I honestly think that we need to balance what is Aid and not Aid in Africa.
I have been following Dambisa Moyo debates on Dead Aid recently and just need to comment on certain of her ideas. Her recent debate with Jacqueline Novogratz made me think that she hasn’t got the Full picture of what is really going on in Africa, or simply she is not expressing them very well. The Image of Africa will not change by making Aid dead. Africa needs investment, partners and alliances. Africa needs Re-Branding.
Innovation cannot take place in Africa if people are not feed, watered or educated. Also the governments can only create innovative solutions if their people are Educated and got the resources. Some people in Africa need “Bednet” for Free, right now. Yes there is room for innovation, global partnership as Jacqueline said and I don’t see how a very poor and fragile man in the rural Tanzania, Ghana, or Kenya will not welcome a BedNet tomorrow morning, by the time Dambisa Moyo’s ideas on Dead Aid is implemented, that poor man has died. We need to balance what we are saying here as the reality is here; otherwise it will be on the detriment of millions of people living in the real Africa I know of. People with no money to live on in the rural Senegal right now will welcome anything in order to survive.
Whist I understand and concur with Dambisa Moyo that we need to look into how aid is distributed in Africa as a whole, how policies needs reviewing, how government needs to be accountable, how certain types of aid need to stop we cannot rule out Aid totally. This problem is a governance issue as Obama said recently in Ghana. Charities like Acumen, the Hunger Project, and the Gates Foundation are doing extraordinary well. They are not pumping money into African villages neither to governments; they are working with the local villages to help them become self-reliant. I spend lots of time in the Rural Africa where their work is tremendously appreciated and remarkable. These organisations are doing what the local governments are not doing. If they stopped the Aid Dambisa Moyo is talking about those people will suffer terribly. Aid is not 100% a total failure in Africa, especially in the rural village, the real failure is lack of clear policies, accountability, good governance, credibility and transparency. Aid to Africa has helps million of people in the last 30 years. Now, The real solution is Education. The Funds that are going into certain development programs such as Agriculture, R&D, New Tech, Infrastructure etc… need to have the emphasis Education and training on the people first. Yes Africa is not charitable and Education and Training are the right tools. Education and Training needs to be replaced by Donation and Aid. Aid Agencies needs to reset the terms and conditions with their local partners and have a control or monitoring system locally. They need to set up short-term project. They need the right resources on site. They must not be afraid in expressing their feeling honestly to their local partners. The right partners will understand that clarity and transparency is needed.
Africans are born Entrepreneurs, they are self-resilient, they fight for their lives every second, the ones with the right tools succeed and become self-sufficient.
If Acumen focuses its energy on social entrepreneurship meaning giving the right tools, it will be an excellent vehicle for a sustainable change to Africa.
For the last 4 years I have been reinventing the world of social entrepreneurship and dreams, and it does work. I am honoured to see what Jacqueline is doing, as I truly believe that she understand the real problems millions of voiceless African people are facing today. The Gate Foundation is doing very well too on their Agriculture programs. Truly remarkable stuff.