Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo
Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo – Why aid is not working and how there is another way for Africa – was published in 2009, but the things mentioned in the book are relevant. She said that governments are judged on how much aid they spend and that is exactly what happens. She goes as far as saying that aid ruined Africa. It’s a short book, very well written, so well worth reading. The book is controversial, so this makes it a must read.
Moyo thinks that aid makes people poorer because of the corruption attached to it and that the people are kept in a childlike state. I can’t agree more with her. Aid should have never been long term, but it is given for decades. Investment is what Africa needs, and small loans to groups of people as she describes these in her book. People should be able to work because it’s not only offering them food and stuff, it offers them a purpose and meaning. Small enterprises funded by short-term small loans are what people need. The women are the ones taking out this sort of loans, only a couple of hundred dollars, to pay for a farm machinery that makes their work easier and more productive. They have disposable income and they are independent and empowered. This only helps society as a whole to develop.
She makes the point that by not paying taxes, Africans are not engaged with what the governments do. She is so right on taxes, most of us care what the city council is doing because they are spending our money (hundreds of pounds a month), we care about what the government is doing and what the opposition is saying because we spend £££ on taxes, from income tax to VAT.
Corruption is one of the biggest problems in Africa, second only to conflict. The fact that the Western nations are willing to give money in aid to make themselves feel better, a moral high ground: we don’t “profit” by investing, we are “helping” by giving charity, ignores what is actually best for people in Africa.
Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo
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My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: Penguin
Year it was published: 2010 (first published in 2009)
Genre(s): Economics & Politics
About the author: Dambisa Moyo is a Global Economist at an Investment Bank in London. She previously worked at the World Bank in Washington DC. A native of Zambia, Southern Africa, she holds a Doctorate in Economics from Oxford University and a Masters from Harvard University.
Dambisa was named to the list of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World; has published in the Financial Times, WSJ, Barrons, Harvard Business Review and has travelled to 65 countries. In her spare time, she runs marathons, practices Pilates and is an amateur boxer.
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