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Africans do not want or need Britain’s development aid

Editor’s note: This letter was published in the Telegraph (UK) on August 22, 2010 with the title given above for this post.

SIR – The parlous state of the public finances in Britain provides the perfect opportunity for British taxpayers to end their half-century-long experiment with “development aid”, which has, since its inception, stunted growth and subsidised bad governance in Africa.

As Africans, we urge the generous-spirited British to reconsider an aid programme they can ill afford, and which we do not want or need. A real offer from the British people to help our development would consist of the abolition of the Common Agricultural Policy, which keeps African agricultural exports out of the European marketplace.

It is that egregious policy, combined with the weight of regulations, bad laws and stifling bureaucracy, subsidised by five decades of development aid, which prevents Africans from lifting themselves out of poverty.

Andrew Mitchell, the Secretary of State for International Development, speaks about a “moral imperative” to combat poverty around the world. We could not agree more. The British have a unique opportunity to cut the deficit and help Africa: please, ask your new government to stop your aid.

Andrew Mwenda
Editor, Independent newspaper, Uganda
Franklin Cudjoe
Executive Director, IMANI Center for Policy and Education, Ghana
Kofi Bentil
Lecturer, University of Ghana and Ashesi University, Ghana
Thompson Ayodele
Executive Director, Initiative for Public Policy Analysis, Nigeria
Temba Nolutshungu
Director, Free Market Foundation, South Africa
Leon Louw
Law Review Project, South Africa

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  1. John wrote:

    The trouble is that one primary purposes of development aid is to make donors — countries and individuals — feel good about themselves (as the letter writers surely know, but fail to acknowledge). So, in this case, it’s more about domestic British concerns than about Africa.

    Posted August 29, 2010 at 8:14 am | Permalink
  2. Matt wrote:

    I’m incredibly sympathetic to Mwenda & co’s views, but surely this should read “*Six* Africans do not want or need Britain’s development aid.” Let’s also not talk about selection bias.

    Posted August 29, 2010 at 8:26 am | Permalink
  3. Rod wrote:

    Sure, while we are at it we should turn off the global fund, PEPFAR, and all those other intrusive agencies that are fighting to keep people healthy and alive. Especially considering African countries were doing a great job of combating AIDS prior to outside involvement.

    I understand the push for the elimination of market barriers that undermine or oppress African production as well as the desire for the elimination of tied aid. However, letters like this paint with a very big brush in trying to summarize the effects of “development aid” as entirely negative.

    I am hesitant to accept the word of 6 intellectuals who speak for ALL of Africa. Foreign aid has become a popular scapegoat in Africa but this is just a deflection of larger, localized problems. The $20-40 of ODA per capita in Africa may not be highly effective, but it certainly isn’t chaining people to a lifetime of poverty.

    In 2008, net ODA for the entire world was a $121 billion. In the same year, the Canadian government spent $171 billion to provide health care to 33 million people. Such disparities always incline me to think that the problem isn’t too much aid but rather the amount of money being spent isn’t nearly enough to register any kind of effect – positive or negative.

    Posted August 29, 2010 at 9:03 am | Permalink
  4. Harold wrote:

    Aid keeps poor people alive, but, most of the time, Aid doesn’t take them out of poverty.

    Posted August 29, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Permalink
  5. William Easterly wrote:

    From @gentlemandad: what is so much better about trade? is there any evidence it is more effective than aid?

    My answer: trade is voluntary for participants, they wouldn’t do it if it didn’t make them better off; but there is no beneficiary choice in aid, so we don’t know whether or why intended beneficiaries want the aid.

    Posted August 29, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Permalink
  6. Harold wrote:

    I Will add to William last comment: aid creates distortions in relative prices, or in the allocation of resources, or in both. Thus, Aid is less efficient than trade.

    Posted August 29, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Permalink
  7. TMS Ruge wrote:

    @Matt, make that *7*… although I wouldn’t put myself in their intellectual class, I think I uniquely qualify to speak about Africa. Otherwise, who is? Would you rather believe *7* middle-aged white men speaking on behalf of Africa? Would that be more palatable? When did it become wrong for us to speak on behalf of our continent? I ask you Matt, if those highly qualified individuals can’t speak for us, then who will? Bill Easterly? You?

    I would have to say anti-trade policies are a far bigger problem for us than the non-choice aid we receive. We are married to aid because our domestic markets don’t earn enough for the government to earn taxes from. So they continue to suckle the aid nipple. As long as we can’t export to more lucrative markets. We’ll continue to have stunted growth.

