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Dead aid: Why aid is not working and how there is a better way for Africa



Incl. bibl., index
Dead Aid : Why Aid Is Not
Working and How There Is
Another Way for Africa by
Dambisa Moyo
Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for
Dambisa Moyo , Joanne J. Myers
April 2, 2009
Questions and Answers
JOANNE MYERS: Good afternoon. I'm Joanne Myers, Director of Public Affairs
Programs, and on behalf of the Carnegie Council I'd like to welcome you all today
and thank you for joining us.
I'm sure many of you are aware of the stir that our guest Dambisa Moyo's book
has caused, from prime-time interviews, to book reviews, to guest appearances.
And she just told me that just yesterday her book made the New York Times
best-seller list.
We are delighted to have you join us.
DAMBISA MOYO: Thank you.
JOANNE MYERS: The title of her book is Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better
Way for Africa.
In developing countries, especially in Africa, foreign aid often arrives with the best intentions. Yet, too
frequently it arrives with little coordination among donors over accountability to where the funds are
actually going. This raises the question whether foreign aid sent to African countries is money well spent
or is it just easy money that in the end is squandered by corrupt political leaders.
In Dead Aid, Dambisa Moyo answers this question by arguing that official aid is easy money that fosters
corruption and distorts economies, creating a culture of dependency and economic laziness. Our speaker
argues that aid has not merely failed to work, but has compounded Africa's problems. She cites figures
showing the exponential growth in poverty in an area of burgeoning aid. For example, 10 percent of
Africans were living in poverty in the 1970s compared to 70 percent now. This means that roughly 600
million of Africa's billion people are now trapped in poverty.
Ms. Moyo makes it clear that the aid she is referring to does not mean humanitarian or emergency aid
mobilized in response to calamities, nor does she mean charity-based aid given to specific organizations
and people on the ground in order to achieve specific things. When she talks about aid she means
systemic aid, the vast sums regularly transferred from government to government or via institution and
aims her harshest criticism at the flow of aid from the governments of developed nations to African
governments and also aid from institutions such as the World Bank.
After critiquing government-to-government aid packages, Ms. Moyo presents her prescription for
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economic stability and long-term economic growth. She argues that African governments need to become
accountable to their people and responsible for themselves. She believes countries like China and India
are good role models.
A strong believer in the power of the market, our speaker isn't phased by the current crisis facing
capitalism. She believes it is still the best model the world has, despite its flaws, and says Africa should
focus on encouraging investment rather than simply waiting for handouts. Controversially, she advocates
turning off the aid taps within five years and claims this will result in more Africans being pulled out of
Ms. Moyo's voice is not one of indifference to the needs of those living in poverty, but, as a Zambian-born
economist who is familiar with the history of aid and the experience of having been raised on the African
continent, hers is a voice of someone who sincerely cares.
Our speaker left Zambia and studied in America, earning a Master's Degree from Harvard's Kennedy
School of Government. She went on to earn a Doctorate in Economics from Oxford University. She also
has an MBA in Finance and a Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry from American University in Washington,
For the past eight years, Ms. Moyo worked at the London office of Goldman Sachs in the area of debt
capital markets and as an economist on the global macroeconomics team. Previously she was a
consultant to the World Bank. This year she was honored by the World Economic Forum, where she was
named as one of its Young Global Leaders.
Ms. Moyo may not have all the answers, but she is determined to begin a conversation with anyone who
is interested in fighting global poverty and finding a long-term solution to seeing Africa become an equal
partner in the world.
In order to begin this discussion, I ask that you please join me in giving a very warm welcome to a very
special guest, Dambisa Moyo.
DAMBISA MOYO: Thank you very much. I really appreciate everyone being here this evening. I hope I
get a chance to say hello, if not to you individually, at some point this evening.
I must say I feel slightly guilty, because I have spent a lot of time in the last few weeks trying to defend
my position. Joanne actually has so clearly articulated what I have been trying to say that I wish actually
she would come along with me on my tour, because for some reason my message has not been so clearly
getting across.
What I thought I would do this evening is start by talking a little bit about the motivation, why I bothered
to write the book, and then talk a little bit about the problems with aid, and then talk a little about the
solutions. I am going to spend relatively little time on the solutions because I think they are kind of
The American dream is actually built on a lot of the solutions. But perhaps in the Q&A we can talk about
some of the more immediate issues, such as what's going with the G20 and how that might impact
Africa, or bailout aid and so on. I thought that's how I would frame it.
Let me start by just talking a little bit about the motivation of writing this book. It has been quite a
multi-year project.
I think over the years it has become much more something I felt I really needed to do, because I go
home regularly to Zambia, about four or five times a year. It's relatively close to London. Things are
getting worse and not better.
It has been 60 years, $1 trillion of aid to my continent, and it is rather disturbing to see things go in the
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wrong direction. It is not uncommon for me to at least have somebody try and rob me on the streets.
