What are those consequences then?
"First and foremost the widespread corruption. The people in powerplunder the treasury and the treasury is filled with development aidmoney. The corruption has contaminated the whole of society. Aid leads tobureaucracy and inflation, to laziness and inertia. Aid hurts exports.Thanks to foreign aid the people in power can afford not to care abouttheir people. But the worst part of it is: aid undermines growth. Theeconomies of those countries that are the most dependent on foreign aidhave shrunk by an average of 0.2 percent per year ever since theseventies."
But surely donor countries have checks and balances. Theydemand good governance.
"But at the end of the day they let the African countries get away with it.World Bank research has shown that 85 percent of development aid wasused for other than the intended purpose. Donor countries are proppingup the most corrupt regimes. From 1980 until 1996, 72 percent of WorldBank aid went to countries that did not abide by the rules. The need fordonor countries to just keep on giving appears to be insatiable."
So why do Western countries keep on giving if it doesn't help?
"The cynical answer is: because it distracts attention from the tradebarriers they have erected in order to protect employment in the West.These trade barriers cost Africa an estimated 500 billion dollars everyyear. That's ten times the amount Africa is given in development aid. Andbecause they secretly don't believe that Africa is ever going to pull ittogether. They feel sorry for the Africans. So they buy themselves aconscience.
But hasn't Africa progressed enormously at the social level? In1960, fifty percent of children went to school. Now that's 82percent. Child mortality has dropped by more than half in the pastthirty years. Don't you care about this?
"You can pay school fees for a 12-year-old girl. You can makes sure shehas an education. You can say: look what development aid canaccomplish. But what good is that for the girl is she can't find a job aftershe leaves school? Because they are no jobs to be had. Every time I gohome to Zambia, there are more street children. They can read, they canwrite, they speak English. And the only thing they can do to make a livingis to hustle. More and more parents in the countryside are keeping theirchildren out of school. If there are no jobs in the cities anyway, they say,the children might as well start working on the land right away."
But isn't pulling the plug on development aid a recipe for massmortality?
"Only the elite will feel the pain. The poor won't even notice thedifference. It's not like they ever saw any of that money anyway."
Development aid experts like to point out that for decades the richnations have used development aid as a weapon in the cold war,as an instrument of foreign policy. Unlike you, They plead for moreand better direct aid.
"So where are we going to direct the aid now? In the sixties aid wassupposed to be used for big infrastructure projects. In the seventies it was
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