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African aid

2007-06-08 04:08:44.515093+00 by Dan Lyke 1 comments

Spiegel interviews Kenyan economics expert James Shikwati:

SPIEGEL: Mr. Shikwati, the G8 summit at Gleneagles is about to beef up the development aid for Africa...

Shikwati: ... for God's sake, please just stop.

Propping up evil dictators and power-mad rebel factions is helping nobody over there.

[ related topics: Politics Economics ]

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#Comment Re: made: 2007-06-08 17:08:04.876001+00 by: ebradway

Nail -> Head

We had an interviewee for a faculty position come in the Spring and present on her research in the textile trade in East Africa. African textiles have a long, rich traditions of both style and trade. However, almost all "African textiles" are now sold to ex-pats in markets in Dubai because the people actually living in Africa are wearing the stuff we stick in the Goodwill donation boxes. The native textile trade is almost completely disrupted. The styles aren't lost yet - but that's mostly because of organizations and academics who are trying working to prevent cultural extinction.

Use your old t-shirts for rags around the house. Don't put them in the Goodwill bin... Same goes for the G8. Hands off Africa.

And the starving people in Ethopia thing - well - on the supply side, famine was "solved" in the 70s. The problem since has been in the supply-chain - actually getting the food to the people who need it. Everytime a "wealth" of anything is sent, distribution gets choked off.

It's important that if you ever give anything to Africa that it's through an organization that maintains their own local-level distribution network. Doctors without Borders is a great example and they keep running into problems all the time because they hit fiefdoms where the powers-that-be want them to just deposit a wealth of medicine and leave whereas Doctors without Borders refuse to operate that way - they make sure that each dose of medicine is administered under their direction.