    Over $700 billion has been spent in aid over 50 years. You seriously want more aid? How deep should we dig this whole? Can you show me what country is better off than it was 40 years ago and aid independent. Just one country will do as an example.

    Posted August 29, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Permalink
  8. Very interesting debate and thank you to the six ‘intellectuals’ that raised it. However, I do find it fascinating that the comments focus on ‘trade’ in the abstract rather than the power issues and politics involved in scrapping the Common Agricultural Policy. That, I believe, will show where the scrapping of aid on the part of those living in the North (if it is to be combined with real efforts to address global inequities and redress the legacy of colonialism) really hurts. I like the brave assertion of the six, but if/when it really starts to hurt I don’t believe it will really start to happen. So basically the ‘scrapping of aid’ argument becomes almost like a ‘cheap trick’ – easy to argue for, much harder to really address.

    Posted August 29, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Permalink
  9. William Easterly wrote:

    from @alanbeattie: why regard trade and aid as substitutes rather than complements?

    response: There is still a trade-off since both use scarce political capital

    Posted August 29, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Permalink
  10. William Easterly wrote:

    FROM @gentlemandad ABOUT CHOICE ARGUMENT FOR TRADE: irrelevant. choice is not a choice when you’re working 12+ hours in a crap factory.

    RESPONSE if you chose to work 12 hrs in crap factory, think how bad was the situation you chose to leave

    @gentlemandad: what kind of a choice is it when the best option is to overwork yourself in a poor factory? no choice at all. stop pretending that it is.

    RESPONSE compared to starvation or prostitution?

    Posted August 29, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Permalink
  11. Thembeka wrote:

    @TMS Ruge: what makes you so “uniquely qualified to speak about Africa”? Are you the only African person in the world? (Although it seems you haven’t lived here for a very long time and I don’t recall voting for you as our spokesMAN for an entire continent)
    Aid is not perfect, and the iniquitous trade rules imposed by the West steal more than they give… BUT there are many impoverished African women who have gained something (not much, but a little) from aid – especially an improvement in their status in society due to activism by local NGOs – most of whom are funded through INGOs. The 6 arrogant free marketeers above would have the world think there are no ideological differences among Africans or that we all buy their notions of trickle-down capitalism. We don’t want the kind of trade that has vastly increased the gap between haves and have-nots in China and India. African women want economic and environmental justice – not more exploitation and enrichment of male power elites!

    Posted August 29, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Permalink
  12. TMS Ruge wrote:

    I am not really sure what you mean by “haven’t lived there for a very long time”… or why you think I can’t speak for the continent. By your name, I’ll guess that you are African, and by “here” I’ll guess you live on the continent. Both of which give you “unique qualifications” to speak in defense of aid FOR your continent.

    I on the other hand, do work and live in Africa and in the West, so that does qualify to speak on the subject. As an African, working on the continent, I have every right to speak my mind as well. I have every right to work AND speak on behalf of my continent. I have social entrepreneurship projects that empower women and men in Uganda. They make money, I make money. The community benefits. What, may I ask, do you do besides criticize. What aid project are you working on that’s creating independently wealthy Africans?

    Aid isn’t a panacea for women’s empowerment, and neither is business. It is more nuanced than that. What is empowering is you and me doing for ourselves, be us men or women, instead of standing in line with begging bowls at iNGOs with smug entitlement. I’ve said many times that there is a place for both aid and trade. But I fail to see concrete results where aid has improved our lives over the last 40 years. Aid won’t build wealth for your women, it’ll enslave them into thinking that they don’t need to do for themselves, someone else will. And so long as that mentality persists, we’ll never create wealth, just increased dependency.

    So let’s begin the age of transitioning from the aid mentality that hasn’t worked for 40+ years to a more integrated solution powered by trade. If I can do it and see it making a difference, then surely we all can do it.

    Posted August 29, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Permalink
  13. Rod wrote:

    @TMS Ruge – My point was not to call for more aid. My point was this – $700 billion over 50 years is not that much. The USA spends that amount in ONE year on military spending. To spend that $700 billion in one year today would essentially give $2 a day for the worlds poorest, hardly enough to overcome the complex situation of entrenched poverty. At the same time, I don’t think the amount of money being spent is enough to be vilified as the reason behind a country’s problems.

    Foreign aid isn’t and should never be considered a cure-all to poverty or low economic development. I agree that grand plans (Sachs) to use aid to fuel economic growth are based on little evidence that such plans would be successful. However, in certain instances aid can fill in important gaps that are present in current systems.

