OpEd, Politics

Why foreign aid is still hurting Africa

The record of Western aid to Africa in different forms has been and continues to be one of abysmal failures. It is in fact a non-militaristic way of keeping Africa down without realizing its potential in the absence of foreign crutches.

We cannot be told that Africa is lame and that someone should shower her with fake generosity by consistently providing her with dead assistance. We cannot accept that because Africa is ten times better than those countries that pretend to be okay. What need as Africa is someone to tell Africans that they are okay, and they can make it without foreign intervention.

We have always been told different stories about Africa and we were forced to believe them without questioning. Africa, regardless of the abundance of natural resources, the continent still remains to be the least developed in the world. As a young boy, I grew up knowing that the West was the savior of Africa. That they gave us aid and we were dependent on them. It really sounds true from face value. But when you grow a bit older, you realize that the opposite is true.

What the West world takes from Africa is more than what they give to Africa. Watch the documentary “Stealing Africa, why poverty”? Africa is actually a net donor to the world. The Aid story is the cover-up for what they take from us. That is why they will consistently keep giving aid. This is regardless of whether governments are democratic or not. The Aid is actually a backhander to maintain this parasitic relationship where Africa keeps giving to the rest of the world. as it also losses in the process

Money and natural resources are actually flowing to Western countries. But we have been convincing ourselves that the West is the guardian angel that we are at its mercy, they are sacrificing and giving us aid. There is no doubt, huge aid flows appear to have done little or nothing to change the development trajectories of poor countries, particularly in Africa. For decades wealthy countries have set aside money to give to Africa in hopes of bringing them out of poverty, but Africa has instead been mired in abject poverty with authoritarian leaders at the top as a result of the aid.

For years, we have been told compelling stories of some countries far in the western part of the world who have generously given their wealth to poorer nations to eradicate poverty and help these countries push up the development ladder, but it has been the reverse. The true story which has never been told is that aid has made us poorer than nothing that has been served with a burning plate.

The point of discussion is something else, we look at poverty in a different perspective, more so, in a country that was made poor. The reasons can well start with corruption which is the leading factor hindering the development rate in the whole of Africa. Individually, most countries in Africa face the problem of corrupt leaders running the government system and manipulating resources to their own benefit. Our continent has been experiencing this problem for decades now and it has become a major crisis for the overall economic growth.

The corrupt systems have kept Africa at the mercy of foreign giants and indeed a lot still goes to these foreign nations. The future of Africa lies solely in the hands of Africans and their leaders. For Africa to climb the development ladder with both feet up, they have to decide and create the kind of Africa they want. You can move from Nigeria to Libya, then on poor roads from South Sudan to Democratic Republic of Congo.

These are the countries endowed with both natural and human resources, of course, they can provide Africa with all the needed support but a quick trip to the global poverty index will bring you to the sad conclusion that these are some of the poorest, corrupt and undemocratic nations in the world. Let us take it back to Libya, some years ago, under the leadership of able Mumuar Gadafi, Libya was transitioning from what people know as home into heaven.

Mumuar Gadafi, unlike other African leaders, didn’t promise his people a better tomorrow because tomorrow never comes, he was sure that now was the right time to improve the lives of Libyans. So, he dedicated himself and used the resources of his country to improve the lives of Libyans. He did all this not knowing that his end was approaching, a time when his people would be used by an outsider to murder him.

The question is what the Libyan needed, why they chose to revolt against the man who promised them heaven and kept his words. Maybe what they needed was foreign aid. Now the situation in Libya is beyond foreign aid. There are a lot of unsuccessful attempts, which only end in death by Libyans to reach Europe in quest for a better life.

It sucks that one would set his own house on fire and run to seek refuge in a neighboring house. What comfort would a neighboring country give a man who set his own country on fire? Well, the story is one of the failures of Africa to provide African solutions to African problems. The other countries are not exceptional.  Nigeria, having been known for its larger population, good music and robust movie industry, is rich but still floats on poverty and supports her head with corruption as her pillow.  When you go to DRC Congo, it is the worst. A country that has the potential to outcompete Saudi Arabia cannot even build better roads and feed its citizens.

In terms of natural resources, Congo leads but most of its mineral resources are looted by the country’s alpha families together with foreign companies and they fund rebels to keep people running. The Rhenium? Over 80 percent of the rhenium consumed worldwide is used in super alloy production. These nickel-base alloys contain either 3 or 6 percent rhenium, which is critical to the manufacture of turbine blades for jet aircraft engines and industrial gas turbine engines. This mineral is taken from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and they get nothing in return. The one percent from the sale of this mineral only goes to corrupt government officials who will only buy guns to kill their own people.  It is high time the African stop being served on a silver platter and see Africa beyond foreign aid.

Comments are closed.