Thursday, February 2, 2012

Will we ever get new Africa intellectuals with the current trends?

Dr. Dambisa Moyo is an international economist and New York Times best-selling author of a number books including her famous one entitled 'Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working'. Dr Moyo was born and raised in Lusaka, Zambia and holds a Doctorate (PhD) in Economics from St. Antony's College,
Oxford University. 

Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working basically urges that foreign aid has harmed Africa and that it should be phased out. The book became a New York Times bestseller and has been published in over seven languages including Polish and Greek.

The book describes the state of postwar development policy in Africa today and unflinchingly confronts one of the greatest myths of our time: that billions of dollars in aid sent from wealthy countries to developing African nations has helped to reduce poverty and increase growth.

In fact, poverty levels continue to escalate and growth rates have steadily declined—and millions continue to suffer.

Provocatively drawing a sharp contrast between African countries that have rejected the aid route and prospered and others that have become aid-dependent and seen poverty increase, Moyo illuminates the way in which overreliance on aid has trapped developing nations in a vicious circle of aid dependency, corruption, market distortion, and further poverty, leaving them with nothing but the “need” for more aid.

In the past fifty years, more than $1 trillion in development-related aid has been transferred from rich countries to Africa.

Dr Moyo in her book tried to boldly redesign the current model of international aid and proposes a new road map for financing development for the world's poorest countries that provide these countries a glimer of hope for economic growth and a decline in poverty and 'an addiction' to foreign aid.

Without being disrespectful to the author, personally I feel that the book (though I have to read it) was written with good intentions but certainly not for some African countries with Tanzania being on top of the list.

The book is certainly perfect great as food for thought for the donors and even better for forward looking countries as guidance for their development but I think Tanzania is too hooked to the 'illict drug called aid'.

Without mincing any words I have to say that Tanzania is stagnant without aid in spite of all the natural riches that we have. From her book Dr Moyo has attracted a lot of attention, partly because of the appeal of a new African intellectual emerging to comment forcefully and knowledgeably on issues affecting Africa.

Note the key words a new African intellectual,  with the constant strikes, student demostrations and 'raping' of publuc funds and not forgetting the rampant braindrain in this country we call Tanzania, where do we honestly get the new Tanzania intellectual, one wonders.

Allow to quote something from her book.

"Scarcely does one see Africa's (elected) officials or ... African policymakers ... offer an opinion on what should be done, or what might actually work to save the continent from its regression. This very important responsibility has, for all intents and purposes, and to the bewilderment of many an African, been left to musicians who reside outside Africa".

I think I better stop here before I end thrashing this computer out of vexation. I often wonder why we the electorate are dragged every other many years under the scorching sun of Dar es Salaam and other parts of the country to take part in electing a person who never has opinion about what should be done and an idea to save the country and continent.

With the increased strikes, maybe in 2015 we should have our own 'little' strike among the electorate, what do you think? It is after all the 'in-thing' in town! Come on who doesn't to be fashionable in this day and age of Black Berries, IPhones, IPad and all the rest of the gizmos and gadgets available?


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