With over 60 percent of the population in Africa under the age of 24, in many countries over 50 percent
of the population is under the age of 15, this is a time bomb waiting to go off.
If you have traveled to any of the big African metropoleis or the big African cities, you'll see many young
Africans, very often educated at least through high school, who have no option but to be on the street,
hawking anything from T-shirts and DVDs to mirrors and geese even, which I saw last time. I was quite
surprised that somebody had live geese.
But this is not a sustainable situation. It bothers me that I as a Zambian can be driving down the street
in the capital, Lusaka, and be desperately worried about this and the African leadership can see the same
thing and not be bothered at all, or certainly seemingly not bothered at all.
These are the sort of things that have made me realize that it is time to really push back on a system
that has gone on for such a long time and that is being perpetuated with increasing calls for more aid to
Before I talk a little bit about the criticisms or the problems with aid, I want to just give you a few
clarifying points in a preface. Many of them have actually been touched on by Joanne.
First of all, the type of aid that I am speaking about. I think recently a number of NGOs have started
campaigns against me. I think they are deliberately conflating issues or being slightly obtuse. It is quite
deliberate, because I have spoken to them and said we both understand that this is not the type of aid I
am targeting, certainly not in this book. Perhaps the sequel, but not this book.
As Joanne mentioned, this is not about humanitarian aid or emergency aid for Katrina or a tsunami or
Fargo. I think we have a moral imperative as human beings to step in if there is an earthquake anywhere
around the world and actually assist in those type of situations.
Nor am I talking about charitable aid, more NGO aid. I must say that both of these types of aid are
relatively small beer when compared to the billion-dollar packages, about $50 billion, that go to Africa
every year now.
I will say, however—and I will come back to this point a little bit later—there is a fundamental problem, I
believe, in having charities provide education, health care, infrastructure, and security. It begs the
question of "What are the African governments doing?"
Public goods are things, whether yfou are left-leaning or right-leaning, a Democrat or a Republican. There
is a sense that government has to at least regulate or be involved in this type of a situation, or at least in
the provision of public goods. Perhaps we can quibble about to what degree.
But in many African countries the government is basically not involved in society. They have completely
abdicated their responsibility. The continent is covered with thousands of NGOs who provide these goods,
very often in inefficient ways because they can only target a small number of people.
So perhaps, in the population of Zambia of 10 million, maybe 5,000 people get education. But what
happens when the money dries up and the NGO leaves? Then this society is quite vulnerable.
Those are some of the things I talk about in terms of the NGOs. I am not talking about that aid. I myself
sit on the boards of a number of charities, so I am sympathetic to the argument that we can provide
band-aid solutions by stepping in and perhaps giving a girl a scholarship to go to school. However, that
type of aid is never going to help any African country or African countries as a whole grow at the rate of
growth that we need to eradicate poverty. The number that the United Nations has come up with is about
7 percent growth rate. You are not going to get that from these microinterventions.
I want to confess that if you read the book, which I hope you will, there is nothing really new in it. The
book is actually dedicated to Peter Bauer, who is a Hungarian-born economist who in the 1950s and
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1960s wrote about these issues quite extensively. It was at the time, post World War II, post Marshall
Plan, where everybody was in this euphoria about "Oh, we can do aid interventions."
Actually, when I look back on the literature, it made sense. Many African countries were coming out of
the colonial period. They hadn't really mobilized resources. So the argument was that savings would lead
to investment, which would lead to growth, which makes sense. But what would happen if there was no
savings? Well, we should put aid and that will help. So it was logical.
However, Peter Bauer, in particular, was very vocal about how this could lead to very dangerous and
pernicious externalities and how it would never work. He was absolutely right.
He was ostracized from the mainstream. I just had a conversation last week with Bill Easterly, who has
written extensively on this issue as well. He warned me. He said, "You shouldn't have done this." He said,
"I'm glad to have you on my side, and it's wonderful, but the truth of the matter is you're going to get
absolutely annihilated because it is the status quo that we are talking about."
My point is simply that it is nothing really new.
I deliberately wrote the book in a manner that would be easily accessible to the average person. You
don't have to be an economist to understand what I'm talking about. I do draw on the literature that is
coming from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, so the development specialists themselves
are querying the effectiveness of aid, and I really thought it was important to bring that type of discourse
to the broader public. That is what really motivated me to write the book.
I am also going to say just a couple of words about the celebrity culture—I have given it some tags, some
of them not very flattering. I think people are always looking to latch onto something. I actually view the
second half of the book to be much more interesting, the solutions, but people are obviously very focused
on the first part, on the failure of aid.
Just very quickly, three points with respect to celebrities.
My broad headline is that they are a red herring for the issues. Frankly, I don't really care about what the
celebrities have to say. I am much more focused on ensuring that the African continent can become an
equal partner on the global stage. To spend time quibbling about Bono and Bob Geldof and so on I just
think obfuscates the fundamental problem here.