    Aid and trade are not incompatible. More effective aid and more fair trade would do a world of wonders. It doesn’t have to be either or.

    Posted August 29, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Permalink
  14. TMS Ruge wrote:


    Agreed. Would you consider then, instead of spending another $700 billion on aid, why don’t we work on new trade policies that will allow the continent to make $700 billion in trade PER YEAR not IN 50 years.

    Posted August 29, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Permalink
  15. Thembeka wrote:

    @TMS Ruge – my point was that none of us are “uniquely” qualified as “unique” tends to mean the only one (singular).
    As an African woman I don’t need to justify my right to my opinion nor would I presume that my opinion is correct, or the only right one as “Africans” are not the homogenous mass the West tends to imagine. I work in development and am not sure how you come by your view of “smug iNGOs” – I have worked with many, and nowadays they are staffed mostly by Africans. What makes them more smug than you? That you make a profit?
    Making people independently wealthy is a narrow capitalist ambition – we work on projects that don’t and couldn’t make you money: but they do address vitally important (for women any way) issues such as property and inheritance rights, lobbying for changes to discriminatory laws and cultural practices, violence agaisnt women, rights for children with disabilities, HIV and Aids and psychosocial support etc etc.
    The notion that the market will solve all problems is just silly – look at the under class in America for example, people who can’t afford healthcare and so on. No, aid is not a fix all solution but scrapping it entirely is just silly. We need better and more effective aid, not aid with the many strings attached by donor governments or aid that is sucked up by corrupt elites in our own governments.
    Zimbabwe is suddenly trading a huge amount of diamonds – how much of that will ever benefut the poor? How much of Angola or Nigeria’s oil wealth gets beyong the cabals in the capital cities? Trade is part of the answer but not all of it!

    Posted August 29, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Permalink
  16. TMS Ruge wrote:

    First off, hats off to the work you are doing.

    I think we are not far from agreement here. I stated above that there’s a place for both, not one or the other. Aid has its place for sure. But there are other issues that impact what aid can address. The sectors you mentioned should be supported by aid, but in my view, it should be supported by our governments from revenue generated from our trade activities. That’s how the US funds inner-city activities. It doesn’t run to the WB to solve those its problems. Why can’t we changing to operate on the same model?

    What you are your doing in your field is vitally important, but owing its sustainability to international funding is fallacious and endorses indigenous governments abdicating their responsibilities for creating a taxable middle class that it can be beholden to. What I do can’t fix all the issues in my community in Uganda. Government services have to meet me in the middle. As a practitioner in the field, that has been really hard to accomplish.

    Posted August 29, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Permalink
  17. E Aboyeji wrote:

    I’ll be honest, I don’t think abolishing the CAP will do anything.

    I have said why before here

    I am however in favor of more creative uses of aid.

    Posted August 29, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Permalink
  18. E Aboyeji wrote:

    Oh and one more thing.

    When will these brilliant intellectualsstart talking about regional tarrifs on trade within the African continent?

    Me thinks Africans protest too much to others.

    Posted August 29, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Permalink
  19. terence wrote:

    My answer: trade is voluntary for participants, they wouldn’t do it if it didn’t make them better off; but there is no beneficiary choice in aid, so we don’t know whether or why intended beneficiaries want the aid.

    But there is a degree of choice in aid too. If it’s really as counter-productive as is implied, then people would resent its presence and politicians would gain political capital by campaigning against it, which really doesn’t seem to be happening (at least as far as I’m aware, and excluding Kagame who may have other motivations for shunning the international community).

    response: There is still a trade-off since both use scarce political capital

    Really? That’s an assumption not a fact. The constituencies might be completely different.

    Posted August 29, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Permalink
  20. terence wrote:

    In the interests of expanding the dataset from a total of six I went to the Afrobarometer surveys.

    Question 98D.- In your opinion, how much do each of the following do to help your country, or haven?t you heard enough to say?. Other international donors and NGOs (apart from the United Nations).

    The results from the most recent round of the survey, in terms of totals for all countries surveyed:

    Do nothing, no help – 4.90%
    Help a little bit – 17.60%
    Help somewhat – 32.60%
    Help a lot – 44.90%

    I’ve uploaded a PDF with country by country breakdowns at my blog:

    Posted August 29, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Permalink
  21. JeuneSenegalaise wrote:

    DISCLOSURE: I will speak for Africa. I will speak for young Africans like myself. I will speak for the sons and daughters of parents who risked their lives in the fight for postcolonial justice. I will speak for those of us that tirelessly pursue economic degrees, business degrees, political science degrees, medical degrees, international law degrees, etc. in order to gain the skills and tools necessary to actively participate in the forward movement of our continent.

