The U.S., for its part, has also crafted three special initiatives to help Africa since the 1990s. The basic reason why many well-intentioned aid programs came to grief was that the commitment on the part of many of African leaders to put their own houses in order was simply not there. They took the aid money and did the “Babangida Boogie” – one step forward, three steps back, a flip and a sidekick to land on a fat Swiss bank account. This prompted even former President Bill Clinton – regarded as a “friend of Africa” – to bemoan it.
“The responsibility rests with African countries to commit themselves to these objectives and to make policy choices that will enable them to achieve these objectives. Help from outside Africa cannot overcome lack of commitment or wrong choices by the governments of Africa“, President Clinton said in his Feb 5, 1996 Report to Congress: (U.S. Government Report, 1996, 3). Clinton subsequently took bold steps to move away from aid paradigm, replacing it with the slogan “trade not aid.” Continue reading “How To Help, Save or Develop Africa (Part 6): US-Africa Aid Programs”
Sensing an opportunity with the G-8 in disarray, China declared 2006 as the “Year for Africa” and convened an Africa Conference in Beijing in October. To feed the voracious appetite of its economic machine galloping at a dizzying 9 percent clip, China was trolling for resources in Africa. It wooed African leaders with euphonious verbiage and diplomatic platitudes about “equal terms” and lofty promises of foreign aid without conditions.
Miffed at the West’s insistence on conditionalities for its aid, 40 African heads of state trekked to the conference and threw themselves at the feet of China, signing a multiplicity of deals.China came up with a 3-Point Agenda for Africa that stressed peace, development, cooperation, and scholarships for African students, among others:(http://bit.ly/MBVqgQ) Continue reading “How To Help, Save or Develop Africa (Part 4): China’s 5-Point Agenda”
It is interesting to note that this post has been inspired by a random google search(at this ungodly hour…clock’s marching towards 2 a.m. as I write this) on the “difference between oxymorons and paradoxes”. Not to put too fine a point to it, an oxymoron is a paradox reduced to two words.
I took it further and found some interesting illustrations on paradoxes. Humorous,too, they are. Continue reading “Collective Effort in Africa: A Paradox?”