Friday, 8 May 2009

Review of Moyo's Dead Aid in The Independent

My review of Dambisa Moyo's controversial new book 'Dead Aid' is now on-line at The Independent's website here. There have of course been a huge number of reviews already so I tried to see how practical her prescriptions would be specifically in Uganda. This is an extract:

The vast, and often complacent, global aid establishment has rarely been as panicked as they have since the publication of Dambisa Moyo’s debut book ‘Dead Aid’. The Zambian ex-investment banker, educated at Oxford and Harvard, declares the $300 billion of aid money that sub-Saharan Africa has received since 1970 as not only wasted, but as a key factor in the decline of relative living standards in many countries. Moyo concludes that all direct government to government aid should be cut off in five years (emergency humanitarian and charity-based aid are spared).

For those that have spent years campaigning for increases in global aid the idea is anathema. It is made all the more galling that the suggestion has come from an African woman. How can an African, they ask, have the temerity to call for a decrease in aid?

Interestingly President Paul Kagame of Rwanda has a piece in today's Financial Times which also discusses the book. This is part of his take on it:

Dambisa Moyo’s controversial book, Dead Aid, has given us an accurate evaluation of the aid culture today. The cycle of aid and poverty is durable: as long as poor nations are focused on receiving aid they will not work to improve their economies. Some of Ms Moyo’s prescriptions, such as ending all aid within five years, are aggressive. But I always thought this was the discussion we should be having: when to end aid and how best to end it.


Anonymous said...

Excellent review in the Independent Joe. I think William Easterly`s "The Elusive Quest for Growth" is a more accomplished discussion of why aid doesn’t work. Nonetheless, "Dead Aid", has at least put the debate into the public arena something that can only be beneficial.

Sleek said...

You should (if you haven't already) 'Confessions of an economic hit man' gives a behind-the-scenes account of the crap behind the aid

Sleek said...

meant you should read...