    First let me answer the inevitable question as I’ve seen above- “oh, well what gives you the right to speak for a whole continent…etc…”
    Well- because
    1. I have a voice.
    2. I have an opinion
    3. I can’t come up with any valid reason or excuse to NOT address the obvious plight of my peoples and the DETRIMENTAL role in which development aid, ideologies, inefficient programs, international financial institutions and agencies have played.

    I highly doubt that the individuals who wrote this letter believe that the cure all to Africa’s issues is simply: free trade, period. Maybe, just maybe they understand that Africa is an entire continent. And perhaps they even might get that it’s a continent full of diversity in all aspects i.e cultures, environment, and landscape. And if we are really lucky perhaps they also get that there will be no one-cure-all answer for whole of Africa. On that note, I have a strong notion that what’s being addressed here is the issue of ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT.

    In order for individuals, communities to have access to basic amenities (food, housing, education, health for example) that allow for any type of human development …they must first be economically empowered. How else can a person increase their standard of living in a sustainable manner if they have no economic means to do so? Otherwise, they will inevitably be trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty and underdevelopment as we see today.

    There needs to be more of an emphasis on grassroots initiatives that focus on increasing standards of living via for example small business and entrepreneurial development.
    Economic empowerment has to be seen as the KEY to reaching development not as a side note. Instead, for the past 5 decades development efforts have been conceived as primarily social work. They are extroverted efforts based upon imported western systems and strategies. Which makes them neither relevant nor impacting towards long term developmental goals coupled with short term quantitative + qualitative milestones which, with transparency, can be tracked and thoroughly analyzed to measure their efficiency and results.

    Hmmmm…I don’t see the way aid has been administered as some unfortunate freak accident nor coincidence but whatever. So yeah, KUDOS to the writers of this letter who say thanks, but no thanks. Maybe this kind of frank talk will get more of us truly realizing that yeah as cliché as it may sound, our future is and should be in our hands.

    Posted August 30, 2010 at 1:40 am | Permalink
  22. Matt wrote:

    TMS – you read conclusions from my simple statement that the letter is not representative. I’m more inclined to side with the Mwendas of the world than with the Sachs, but I also think arguments (Easterly’s implicit argument here that Africans reject aid) need better evidence.

    For example, here someone looks at responses from the Afrobarometer surveys on the same subject:

    Note that I’m arguing about beliefs, not about what should be done – it could be that 99% of a country’s population might want more aid, but it could still be the wrong choice!

    Posted August 30, 2010 at 3:12 am | Permalink
  23. JPT wrote:

    Im all for stopping aid to Africa. Aid has built a hand out entitlement mentality in government and citizen recipients. However I worry about the consequences of no more aid. It might be a good idea for those suggesting that their country not receive any more aid to look outside their nice neighborhoods to where the 50% or more of their population live on less than €1/day. If somebody is going to fund the health, education, disaster relief and infrastructure development, it wont be the central government which functions on project and budget support by aid donors. The government relies on this budget support because the government runs a deficit since the poor in their country cant pay taxes and the rich dont pay taxes. A choice not often suggested is that perhaps if a country cant afford to develop, maybe it shouldnt.
    Madagascar has, since the coup of March 2009, not received any but humanitarian aid. WB, IMF, US, EU, Norway and others have stopped all aid especially budget support (50% of budget). The ongoing EU projects were allowed to continue with the funds at their disposal but all pipelined projects were canceled. WB projects have had no injections of funds and the US pulled out all support to MCA and ejected Madagascar from AGOA. GTZ closed their office.
    The coup leaders of Madagascar with no aid to siphon have resorted to pillaging their National Parks for precious hardwood exported to China, sacking the graineries and oil depots that were the property of the former largest company in the country, making secret mining deals with Chinese companies in exchange for $100M, preparing to offer oil leases at auction next month, not funding the Universities, not building roads, not funding primary education and losing control of rural security.
    In this period of instability international commerce with Madagascar has fallen by 60%. So not merely no aid also no trade.

    In a perfect world the leaders of countries will put the national interest above the personal interest. That may someday come to pass but Ill be looking for pigs to fly before that happens here and I dont see much of that sort of behavior elsewhere in Africa either. Politicians want to get rich and they will get rich with aid money, public money or your money. Without aid who will fill the coffers of the leaders of the countries of the signatories of the above letter if not their fellow citizens and businesses?
    Aid may not be the best solution to development but from the Madagascar example of the past 18 months, no aid will certainly lead to a national melt down with long term negative consequences.

