Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Africans do not want or need Britain’s development aid

The letter below was published in the Telegraph (U.K.) on 22 Aug 2010 under the subtitle noted above.
SIR – The parlous state of the public finances in Britain provides the perfect opportunity for British taxpayers to end their half-century-long experiment with “development aid”, which has, since its inception, stunted growth and subsidised bad governance in Africa.

As Africans, we urge the generous-spirited British to reconsider an aid programme they can ill afford, and which we do not want or need. A real offer from the British people to help our development would consist of the abolition of the Common Agricultural Policy, which keeps African agricultural exports out of the European marketplace.

It is that egregious policy, combined with the weight of regulations, bad laws and stifling bureaucracy, subsidised by five decades of development aid, which prevents Africans from lifting themselves out of poverty.

Andrew Mitchell, the Secretary of State for International Development, speaks about a “moral imperative” to combat poverty around the world. We could not agree more. The British have a unique opportunity to cut the deficit and help Africa: please, ask your new government to stop your aid.

Andrew Mwenda
Editor, Independent newspaper, Uganda
Franklin Cudjoe
Executive Director, IMANI Center for Policy and Education, Ghana
Kofi Bentil
Lecturer, University of Ghana and Ashesi University, Ghana
Thompson Ayodele
Executive Director, Initiative for Public Policy Analysis, Nigeria
Temba Nolutshungu
Director, Free Market Foundation, South Africa
Leon Louw
Law Review Project, South Africa
The interesting thing is that the abolition of the Common Agricultural Policy would not just help Africa it would also help the U.K. by lowering consumer prices and saving the taxpayers a fortune.

(HT: Aid Watch)

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