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Woah woah woah First of all, what is with the foreward here The simple fact that Dead Aid is the work of an African black woman is the least of the reasons why you should read it But it is a good reason nonetheless What Niall Ferguson means here is he found a person with the right national gender background to prop up as a mouthpiece for his neoliberal economic agenda which he then gleefully presents in the rest of the forward and could all the critics calling it colonial back off now huh I have a suspicion that there s a lot of this kind of tokenism behind this book s enormous popularity It s an ok book with a few new ideas but not many then aren t already argued better elsewhere I mean, I am a huge fan of standpoint theory, but it s disingenuous when the only African voices lauded by a certain ideology are the ones that conveniently support it with no mention of the countless ones opposed.That said, it s refreshing to hear someone arguing for the gamut of trade, privatization, and opening of financial markets from a cutthroat perspective in which African countries corporations profit instead of foreign banks But in the end it s the same old same old, and she doesn t examine inequality money to governments and business elites might raise a GDP but it doesn t necessarily mean much for poor people, the ostensible targets of much of the aid she criticizes And while I agree with a lot of her criticisms of aid in the form of loans and vast grants directly to governments aid s fucked we know this , I think many not all of her solutions have the potential to be equally disastrous Not all though The solutions are worth a think about, especially regarding remittances and migration, giving money to local farmers businesses manufacturers instead of donating stuff, and China s style of investment though here she glosses over labor human rights abuses, not least of which is that China brings its own labor to work on many of its projects also landgrabbing Interestingly, one of Moyo s biggest problems with aid is the lack of conditionality attached to it As in, even if countries are corrupt and leaders spend aid money on frivolities like private jets, they still get money next year She comes down hard on people like Sachs who uncritically encourage mass increases in aid but surprisingly soft on conditionalities agendas conditionalities are code for agendas you know this that destroy infrastructre, safety nets, and social services If you re going to call out the system, call out the whole system.For a much well researched free of Moyo s careless correlation causation conclusions and biting pro market critique that somewhat mirror s Moyo s same perspective, see Stiglitz s Globalization and Its Discontents. This little book has been a hit with economists who think that the only solution to grinding third world African poverty must be market based While it makes good points particularly that humanitarian aid to Africa hasn t worked as a way to start economic development those points get lost in Moyo s scattershot approach and lack of documentation I am sure she has read everything available on the subject but there is no bibliography and only sketchy notes so she doesn t tell us where she got her ideas or even her facts Her style is a real problem she slides from analysis to polemic without transition so that it is sometimes difficult to tell whether she is asserting an opinion or citing evidence based findings.Moyo seems smart as a whip with courage of her convictions and a fierce loyalty to her homeland, Zambia, and to sub Saharan Africa generally She is an energetic advocate but not a very convincing one Her combination of African heritage and attacks on received wisdom although she demolishes a few strawmen along the way means that she has a good story, ready made for soundbites, helped along in our media obsessed Western culture by the fact that she is based on author photos in the book and on the net staggeringly attractive If a typical holder of her credentials excellent degrees from Harvard and Oxford, positions at Goldman Sachs and the World Bank had presented this book for publication he she may well have been told to come back when it was actually a book and not an intermediate draft that needed work And a lot of copy editing Moyo is not a particularly felicitous writer She doesn t spare the West in her list of what is wrong and how to fix it, going after the important issues like trade barriers, subsidies and immigration restrictions and is particularly hard on her fellow Africans pointing out that humanitarian aid makes control of a government valuable and so encourages armed rebellion, civil war and the horrors of mass population relocation Succeeding in a rebellion and running the government means the winners have access to the many millions of dollars, Euros and pounds that continue to flow Recommended only as a quick primer for some of the main disputes in the foreign policy and humanitarian nexus. An extremely neoliberal approach to the problem of development in Africa.Written by a Zambian economist educated in the UK US you can tell the book outlines both the problems with current aid to Africa and suggests how the market can offer a better solution.It