A context of aid in Africa through Moyo’s view


Dambisa Moyo articulates that there are three broad types of aid: humanitarian aid, charity-based aid, and systematic aid. These categories are separated by their sense of urgency. For instance, humanitarian aid is the most urgent covering issues such as unexpected natural disasters such as the devastating earthquake in Haiti a few years back. While this is probably the most publicized type of aid, there probably is not a lot of analysis or criticism or scrutiny for it because of the dire need of it. However, systematic aid comes under a large amount of scrutiny because it is consistently flowed in resources and cash. Moyo’s criticism with systematic aid is that a large amount of it is grants that do not require to be paid back. She says that grants do not incentivize responsible use of funds such as the way that loans do. Because loans require repayment plus interest they create a need for entrepreneurial drive and initiative to improve one’s financial standing. Grants are not tracked once the money is spent and this causes way for political corruption.

Moyo is a chief critic of liberal ideology and Western savior-like principles. Much like Kipling’s view of the “white man’s burden” is the lens of Moyo’s perspective in my opinion. She believes that Westernized nations use a very narcissistic share the wealth policy in order to aid impoverished nations. While the intentions are there, it is ultimately a lost cause in improving situations of poverty in Africa, if you follow her logic on giving grants to foreign countries.

Moyo also brings up the World Bank. She believes that it creates a cycle of corruption and misuse of precious funds and resources. The World Bank wants to personally funnel funds itself to oversee more administrative practices to help governments but have no solution to prevent corruption committed by government employees. Increasing pay and funds to an underdeveloped and ethically challenged workforce will only hinder the success of the country’s economic infrastructure.

Large gift philanthropists such as Bill Gates have criticized Moyo’s conservative economic view. But as an African woman, I believe Moyo is trying to set herself apart as a cheetah. She is a modern African with a modern view for the future of Africa and I believe that her views, while I personally cannot agree with all of them, do support a progressive view of African development rather than to support an old system of only aid and no foundation for the future.


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