James Shikwati: Africa doesn't need Aid

 Economist James Shikwati makes a case against aid (from government to government) in Africa.

Abstract: "...I examine whether Africa needs development aid and the effect of this type of aid on development in Africa. My criticism against aid should be approached with a clear mind; I am not discussing humanitarian aid, dispensed during natural catastrophes that are beyond the human control. Humanitarian aid in this sense ought to be measurably provided. I also discuss two schools of thought that seek to tackle the African problems; the externalists and the internalists. Many arguments raised in my discussion are sourced from various sources indicated in the references. My conviction is that the African problem can best be solved by the African people....

Read the full essay:


TrackBack said:

# September 29, 2007 9:27 AM

martin said:

If there were more experts and economists who thought like James Shikwati, I think Africa would be better. I guess you know the situation of Africa.

Are there many African people ready to take new initiatives and able to develop the continent? I mean, developing the continent if State let them free.

I'd like to know your views.


# October 1, 2007 5:48 PM

Torsten said:

... I am familar with the situation in Africa, espeacially South Africa and Ghana to a lesser extent. Through business and personal contacts I'm aware about what is going on in some of the other countries as well (Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe). James Shikwati is one of the first that talks out very frankly on the issue, but I think it is already known to many. Don't forget that most economists are actually working for the government or financially dependent on the government. And indirectly they may benefit from the Aid money as well.

Someone else said that large sums of Aid money (or money from the exploitation of minerals) is one of the motivators for civil wars and coups. We as Westerners may make differences between the political, business, private and spiritual spheres. For Black Africans this is not necessarily so. They think politics is a means of getting rich and famous, while work and business is not held in that much esteem. One can also notice that they don't distinguish between authority and power. Might is right to them. That is nobody dares to do something against Mugabe in Zimbabwe. I'm not sure whether they are ready for new initiatives, but I think especially in Zimbabwe they are sick and tired of what their government is doing. So new ideas may find an interested audience. It would be important to spread the message elsewhere as well, since most of "AID" is actually coming from first world countries.

So I also would think that it would be a good idea, if the Mises Institute could invite him to a conference or seminar as a speaker. I'm sure James and perhaps a few others would even appreciate this.

Now I think I should start a thread in the forum, where we can discuss this.... What do you think?

# October 3, 2007 10:58 AM

martinf said:

Yes, I also think it would be a good idea. It would be great to count on someone who speaks about Third World from a libertarian point of view, and specially someone who comes from those countries. Another economist who has written about this is Xavier Sala-i-Martin, a Spanish professor at Columbia University. He's not Austrian, but has made interesting points about globalization, the World Distribution of Income and why Africa doesn't need foreign aid.

# October 4, 2007 6:56 PM

Jerida Maphoto Mathipa said:

the article by shikwati is making sense bcoz africa is not actually poor as it luks. there is money invested in swiss banks that is from african countries. Lack of proper financial mangnt contnues to ruin Africa irrespective of the aid we recve from the West

# April 7, 2009 8:09 AM