Mistry, Percy S.
October 2005
African Affairs;Oct2005, Vol. 104 Issue 417, p665
Academic Journal
Despite a substantial amount of aid (much larger in per capita terms than provided to any other region), sub-Saharan African countries, with very few exceptions, have regressed since independence. The general history of Africa since achieving independence has been one of development failure. Some protagonists point to signs of change that argue for more aid. This article suggests that aid to Africa has not worked because human, social and institutional capital — not financial capital — poses the binding constraint. In that context, doubling aid to Africa from $23 billion in 2004 to $50 billion annually by 2015 seems a questionable proposition. This commentary suggests unconventional ways of dealing with the problems involved in importing the essential ingredients that Africa needs. It concludes with the observation that the aid community's current obsession with poverty reduction and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) may be harming rather than helping the cause of development in Africa and argues that the focus on growth and development should be restored.


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