Africans do not want or need Britain's development aid
By Timothy Cox
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Aid Watch reports on a letter featured in last week’s Sunday Telegraph from African commentators decrying the need for UK budgetary support to African governments.
As Andrew Mwenda et al. claim, removing protectionist legislation like the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy would be of far greater benefit to ordinary African’s looking to expand their trading opportunities than any amount of foreign aid:
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.
It’s time for the politicians in the UK, Europe and everywhere else to start listening to the actual needs of the world’s poorest, rather than continuing the folly of throwing yet more money at their governments.