was an extremely interesting read not least the chapter on China however, there is no disguising that it is a very one sided view of the problems facing Africa Noting the issues with infrastructure and liquidity, Moyo offers market based solutions for Africa to help itself by tracking various market mechanisms and their effect on the fictional country of Donga This was my problem with the book Despite being written by an African Economist I think it gave a very narrowminded perspective of development A lot of the suggestions are difficult to implement and whilst I m sure the economic solutions would work I felt that Moyo underestimated the social and political spheres in which these solutions must operate.Nevertheless a good and interesting perspective on the aid problem. Africa is this huge, Africa shaped continent south of Eurasia and kind of east of South America It s well known for many reasons, such as elephants, lions but not tigers or bears , and cheetahs It s the place where modern hominins evolved yet now, millions of years later, it is one of the most impoverished places on Earth Of course, I m speaking broadly here As anyone who has actually done much work on or in Africa will tell you, and as Dambisa Moyo points out in her book, Africa is a convenient political fiction There is such a diversity of nations, people, languages, cultures, and societies in Africa Some countries are prospering even as they deal with a crisis in HIV AIDS Some countries are mired in years of dictatorial rule, torn by civil war, hungry from years of regular famine.Of course, you already know this It s hard not to know it though it might slip to the back of our incredibly cluttered consciousnesses until recalled by one of those TV ads You know the ones I mean, with the images of malnourished children accompanied by a voiceover telling us how we can help with only 1 a day Meanwhile, we re told that our governments are not sending enough money to Africa, not investing enough in aid, not helping to meet various development goals We d fix the problem, if only we committed to aid.But why hasn t the existing aid worked What if sending less aid is the solution That s what Dambisa Moyo proposes in Dead Aid, and on the surface it seems counterintuitive Yet there are also some readily apparent arguments for her thesis Firstly, imposing an external solution on Africa mostly by attaching various conditionalities to our aid, not to mention deciding which nations get that aid isn t going to work, and it s just an extension of the colonialism that is partly what contributed to the mess in the first place Secondly, there are many countries that have received metaphorical truckloads of money yet their citizens remain in poverty, their infrastructure is underdeveloped, and their government officials are corrupt There is an inverse correlation between amount of aid received and an African nation s prosperity, and according to Moyo, this correlation is actually causation at work.Do I believe her I don t know Honestly, economics is still over my head, despite the fact that I can run circles around the differential equations it employs I can do the math, but the meaning behind it is lost on me with work I could probably learn , but I don t find it all that interesting And that s a shame, because I understand begrudgingly how important it is.Moyo s argument has some convincing features She begins by examining the history of aid to Africa and follows up by speculating what would happen if we turned off the tap gradually over five years Her ultimate hope is that a mixture of foreign investment as we ve seen from China and emerging free markets would allow the economies of many African nations to recover It s the economy, she claims, that is essential to the spread of democracy, freedom, and wellbeing the continent over, not the other way around.By the way, if you do understand the economics behind the math, then Moyo can hook you up Dead Aid is full of statistics and figures and a cogent at least from my limited perspective analysis of the facts It s impressive, but at the same time I m glad the book is as short as it is.There are some salient points to Moyo s argument with which I completely agree For instance, it is outrageous that countries in Africa often have to borrow money i.e., accept aid to pay back the interest owed on previous aid It s a vicious cycle, and suddenly all that chatter I heard as a child about forgiving debt makes a lot sense I don t see how anyone expects these countries to work their way back into the black if we re constantly pushing them into the red with demands for aid repaid plus interest If we give aid because we have this idea that all the African countries need is enough money to get them standing on their own, then that idea is wrong.I think Moyo is right, however, when she conjectures that we often give aid because it is habitual and because it looks good Giving aid makes us feel better, even if it isn t actually effective When I say aid here, like Moyo I am talking about money lent by foreign governments and funds like the World Bank and the IMF, not emergency relief from organizations like the Red Cross Giving aid can also be competitive no one wants to be the first country to stop giving aid So