Dambisa Moyo’s Dead Aid

Dambisa Moyo argues that aid is not helping Africa, and is, in fact, harming it and should be stopped. She examines how top-down aid policies can create a caustic environment for economic growth. Read Dead Aid.

Excerpt: A Radical Rethink of the Aid-Dependency Model

The fact of the matter is, governments need cash. This is true regardless of political leanings–whether a socialist government which endeavors to provide all goods and services to its citizens, or a more market-driven government, which relies on the markets to provide some public goods (that is, goods and services for which there is a broad public benefit, but for which no one person bears the cost, like, again, a lamppost).

Perhaps nowhere is the role of government more crucial–as a strategist, as a coordinator and even, to some extent, as a financier–than in poor developing countries. For at the early stages of development, the nascent private sector is simply not large enough to assume a central developmental role. Traditionally, this is where aid stepped in. But, as this book has argued, aid has not delivered any meaningful or substantial economic performance. Even if it were true that aid had contributed to economic growth, there are two compelling reasons why Africa should seek alternatives to finance and development.