Jeffrey Sachs on African aid

Jeffrey Sachs is a special advisor to the UN’s Ban Ki Moon. He’s one of the key speakers here at the IMF conference in Dar es Salaam . . .

. . .  and is famous for hectoring governments to keep their promises of aid to Africa. I put it to Mr Sachs that Africa had received a lot of aid to date and asked him what good more aid would do?


7 Responses to “Jeffrey Sachs on African aid”
  1. It’s all very well for Africa – for the umpteenth time – to hope that the evil West will keep its promises of aid, but what about all the promises made by African countries when asking for that aid? Democracy, clean government, etc. etc. The ink isn’t even dry on all the contracts and promises, aid flows, but into politicians’ pockets, not the starving people on the ground. But then the next contract is signed, more promises made (and broken), more aid flows, and so it goes on. When is Africa going to start taking responsibility for itself and stop blaming the colonisers, even after all these decades of independence? One gets tired of seeing presidents in convoys of new Mercedes, and their people getting poorer and poorer. They cannot, at 50 years “old” continue to behave like recalcitrant teenagers. Grow up, Africa, and maybe the world will start believing in you.

    • Joe O says:

      Jeff is really an elequant speaker, but he is full of it. In the last 3 decades we have spent 2.7 trillion dollars in Africa for aid, not less than the 780 billion in the stimulus. I work and run a for profit company in Africa, and what we need is less people like Jeff and more people like Bill Easterly. I have one word… DELIVERABLES… His ambigious comments with very little deliverable substance is much of the same…. alot of talk coming from someone with very little practical experience.

      • Jeffrey D says:

        Oh Joe O, you are so very wrong. The US only gave about $5.5 billion between 2000 and 2006 and that was a considerable increase over previous years. You need to check your numbers before making such comments.

    • kwasi says:

      ur dead on sister. i have been saying this for a very longtime and whereever i go or meet fellow africans.

      we need more people like you

    • jp says:

      Do you think aid can reduce poverty in Africa,never the proof is that Africa received aid since 50’s but never help. why? because it never had a positive effect in reducing poverty in Africa. First aid is not a good aproach, western countries give just to keep africa surviving and be able to consume their manufactured goods; look at the figure you will find that the aid which is given to finance a given afican governement budget is not even a third of the budget allocated to one ministry in werstern countries, then you will stop saying that aid is given to develop africa. If western countries are really bothered by poverty in africa,they would use the real aproach to alleviate poverty,the one that worked in europe, in asia and in some latino america countries.that’s developping industrial sector, facilitating trade with africa(why this inbalance in trade), why should not invest in africa and stopp exploiting natural ressources for only powering industrial sector in europe. Africa should stop trade based on raw materials, but to manufactured goods.

      You mentionned corruption, but most aid is controled by donors themselves and they dictate what to do. so they also share responsibility with some african leaders who missuse the little ressources they have; like they also collaborate to depen poverty by only filling in the interests of some western countries. then we can analyse, who is more responsible. first african are responsable because they collaborate and fall in the trap of corruption which is served the context to qualify african failure. because they are not brave enough to say no? i say brave because, as we can see in history those who said no risked their lives but they died for a good cause and they are heroes. You can also see all these coups that happened in the past; you will not say that there is no external hand inside just not because they want to impose democracy and promotion for human rights but just for protecting their economic interest and political strategy.

  2. ngum says:

    “Grow up, Africa, and maybe the world will start believing in you.”

    The trouble is, the colonisers, as you put it wouldn’t let africa grow up. Think about francafrique (France’s neocolonial policies in africa). Sarkozy may deny it, but it’s alive and kicking. How about the deaths of visionaries like Thomas Sankara (c/o France) and Patrice Lumumba (c/o US/Belgium) or the US masterminded topping of Kwame Nkrumah? These were men who dreamt of growing Africa.

    You make good points about governance but then again, who puts or at least supports these puppets in government?

    Let’s talk trade: look at the ridiculous “free” trade agreements imposed on African countries.

    No examination is of Africa is complete till we join up the dots. Personally, I don’t think Africa needs aid. We’re wealthy beyond belief. What we need is vision and responsibility for our destiny.

  3. Robi G says:

    Heooo fellow africans, Aids is not a solution to remove poverty in African because when you look at the aids the donor alocate the Budget in which experts are paid hightly in most case they are from outside africa.
    Look at this case where an experts are paid 8000$ per month and the local who is doing the same job is paid 800$ per month.
    In this way the Aid is taken back to the donor country how will this help the africans to grow or develop.

    when we look at capacity building in africa experts will not build the capacity of the africans in what want ,to known.

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