Sustainable Aid in Africa

The United States spent $30.6 billion on foreign aid in 2010, with the largest portions marked for Sub-Saharan Africa – especially focusing on education, health and population. Much of this infusion of aid is intended to focus on the two-thirds of the global population living with HIV/AIDS in Africa, where medical personnel are in short supply. Too often, however, one question is ignored: how is this money used to help people better their own situations – and not create a system where aid recipients grow dependent on aid to assist them?

For additional readings and resources to learn more about this topic, visit our event page here. To hear our eventcast, click here.  

Dr. Darius Mans, the President of Africare, will speak to the World Affairs Council June 5th. Dr. Mans’ focus will be on how South Africa’s health care system can serve as a model for the rest of the continent. In an interview with Forbes Magazine, Dr. Mans stressed Africare’s role in making communities self-sustaining through income-generation, entrepreneurship, and business-focused cooperation. While there is no shortage of nonprofits and NGOs focusing on Africa, Africare strives to stand out with its longstanding record of community-based development with measurable outcomes. The oldest and largest African-American led development organization, Africare is focused on engaging the African-American community with the African continent

Foreign aid figures for 2011 released by the OECD show that, for the first time since 1997, official development assistance has decreased, which can be clearly linked to the budgetary shortfalls associated with the global financial crisis. Even one of the signature achievements of the Bush administration – the establishment of PEPFAR – has had its funding and the work performed by its staff threatened due to recent cuts.

Dambisa Moyo, a former economist at Goldman Sachs and upcoming World Affairs Council speaker, writes that aid dependency blights Africa and inhibits the continent’s growth. She argues that the world financial crises could present an opportunity for Africa in particular to break away from the aid-based model which has done little to alleviate poverty over the last half-century, citing the recent successes of the BRICS countries and Botswana. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair reflected this sentiment when he said that “Ending aid dependency in a generation is not an idle dream; it’s an idea whose time has come.”

Join the World Affairs Council on June 5th to hear Dr. Mans speak at the Northwest African American Museum. For more information and registration, go here.


List of Resources:

Millennium Challenge Corporation

Standing Up Against Global Poverty (Darius Mans)

A Call to Action (Darius Mans)

Smart Development in Senegal (Darius Mans)

Indonesia: Industrial Technology Development for a Competitive Edge (Darius Mans)

Adjustment in Africa: Lessons from Country Case Studies (Ishrat Husain & Rashid Faruqee, Eds.)

OECD 2011 Development Assistance Committee Official Development Assistance survey (OECD)

Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Workign and How There is a Better Way For Africa (Dambisa Moyo)

AIDS Dependency Crisis: Sourcing African Solutions (UNAIDS)