Edited by Pauline Dixon, Steve Humble and Chris Counihan
Chapter 21: Introduction to part IV
In Part IV the focus is on improving access to and quality of schooling. Some of the authors debate the use of international aid, while others consider community based self-help, entrepreneurship and cost effective investments. Few Africans stand up and talk frankly about the internal problems Africa faces. George Ayittey does not fail to deliver in this regard. The opening chapter by Ayittey is candid and littered with facts and figures around the waste of international aid. Africa’s resources are immense, with additional tourism potential, but paradoxically a continent with such abundance and potential is mired in squalor, misery, poverty, deprivation and chaos. Economic performance is dismal with gross national product (GNP) dropping per capita. Foreign aid and multilateral lending have failed to spur economic growth, democracy or to arrest atrophy. Influx of aid seems to lead to dependency after initial squandering and looting. International aid has done more harm than good; aid seldom reaches the needy. However, even after all of these failed policies, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) still have predicted a rise in the growth rate for Africa in 2014. But Ayittey believes there are reasons why there is a lack of admitting why after spending over $600 billion in loans and aid to Africa since the 1960s western donors won’t admit failure. African leaders show little interest in reform. Africa’s woes can be said to be ‘external’ or ‘internal’.
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