Monday, 17 August 2009

Business for Africa, not aid

Thanks to BK Drinkwater for pointing me to this article in Foreign Policy on Think Again: A Marshall Plan for Africa. Glenn Hubbard argues for a new Marshall plan, but this time for Africa. But that does mean what you think it means. Hubbard writes,
The Marshall Plan was fundamentally different from the aid that Africa has received over the past four decades. The Marshall Plan made loans to European businesses, which repaid them to their local governments, which in turn used that revenue for commercial infrastructure -- ports, roads, railways -- to serve those same businesses. Aid to Africa has instead funded government and NGO development projects, without any involvement of the local business sector. The Marshall Plan worked. Aid to Africa has not. An African Marshall Plan is long, long overdue.
Hubbard then goes on to discuss why
Aid groups will argue that such a plan, grounded in building up the local African economy, can never work. Here are the objections they'll make to an African Marshall Plan -- and why they're wrong.
The whole thing is worth a read.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

I've been arguing for this- business rather than aid for Africa- for years, but I'm glad it seems to be a trend gaining momentum (another good news story about this trend is

From what I hear, though, it sounds like the new plan will still go through the government, which I think the FP article suggests, though it never directly says it that I saw, could hamstring the whole thing.

I suppose time will tell. At least it's a step in the right direction.