just as the African countries are trapped in a vicious cycle, so too are the governments and organizations dedicated to helping them.Moyo seems awfully optimistic about the potential for free market solutions She thinks aid is in many ways harmful it breeds corruption, curtails export income, and costs taxpayers money because the government still has to pay interest whether or not it uses the aid Remove aid from the equation, and she says that homegrown solutions will emerge, citing numerous micro finance schemes that lend to groups of borrowers who use trust as collateral She even mentions M Pesa, which I had previously heard about on an episode of Spark Interestingly, she does not mention that M Pesa was initially funded by the UK s Department for International Development I can t quite muster Moyo s enthusiasm, but I agree with her on one component of the argument solutions for Africa are likely to come from Africans and people who have lived in Africa for much of their lives I don t know much about the sociopolitical nature of Africa Moyo mentions countries I had never heard of prior to reading Dead Aid It s obvious, though, that there are unique challenges in climate, terrain, and population distribution that Africans are familiar with Therefore, they are better equipped to develop innovative ways of overcoming these obstacles mobile micro finance is but one of them While we should not abandon Africa and leave it to its own devices, it is clear that the current system does not work Pumping money into it will not work Rather, we should look at how we can help Africans regain their own agency and this is Moyo s particular solution Sometimes I think she waxes slightly idealistic for example, I sincerely doubt that her proposals to reduce subsidies to farmers in developed countries will be met with much acclaim There is just so much pressure to buy local food Moyo has some good ideas, but she does tackle the problem from a narrow, very market centric perspective.Niall Ferguson, whose Ascent of Money I ve read, provides the foreword for Dead Aid He opens by talking about how most of the discussion about Africa and aid has been done by non African white men, saying, The simple fact that Dead Aid is the work of an African black woman is the least of the reasons why you should read it But it is a good reason nonetheless Well, I think he could have phrased it better, but he s right Just look at who gets invited to debates about how we should help Africa look at the economists who advise various government aid departments Ultimately, as Moyo articulates with a palpable sense of frustration on her part, if we want to see Africans succeed, the rest of the world needs to stop treating them like children and that includes pumping unlimited money into the country in the hope that it will somehow make things better.So I guess you could say that Dead Aid moved me and provoked me to think, and that is always a good thing for a book to do I don t agree with Moyo entirely, and her book isn t perfect its length is an advantage for the reader, but it means she has to summarize where she might prefer to rhapsodize She succeeds in convincing me that aid can be harmful than helpful, and that a nuanced view of the situation is necessary if we are going to improve it I m not sure all her proposed solutions are sound, but at least she is trying to come up with some. I don t think the author ever really made the case for her proposal She did however make some fairly compelling critiques of an aid model which may or may not reflect current reality.My biggest disappointment is that her proposals chiefly financing through bonds and FDI while interesting are tossed out as though their benefits are self evident There were scattered sentences here and there which could have formed the nucleus of arguments for her position, but these often appeared late in the book and almost as asides.Regarding bonds, her chief arguments seem to be 1 the free market would be less tolerant of corruption and better at discovering honest partners than aid directors2 FDI is somehow immune to corruptionNeither of these arguments is supported in depth In addition, regarding FDI she doesn t give a credible explanation for how this model works for the vast majority of African nations without extensive oil reserves. I just finished reading Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo.Her primary thesis is that not only has aid not helped to end poverty a view also held by William Easterly The White Man s Burden and The Elusive Quest for Growth, Peter Bauer, and others but on balance, aid does harm than good.Moyo has a PhD in economics, interestingly obtained under the tutelage of foreign aid advocate, Dr Paul Collier The Bottom Billion.The book is short and quickly glosses over multiple topics For someone unfamiliar with the history and controversies surrounding foreign aid, this book could be one good place to start but as a defense of her thesis, it falls short Her arguments are plausible, especially for someone already skeptical of government intervention into economic affairs A convincing presentation, however, would require much empirical data and analysis in order to substantiate the claims.Wanting to obtain an opposing point of view, I asked