    Posted August 30, 2010 at 5:43 am | Permalink
  24. Soledad wrote:

    JPT, thanks for the example of Madagascar.
    It’s an extremely interesting debate. Thanks W. Easterly for starting it.
    I believe there are no simple answers. But as JPT portraid in his/her example, the politics of development are beyond a narrow approach on aid vs. trade.
    In both the arguments of Ruge and Thembeka there are cases of people’s power (within, with or to) that gives them a wider space to negotiate their power over their lives.
    Neither Aid nor Trade fully guarantee equality of opportunities, access to health, education and a job.
    It’s not happening in Madagascar, but it’s not happening in US either.
    I would be interested to find in the debate more about how aid and trade can promote spaces for active citizenship, collective power, social movements and critical thinking.

    Posted August 30, 2010 at 8:09 am | Permalink
  25. Linda wrote:

    Hi Soledad, I love your summary of the debate and your comments here. I always find the conversation about aid assumes that we are talking about the huge aid machine. I am as disillusioned by and critical of that machine as the next person. However there is another kind of ‘aid’ which is about strengthening civil society, about looking at long term community ownership of development processes, about building movements to question government and hold it accountable, about building critical thinking and better leadership skills, especially in youth as current and future leaders. Maybe this kind of ‘aid’ isn’t easily measured by random control trials because it’s not cookie cutter one-size-fits-all, but I think it has value, and it doesn’t detract from trade in my opinion. It supports critical consumers and critical voters. We should be doing more of that in the US.

    Posted August 30, 2010 at 10:28 am | Permalink
  26. Matt Richmond wrote:

    I really enjoyed this comment section, I’d just like to thank everyone who offered their input. That is all.

    Posted August 30, 2010 at 10:48 am | Permalink
  27. Waylaid Dialectic shares actual data on Africans’ opinions of aid. He writes, “There is, of course, a somewhat better (albeit not perfect) data set for gauging Africans’ opinions on aid: this is the Afrobarometer survey.” Read more at:

    Posted August 30, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Permalink
  28. An interesting debate indeed. As an African who works in Africa but pays taxes in Britain, I have one or two complaints about the Aid industry and it is an industry regardless of what anyone says. Simply that we the British tax payers do not get a choice as to where our taxes should go when it comes to International, (think of the ridiculousness of the situation where our money goes to India a country that has its own Aid programme as well as a space programme). The other point being that whilst there is a place for Aid the systems and structures in place do mean that often those that should benefit do not. It is a case of taxing the poor to line the pockets of a few rich politicians. I see Aid (rightly or wrongly) as an extension or of our welfare benefits system here in the UK. It is useful to help folk out of a sticky times but inevitably folk become dependent on it and going out to seek employment becomes increasingly unattractive as they will not find the sort of job that pays them as much as the welfare system does!

    The other point too is Africa has an awful lot of resources which are simply fetched by china, India and West so that value is added elsewhere. The finished goods are then resold to Africans at prices we can ill afford. One way of addressing poverty would be to address this issue of VALUE ADDITION AT SOURCE.

    Posted August 30, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Permalink
  29. Have you ever read “Ripples from the Zambezi” It discusses many of the aid related catastrophes of other nations and how we can help more by focusing on local needs and individual prosperity. It then discusses how focusing on certain types of individuals really spreads throughout and helps the entire community. Great read. Highly recommend it.

    Posted August 30, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Permalink
  30. Ehui wrote:

    Can we have a post on who qualifies to speak for Africa?

    Posted August 30, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Permalink
  31. Ben wrote:

    Great to find this discussion. I wonder why the issue is always positioned in such black and white terms….it’s either all of this or all of that and little inbetween.

    Following some of the discussions I think we can see that two opposing views actually come together somewhere in the middle. Where one works to provide woman with much needed social services the other sees economic empowerment as a way of lifting a community out of poverty. Clearly both approaches are needed.

    To think the government in the US (what inner city programs?) or across the African continent are going to meet our needs is an illusion. In the end I think its citizens from across the spectrum coming together in their own humanity to make the world a little bit better.

