Africa: Trade or Aid?

I've made it into print (well, pixels, really) promoting quite a radical free-market solution to poverty in Africa. Here's the conclusion:

There is plenty of evidence that an aid-based solution to African poverty does not work. For decades since the colonial powers slowly withdrew from the continent, there has been a trillion dollars (according to the BBC) spent on aid since 1950, there is little to show in terms of quality of life, infrastructure or democracy. Even if the G8 commitment to aid is fulfilled, this is likely to merely add to the pile of squandered aid. Instead, a trade-based solution is needed. Politically, it’s a tough message to sell, and Blair, Bush and Chirac will face plenty of opposition from the loud farm lobby in each of their countries. For the sake of genuine change in Africa, though, it's a battle worth fighting, and with the might of the G8 countries behind it, it’s a magic wand worth tapping.

Read the rest on Vibewire.

UPDATE, 13/7 6:10PM. Well done to those of you who spotted the sentence which isn't a grammatically-correct sentence, above. Those obsessed with syntax can feel free to edit the sentence as they see fit. Also, home internet has now been set up, so there are no more excuses for slack posting. IInet were the winners of an intensive bidding war, and have won my business. Thanks to those who posted some suggestions.


Anonymous said…
Glad to see you're back on line! We missed your insights.

Anonymous said…
Good piece Ari - spot on. Particularily the CAPs detrimental effects on African agricultural competitiveness cannot be over-exaggerated.
Anonymous said…
I remain of the belief that aid is not a bad thing, and can indeed help to alleviate poverty in the short-term. It's definitely not a very efficient way of going about lifting Aftica out of poverty, but in some ways I think it is better than nothing.

From a long-term perspective of course, strong trade relationships with the Western world are probably the only thing that can provide wealth to Africa on an ongoing basis.
Anonymous said…
I'm waiting for your I-told-you-so for the proposed introduction of smart-cards for our public transport system!

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