my favorite Keynesian for his recommendation and he sent me the link to Stephen Lewis segment in the following debate I highly recommend watching at least the opening statements of this star panel which in addition to Lewis includes Moyo, Collier and Hernando de Soto The Mystery of Capital.The 2009 Munk Debates Be it resolved, foreign aid does harm than good |DOWNLOAD EPUB ⚖ Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa ♫ In The Past Fifty Years, Than Trillion In Development Related Aid Has Been Transferred From Rich Countries To Africa Has This Assistance Improved The Lives Of Africans No In Fact, Across The Continent, The Recipients Of This Aid Are Not Better Off As A Result Of It, But Worse Much WorseIn Dead Aid, Dambisa Moyo Describes The State Of Postwar Development Policy In Africa Today And Unflinchingly Confronts One Of The Greatest Myths Of Our Time That Billions Of Dollars In Aid Sent From Wealthy Countries To Developing African Nations Has Helped To Reduce Poverty And Increase Growth In Fact, Poverty Levels Continue To Escalate And Growth Rates Have Steadily Declined And Millions Continue To Suffer Provocatively Drawing A Sharp Contrast Between African Countries That Have Rejected The Aid Route And Prospered And Others That Have Become Aid Dependent And Seen Poverty Increase, Moyo Illuminates The Way In Which Overreliance On Aid Has Trapped Developing Nations In A Vicious Circle Of Aid Dependency, Corruption, Market Distortion, And Further Poverty, Leaving Them With Nothing But The Need For Aid Debunking The Current Model Of International Aid Promoted By Both Hollywood Celebrities And Policy Makers, Moyo Offers A Bold New Road Map For Financing Development Of The World S Poorest Countries That Guarantees Economic Growth And A Significant Decline In Poverty Without Reliance On Foreign Aid Or Aid Related Assistance Dead Aid Is An Unsettling Yet Optimistic Work, A Powerful Challenge To The Assumptions And Arguments That Support A Profoundly Misguided Development Policy In Africa And It Is A Clarion Call To A New, Hopeful Vision Of How To Address The Desperate Poverty That Plagues Millions Dead Aid, in a well researched and convincing manner, describes the past and current justifications for humanitarian and development aid in Africa, the drawbacks and failures of this method, and suggests several alternatives for the future As a layman in the field, I appreciated the clear and coherent writing style and logical construction of the arguments As a layman, though, I also lack the background to objectively judge the value of the alternate plans she proposes I do have some uneducated opinions, though First of all, I cannot believe that her thesis was so controversial because much of it seems like common sense to me The idea that there s no such thing as money for nothing is widely valued throughout the world So why did the aid funding bodies believe that throwing free money at Africa would solve its problems To me, it seems obvious that you help someone by buying something from them than from giving them a handout If for no other reason than because there is a lot mutual respect between the parties in a commercial transaction than in begging and handing out which engenders resentment by implying that one party has and the other has not.Secondly, it seems obvious that the aid process is deeply flawed because Moyo argues that there is a correlation between countries which receive aid and the excesses that the rulers of those countries allow themselves like Mobutu hiring the Concorde and Mugabe s wife s shopping trips But she doesn t explicitly say that Mobutu paid for the Concorde with aid money, implying that there is uncertainty about which fund the money was funneled from If 1 million goes missing in Zimbabwe, how is it possible to not know which fund it came from Don t the aid agencies ask to see receipts In business you would never pay for something without ensuring that you received the commodity that you paid for You would certainly not conduct business with the offending party a second time It seems that aid receiving governments should, at the very least, have to account for their aid spending.Thirdly, Moyo argues that American subsidies to American cotton farmers have reduced the demand for cotton from Africa and that one of the best ways that the West could help Africa is by increasing trade But wouldn t Africa stand to profit by processing their cotton in house and selling the final products to the West instead of selling raw cotton and then having to buy final products like t shirts back from America Not to mention the carbon footprint of products crossing the Atlantic several times instead of once The pressure to buy and sell local goods is mounting in the USA on the basis of sound environmental principles , and I worry about Africa s overdependence on the USA as a trading partner for goods that can be produced in the USA because it doesn t seem like a sustainable market Finally, Moyo comes across as an enthusiastic proponent of trade with China but only mentions in passing that China has slack labor and environmental prerequisites for trade While aid funding unwittingly goes to support dictators and corruption, China might openly and willingly fund dictators The lives of the