    Posted September 1, 2010 at 3:58 am | Permalink
  32. I think the comments say it all. With over a Billion people in 53 countries its a bizarre assumption to assert such a premise. The city based middle class often far removed from grinding poverty. The article makes valid points, the conclusions however are not supported by the reasoning. To say lets streamline and refocus bilateral aid , lets remove the waste, lets end the AID industry as a costly model, lets cut the overheads.. all make sense. Lets take from the article the useful points and indeed challenge the endemic problems within the misery industry.

    We might be able to radically reduce aid budgets if we had fairer trade on a realistic scale. The leap to the headline in the article is helpful only in triggering debate. As with any generalisation when we think we should speak for all, it leaves one thinking… have we heard that somewhere before …..

    Posted September 2, 2010 at 6:17 am | Permalink
  33. Jim wrote:

    The statistics posted by Terence are fascinating. If Bill Easterly or other Aidwatchers think the handful of bigwigs who wrote to the Telegraph are more representative of ‘Africans’, I would love to hear why.

    Posted September 5, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Permalink
  34. In the 1984 famine Thatcher’s Britain was, on political grounds, opposed to a longterm aid to Ethiopia; it relented only after the airwaves became saturated with haunting cries of hungry children and Band Aid and others took matters into their own hands. It appears Britain today has grown deaf to the silent cries of malnourished and hungry populations in parts of Ethiopia other than Tigray because it has economic and geo-political interests to pursue.

    What else? We should not forget that Jeffrey Sachs, Joe Stiglitz, and now Mark Robinson are academes. They have an abiding interest in theories of development and poverty reduction and that Ethiopia is the lab of choice for researchers. Let us also remember these academes have big egos to save the world and would want to see those theories applied [no less than Professor Meles’s mission to save Africa from Western ecological “rapists”]. Being personal friends of a Prime Minister of a nation also has a bonus in that it allows the academes to govern by proxy. The late-Samuel Huntington and his “dominant ethnic party” recommendation sold to USAID, World Bank, and Mr. Meles’s minority ethnic groupies is another example why consultants should be made to answer for their judgments.
    Read more …

    Posted September 7, 2010 at 10:19 am | Permalink

8 Trackbacks

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by William Easterly, John Edwin Mason. John Edwin Mason said: RT @bill_easterly Africans do not want or need Britain’s development aid (letter from 6 African intellectuals): #Africa […]

  2. […] Africans do not want or need Britain’s development aid By Daniel J. Smith […]

  3. […] Africans do not want or need Britain’s development aid – As Africans, we urge the generous-spirited British to reconsider an aid programme they can ill afford, and which we do not want or need. A real offer from the British people to help our development would consist of the abolition of the Common Agricultural Policy, which keeps African agricultural exports out of the European marketplace.<br /> <br /> It is that egregious policy, combined with the weight of regulations, bad laws and stifling bureaucracy, subsidised by five decades of development aid, which prevents Africans from lifting themselves out of poverty.<br /> <br /> Signed, The African People This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← links for 2010-08-28 […]

  4. By Is aid welcome in Africa? « Waylaid Dialectic on August 29, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    […] that the UK curtail its aid to the continent. Excited it would seem by the scale of this data set, someone at AidWatch has linked to the letter. It’s not clear just who linked to it, or whether they agree with the writers’ […]

  5. By links for 2010-08-29 – Kevin Burke on August 29, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    […] Africans do not want or need Britain’s development aid As Africans, we urge the generous-spirited British to reconsider an aid programme they can ill afford, and which we do not want or need. A real offer from the British people to help our development would consist of the abolition of the Common Agricultural Policy, which keeps African agricultural exports out of the European marketplace. […]

  6. By links for 2010-08-29 | on August 29, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    […] Africans do not want or need Britain’s development aid As Africans, we urge the generous-spirited British to reconsider an aid programme they can ill afford, and which we do not want or need. A real offer from the British people to help our development would consist of the abolition of the Common Agricultural Policy, which keeps African agricultural exports out of the European marketplace. […]

  7. […] Andrew Mwenda and five other prominent African intellectuals wrote to the Telegraph suggesting that Africa does not in fact need British development aid. Rather, they would be much happier if Britain contributed to the scrapping of the Common […]

  8. By Spitting into the wind « Shotgunshack on September 3, 2010 at 9:11 am

    […] Image from Aid Watch’s “just asking that aid benefit the poor” blog. […]

  • About Aid Watch

    The Aid Watch blog is a project of New York University's Development Research Institute (DRI). This blog is principally written by William Easterly, author of "The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics" and "The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good," and Professor of Economics at NYU. It is co-written by Laura Freschi and by occasional guest bloggers. Our work is based on the idea that more aid will reach the poor the more people are watching aid.

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