Stop giving aid to Africa

Greed is a factor, I agree. I’m just saying that there are others. Diffusion of responsibility is a big one. We’re slaves to it even as we waste time typing up these responses when we could be raising money or even awareness.

The trick is not to attack the entire continent at once. That’s why I said donating to those save-a-child organizations was a good place to start. It’s real and effective. It’s like taking a bite of cake rather than dripping your teardrop funds into an oceanic charity pool.

I wasn’t really talking about greed, more like self preservation but both mine and your ideas stand anyway.

And I agree, there are things that CAN be done without harming your own country’s resources, I was pointing out why no major-scale projects have been undertaken so far even though this situation has been like this for so long.

What really should be done is stimulating African trade. First of all, the US and the EU have to lower or cut entirely their agriculture subsidies. It’s the same as New Zealand did. First, the farmers were all like “We can’t survive without the subsidies! We’ll be ruined!”. But then it turned out that New Zealand’s food industry became side by side one of the most efficient ones. Furthermore, African farmers would benefit because they could export their goods into Europe more easily. Europeans then have the choice whether or not buying African food. As of now, they don’t have this choice because African food is rarely exported to Europe, since it’s uncompetitive at the moment so nobody would buy it.

Well, it would explain why the G8 leaders were so much <i>for</i> more foreign aid and why foreign aid hasn’t helped much in the last decade…

It is true in the sense that there is little point and little help in pouring billions upon billions of aid into Africa when the only way they can use that aid is to buy products and services from those who provided it. Is is wrong in the sense that doing nothing would help more: Africa needs help, but not in the form of billions in undirected and quite pointless aid, what it needs is help to educate its workforce and gain the edge it needs to make its way into the global economy and rise from poverty.

What do they have that would cost less than somewhere in South America? Nothing. Would you rather pay $5 more for sugar when it’s more convienent to buy from South America? and how would South America feel when we drop them for Africa? exactly, shut your pie hole (pie has sugar in it, you want the cheapest pie that you can get, I know i do)

When I read that interview with James Shikwati, I felt like a patient who gets “bad news” diagnosis from his doctor.
Shit, no way! I want a second opinion.
Well, I just got it. From none other than Nicky Oppenheimer, the chairman of De Beers Group, a major (if not, the biggest) player in the diamond industry.

Enough handouts for Africa

Some of you pointed out already, that the money transferred (donated) to Africa should be used differently. The prescription from Dr. Nicky?
Something that would resemble the Marshall Plan, improved education, retaining the local “brains” and “skills”, Improve the public health sector.
And he mentions a few Sub-Saharan African states, where the “prescription” worked perfectly:

These recommendations are not simple. Nor can they be implemented in the course of a few years. They require dedication and commitment by all parties in the public and private sector. We have seen them work in places such as Botswana, South Africa, Mauritius and Ghana, which have established themselves as countries increasingly, or completely, independent of aid.
I would mention Nigeria.
He corroborates again, what some of you mentioned already:

Africa deserves more than the West’s charity. Africa needs a hand-up, not a never-ending series of handouts that do little more than play to Africa’s weaknesses and provide the donors with a false sense of gratification.

Speaking of second opinions, when Shikwati talks about AIDS in Africa, I would rather hear this kind of a discourse from a doctor, not an “economics expert”.


Gold, diamonds, oil?

At one point, even as late as the 1970s, Zaire was one of the leading suppliers of industrial diamonds, copper, and other such minerals. However, due to corrupt leadership under Mobutu (and I hear Kabila is no better), the infrastructure to run such industries collapsed. Many of the mines are still rich with resources though.

As I mentioned in the chat a few weeks back, Mobutu would rather drink pink champagne than keep the mines operating.

Every-man-for-himself platitudes have no relevance in situations where there is no clean water and no sanitation at even a basic level. When you’re dying of thirst and fever, you have no ambition to work to improve your life, you just die. You can’t talk about the desire to work unless you have the ability to work. Foreign aid that went towards a goal such as bringing clean water to those parts of Africa where there is none, would not be a “handout,” it would be help in establishing a basic standard of existence.

I didn’t say we should drop South Africa, I just said we should lower trade barriers so that Africa has the opportunity to supply goods to Europe. By lowering the trade barriers, we don’t harm SA but help it as well. For instance, the Brazilian sugar farmers are rejoicing because the EU was forced to lower sugar trade barriers.
And what else but agricultural goods or raw materials should Africa supply to the Western World? It has virtually no industry, you need to start with little steps, you can’t make big leaps out of nothing.