poor will not necessarily improve because they will still be subject to low grade living conditions and exploitation by warlords Perhaps money will be funneled into the economy but will the poor benefit from it Some quotes that I particularly liked This reader was left wanting a lot Moyo, and a lot less Bono Foreword by Niall Ferguson p.xii The real question to ask is, has the insertion of democracy via foreign aid economically benefited Africa To this question the answer is not clear There are democratic countries in Africa that continue to struggle to post convincing growth numbers Senegal, at just 3 per cent growth in 2006 , and there are also decidedly undemocratic African countries that are seeing unprecedented economic growth for example, Sudan What is clear is that democracy is not the prerequisite for economic growth that aid proponents maintain On the contrary, it is economic growth that is a prerequisite for democracy and the one thing economic growth does not need is aid p.43 The cornerstone of development is an economically responsible and accountable government Yet, it remains clear that, by providing funds, aid agencies inadvertently prop up corrupt governments p.57 It is clear that however good their hand may seem, when trading with the West the cards are stacked against Africa, and will always be Western political imperatives against freer trade continue to reign, and efforts to depose the current regime are proving futile If the West wants to be moralistic about Africa s lack of development, trade is the issue it ought to address, not aid Of course, such are the West s demands that even if all its trade barriers were lifted, Africa no longer has the technological equipment and know how to compete on many products where it once had a comparative advantage Together with environmental and labor issues, there are now serious barriers to trade p.119 I liked this book a whole lot Dambiso Moyo is pretty much saying something that most people think is CRAZY she is suggesting that we STOP sending aid to Africa All of it Why Because, she says, it s clearly not working It doesn t give African governments any incentive to change things, it leads to corruption, and regular people never see a dime of it anyway We need change and one way of doing that is by cutting off aid entirely When I first heard this I thought it sounded nuts and totally irrational because we ve been brainwashed to think that Africa needs money The media floods us with negative images about the continent so all we ever see are the starving children, pictures of in fighting and military coups, Somali pirates, basically all negative stuff And even as someone educated I majored in economics and finance and have a grad degree in urban planning and policy I still kept thinking there is no way we can cut off aid because so many people are counting on it right Well, when I read the book I started to totally see her point She s right about a lot of stuff Most ordinary people hardly ever actually see our aid money It does lead to a lot of corruption and gives leaders a reason to continue fighting for power It doesn t actually spur development And even with all of that wonderful aid money that the West sends to Africa we don t really seem to want or care about the well being of Africa And our trade policies are so protectionist that we hardly do any trade with African nations There were a lot of interesting things that I learned from reading this book ranging from getting a better sense of which African countries have what kinds of resources and competitive advantages or at least should in theory to learning all about China s role in Africa s development This part of the book was possibly the most interesting as I had absolutely no idea It was sad but insightful to hear her thoughts on the World Bank IMF, especially the fact that they seem to exist to create jobs for a lot of Westerners under the pretense of helping Africa and other developing countries Her arguments are very convincing and I urge economists and people interested in politics or those simply interested in Africa to read this and sort of stop and think I don t think her get rid of all aid agenda will ever actually materialize only because I don t think it ll ever be all or nothing BUT I do think it s worth considering what would happen if we tried this It sort of bothered me that Moyo didn t really talk much about the continent s colonial past but at the same time I understand her pressing urgency in wanting the continent to move forward, regardless of how badly it s been bastardized by Europe Most readers probably won t buy into everything she says but it s worth thinking about and as you read it you really do start to see that she s not interested in creating shock value at all She s interested in bringing development and growth to places that need it badly and have been neglected for many years And she made me realize just how Western centric all of our policies toward Africa really are and that could be precisely why they aren t working I hope some of her policies are enacted as Moyo has made me realize very clearly that a the current aid model is NOT working and b there are actually a ton of things we could try instead that might work a lot better for average Africans.