International Aid = False Hope for Africa?

Another interesting snippet re international aid and Africa:

Tech Central Station – False Hope
“Thus, the international aid system has essentially served to reward policies that slow down development, whatever the initial intentions of its advocates. Under such circumstances, the implementation of the rule of law in Africa, necessary to wealth production, has been postponed indefinitely. Aid actually received by the poor is a very small compensation. If the cancelation of debt — which they could have paid off thanks to taxation — gives them a bit of breathing space, it won’t be through increasing subsidies to their governments that their living conditions will be improved.
Xavier Mera is associate researcher at the Molinari Economic Institute.”

Interview: For God’s Sake, Please Stop the Aid!

“The Kenyan economics expert James Shikwati, 35, says that aid to Africa does more harm than good. The avid proponent of globalization spoke with SPIEGEL about the disastrous effects of Western development policy in Africa, corrupt rulers, and the tendency to overstate the AIDS problem.”
Source: SPIEGEL Interview with African Economics Expert: News: July 4, 2005

This interview in the German magazine Der Spiegel Kenyan economist James Shikwati explains clearly why continued monetary aid to Africa is not the answer. He also demonstrates the differences between Germany after World War 2 (and the success of the Marshall Plan) and Africa today.

LIVE 8 – Why bother?

On the Live 8 website it states that:

“Every single day, 30,000 children die, needlessly, of extreme poverty. On July 6th, we finally have the opportunity to stop that shameful statistic. 8 world leaders, gathered in Scotland for the G8 summit, will be presented with a workable plan to double aid, drop the debt and make the trade laws fair. If these 8 men agree, then we will become the generation that made poverty history. But they’ll only do it if enough people tell them to. That’s why we’re staging LIVE 8. 10 concerts, 100 artists, a million spectators, 2 billion viewers, and 1 message… To get those 8 men, in that 1 room, to stop 30,000 children dying every single day of extreme poverty. We don’t want your money – we want you!”
Source:LIVE 8 – The Long Walk to Justice

What I want to know is how much more aid are we going to pour into Africa to support corrupt regimes? How much more aid are we going to allow to be diverted from the intended recipients? How long are we going to stand by and watch injustice upon injustice heaped upon the proponents of democracy in Africa?

Some more self indulgent & rich rock stars have made themselves feel better – so what!

World Day of Peace – the Pope’s Message (8 Dec 2004)

His Holiness Pope John Paul II and I have disagreed on many issues over many years (e.g. birth control, ordination of women, homosexuality, etc). However, there are many elements of his message for this World Day of Peace with which I do agree. But this message also raises some very deep issues for the Catholic Church to consider and deal with.

The message starts with “Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). It then continues:
“… peace is the outcome of a long and demanding battle which is only won when evil
is defeated by good”

“Evil always has a name and a face: the name and face of those men and women who freely choose it.”

“… evil is a tragic rejection of the demands of love.”

“Fostering peace by overcoming evil with good requires careful reflection on the common good and on its social and political implications.”

“Since the good of peace is closely linked to the development of all peoples, the ethical requirements for the use of the earth’s goods must always be taken into account.”

The Pope then goes on to link much of the evil in evidence to the poverty experienced in many parts of the world. He also identifies the responsibility of those who have much to be generous to those who have little.

As Christians, those who have much are required to do more for our less well-off brothers and sisters on a personal level. However, this message also calls upon the Catholic Church, as an institution, to examine its own relationship to material possessions and to those who have been harmed by its officials (e.g. sex abuse victims).

This message has deep implications for the way the Catholic Church as a body deals with many issues in coming days. It is not realistic for an organization to take the moral high ground while continuing to amass wealth and oppress or victimize human beings who have trusted in it. If the correlation between words and deeds is not right then sooner or later the organization will either need to reform or falter.

During 2005 it will be interesting to see how both individuals and the Catholic Church rise to meet the Pope’s challenge to share in “the one bread and one cup … [coming] to realise that we are ‘God’s family’ and that together we can make our own effective contribution to building a world based on the values of justice, freedom and peace.”