You are right. This is not a “handout”.


In the aftermath of G8 summit the reaction of some African and western writers:
http://www.opendemocracy.net/globalization-G8/africa_2662.jsp

Africans are already transforming their societies on the ground. The World Bank, which in alliance with the IMF and African leaderships of the past thirty years contributed to the virtual destruction of the African economy in its so-called “structural adjustment programme”, now acknowledges that Africans are the principal source of investment in Africa. In 2003, African émigrés transferred the gargantuan sum of $200 billion to Africa – investing directly in their communities.


Done. By 2010?

Blair repeated his pledge to push world powers to agree a 2010 target date to end farm export subsidies at the WTO talks in December. “I believe on the basis of my discussions last week that this is possible,” he said.

Not to mention that most of the money ends up in the hands of corrupt government officials who squander it in luxuries or megalomaniac projects while the population dies of famine and disease.

Robert Mugabe is a prime example of why we need to get rid of dictators in Africa before we can fully help them. If you’re familiar to the case of Zimbabwe, skip to the next paragraph. Mugabe ran all of the white farmers off of their farms and gave the bigger farms to his cronies (who ran the farms into the ground) and the other farms were split into several smaller pieces of land which are impossible to produce anything from and given to blacks. Mugabe has more recently bulldozed shanty towns and run all of the inhabitants out. At this point, it looks like he is only doing it because of some twisted sense of pleasure.

My earlier explination of importing from Africa was way too short and even I looked back at it and realized that is seemed way too assaholic and narcassistic. It wasn’t backed by much fact and I realized that I needed to get a :hint: and look up all the facts and set the record straight. My apologies. here is a better explination.

Starting with the new deal, America has decide that we don’t want our farmers to go down. Our tax dollars are being spent paying farmers to produce food things that there is no market for. If we got rid of the farmers job insurance, then most agricultural things (like sugar and corn) would be half the price that they are right now. But we can’t let the farmers go so we pay farmers to produce stuff that is exported by the ton. If we are going to start trading with Africa, we need to get rid of this expensive idea that liberals have called job security. A prime example of this is on the back of a normal soda can. instead of sugar as an ingredient, high fructose corn syrup is. Why spend so much money to process corn and get the sweetness out of it and put it in soda instead of extremely cheap sugar from Africa or South America? Because of the amazingly high terrifs that American Democrats have placed. cmon America, get a :hint: like i did and write to your congressman to remove terrifs and farmer job security to help make sugar cheaper (I would really like cheap pie) and that will help Africa and South America in a GIGANTORUS way. :cool: (all this and I’m only 15 phew. I need a nap)

Blair does not represent entire Europe. In fact, most countries are opposed to his attitudes about farming subsidies.

The problem with Africa is that its so politically unstable, so its impossible to successfully implement any kinds of aid programs. In other words, in any given African country you need some kind of working government to distribute food, water, condoms(because of the AIDs crisis), whatever. In many African countries, the government will likely be changed within a few years, and any aid programs abandoned by the new government. In many others, there is no real governement or the real government is very limited, only having influence over the capitol city, and thus unable to follow through on aid programs. Look at Somalia - the warring militias simply stole and fought each other for the food, and the people(who were the ones who really needed it) didn’t get any.

You’re confusing the democrats with the republicans as the republicans are the ones that only try to further increase american protectionism. For example, Bush got slammed by the WTO for illegal aluminum tariffs in his first term. Its an often repeated theme especially by the GOP to make Americans xenophobic by convincing them of the evils of the world taking away their hard earned money and giving their jobs to people in foreign countries. Its not liberal, but classical conservative thinking in the case of the US. Ironically, the extreme right in france is driving france into the ground with agricultural subsidies, BUT ALSO all levels of government bureaucracy and state ownership/running of major social programs. Its absurd to attritube a nationalist, protectionist attitude to either side of the political spectrum. Either side will use it to its political advantage in different contexts spouting the same stupid shit.

It would probably be better if they just donated the money to NGOs instead of sending it out as foreign aid. You honestly cannot trust some of these leaders (Mugabe being a prime example) to know how to induce economic growth in their countries.