Africa's long-term future is only going to come through economic growth. Over the past decade economic growth in Africa has picked up, with growth in the stronger economies of 5-6% p.a., even among those who do are not benefitting from the mineral and resource boom.

What's driving Africa's growth - McKinsey Quarterly - Economic Studies - Productivity & Performance

Africa's Hopeful Economies

Aid and charity are important, but not the full answer. So my challenge to those who say that 'do-gooder Europeans' are part of the problem, is to put their money where their mouth is: invest in Africa.

MyC4.com: lend directly to a small business in Africa

MyC4.com (and there are other similar projects) allows you to invest in small businesses in Africa, at the interest rate you choose. I have been doing this for a few years now, and think it is really worthwhile. Defaults are, on the whole, low (for me at least) and you can choose to keep your returns as profits, or you can choose to reinvest them - it is up to you. My average return on investment is 14-17%.

So, I say to all those free marketeers who think that giving to charity in Africa is a waste of time, and that it gets lost in corruption and charities' overheads: let's see you walk the walk.

So take €10, or €50, or however much you want, and let capitalism do its thing - if you invest wisely you will get a far better return that leaving it sitting in your bank account, and you will be helping Africa wean itself off dependence on aid.
The Africa continent overall has been a disaster since the decolonisation of the 1960,s.

Sad to say but when the white people reneged on their political responsibilities to that continent 50 years ago nothing but war, famine and corruption has descended on the place.
Once again, put your money where your mouth is: invest.
 

sgtharper

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 20, 2008
Messages
11,003
One "trouble with Africa" is that white people care more about Africans than Africans care about Africans.
 
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