Why foreign aid is not working for Africa

Over the years, dollars, in billions, have been pumped into Africa and there is little or even nothing to show for it. In fact, aid is malignant, deadly. It is the problem! If the world has one image of Africa, it is its high ranks in corruption on stupendous scale. One of the best examples is Mobutu Sese Seko who is estimated to have looted the then Zaire to the tune of $5 billion.

African leaders eat like gluttons and vomit on the shoes of foreign donors. The donor doesn’t have to care about the recipients’ mess or if they will repay the loan. They just have to give and do you know who goes home with a swollen pocket? It is the donor. The biggest failure of African governments is not siphoning of the funds, it is her failure to realize that a lot of money, billions of dollars, do go out to these foreign donors.

The point is very clear and it sucks, there is no such thing as free money. The foreign money comes with many problems, some of which we cannot control. For years now, Africa has been mired in civil wars, massive corruption and military coups.  The conflicts in most of the African countries today, the coups and many more are born out of the competition for resources.  

As long as there is foreign aid, Africa is not going to climb out of poverty. There are some countries with one foot up the ladder and the other foot is disabled. No matter how strong you are, the chances of you climbing out of poverty are very few if most of your leaders depend on foreign aid.  One mistake by an African leader is an own goal, one which is hard to repay. Let us go back to all the way it started.  We have had leaders we milked their own countries dry and shed blood.

Then a lot of failed peace talks. The coups and by the young people who have been waiting for their turn at the sideline. What if this continent was presented to you as a movie? What if you were asked to stand where you and imagine the future of Africa?  This time, let us embark on an endless journey and really what dependency on foreign aid has done for Africa.

There is this old woman, he owns a shop. Sometimes she closes with nothing and her children, having gone through the day without a meal would wait for their mom who would struggle to get some bread for the kids. Her business is small but she has no customers. People don’t buy from her. There is also another woman next to her, she is from another country.

They sell the same items, vegetables but she has more customers than the other woman. The reasons are not clear but one thing is certain, most of the Africans don’t trust themselves and they don’t support their businesses. In South Sudan, a private citizen can own a gun.  This is normal, people don’t trust them government and its protection.

In some far distant, let us call this place Zambia. There is a child standing stranded with tears in his eyes. He has just heard some sad news that his dad, is dead. His worked with a foreign mining company for four years and these years have been series of low pay and torture. One day he came to ask for his money and that was his end. This boy like his father, has another sad story. The foreign aid has not only made him poorer; it has taken away his future.

He walks some kilometers each day to a school that is being funded by a foreign church organisation. The only beautiful structure in the school is a latrine. The classes are made of bamboo and sometimes, when it had rained, it is always a different story.  The government here is rich and can build its own school. 

For a time only heaven knows, some foreign organisations have been kind enough to sacrifice their money to help the poor in this country. The money was not given to the poor, it was handed to the corrupt leaders who ends up misusing the money. If these people were kind enough, they would have used this money to build good schools, hospitals and pay teachers and doctors well.

Another man comes in with a very expensive car, don’t let me forget that the road leading to his office was poor. A few days ago, they have received millions of dollars from a foreign country to help fight corruption. The money ended up in their pockets. The donations have not been only harmful to the recipients but it has also disorganized the affairs of the poor Africans who end up being the victims when the elephants are fighting over who should control the resources.

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