The three points I just want to make are:
Number one, they are wrong to push more aid into the continent. They are completely wrong. I just think
it's the wrong approach.
Second of all, they are an artifact of the aid model, in the sense that African governments have become
so relaxed about their responsibilities that it seems okay for celebrities to become the face of Africa. They
are not elected officials. There are elected African officials who are charged with the responsibility of
providing public goods, and they are not doing their job. So aid allows these governments to sit around.
This whole notion of the celebrities to me suggests that they basically stepped into a place where they
saw a vacuum, they saw that there was no leadership here, and they have infused the debate with their
own perspective of what is needed on the African continent.
I shouldn't be sitting here. You should have African leaders sitting here explaining what their plan is for
the future. They are not. I find that disturbing. You would much prefer to have Bono or Bob Geldof or
whoever come and talk to you about Africa. And yet, that is a completely absurd situation. I have talked
about the fact that Americans would be outraged if you never heard anything from Tim Geithner or from
Obama but you heard from an international pop celebrity talking about the credit crisis and how America
will come out of it. And yet, we think it is okay in the context of Africa to allow this to happen.
But perhaps the most awful thing, I think, about the whole celebrity culture is that their message is
couched in negativity. If they actually were on the world stage saying, "You know what, on this continent
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there is opportunity for investment, there is opportunity to look at things in a very different lens," I
wouldn't be so critical. The problem is their whole message is couched in what I call in the book "the four
horsemen of Africa's Apocalypse." They talk about war and disease and poverty and corruption, nothing
And yet, I remind you—over 62 percent of the population is under the age of 24—the world is asking
Africa to raise young Africans to be equal partners, or at least to contribute to the global stage, the global
economy, in terms of being doctors, engineers, artists, and so on. And yet, at the same time, we are
raising them in a negative veil, that basically they can't do certain things.
So now that I have said that, I am going to very quickly go into what the problems with aid are.
While I have been thinking about the problems of aid, I actually was writing an article for a U.S.
newspaper. I thought I was being clever. I said, "I'm going to write the top ten reasons why aid doesn't
work," using the David Letterman format. They didn't like it. But I thought that that actually might be a
good way to kind of help us focus the debate, the discussion, so that you can walk away from here and
say, "Okay, she gave me ten reasons and here they are." I may not go into great detail on any of them,
but perhaps in the Q&A we can talk about that.
Let's first of all get rid of the most obvious reason, which is corruption. It's obvious because we've talked
about this. For years, for decades, people have talked about the fact that a lot of the aid money that goes
to Africa actually ends up, at best, financing nonproductive uses.
So there are a lot of white elephants. There is a brilliant picture of President BokassaI think he calls
himself Emperor Bokassa—of the Central African Republic. He is having his coronation on a big gold—not
Anyway, my point just being that Africa's history is littered with the worst despotic and corrupt leaders:
Mobutu Sese Seko from what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, Idi Amin from Uganda, Bokassa
from Central African Republic. I could go on and on.
If this was a figment of Africa's past, I wouldn't have mentioned it. Just a month ago the former president
of Malawi has just been indicted for stealing aid money. My own former president, Frederick Chiluba, who
was a development darling, has also been arrested and is now embroiled in a court proceeding for
stealing money, hundreds of millions of dollars, which he used to finance clothing and shoes, taking away
from education and health care—obviously leaving Africa, and Zambia in particular, with a debt burden
which I have to pay.
Now, we have tried as a society to actually curb that type of a problem through conditionalities.
Unfortunately, the aid system itself is structured so the lenders, donor countries as well as international
institutions, are not incentivized not to lend.
What do I mean by that? The mere existence of institutions such as the World Bank completely rests on
them lending money to these countries. So what this means is that their threats or their penalties are
ineffective, and very often are not implemented, which is why we have a continent full of despots running
around. As I said, I wish it were in the past. It's not.
Mugabe in Zimbabwe, for all the criticism, has been in power since 1980. There is an American
ambassador who lives there. There is a British high commissioner who lives there. What is the point of
complaining about Mugabe when he was just here in September for the UN meetings? He received $300
million from the United States and the United Kingdom in 2006, just official records. As somebody said to
me the other day, the impunity of Mugabe to be able to fly to Rome and not worry that he will be
overthrown at home really underscores the fact that you can have an immense amount of confidence. If
he can get his hands on money, he is able to pay.
So corruption is one of the big ones, and a very obvious one.
Bureaucracy is the second point. In fact, I was joking to an English friend of mine. He asked, "What's
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really the problem with aid to Africa?" I said, "Well, bureaucracy is one of them. The countries become
laden with bureaucracy." He said, "But we have that here as well." I said, "Yes, but in Africa it can take
up to two years to get a business license." Very clearly, again, underscoring the fact that governments
don't care if the private sector lives or dies. If it's dead it doesn't affect the government purse. The
government still can survive without that type of money.
It takes an inordinate amount of time to get licenses, but also the layers of process completely
discourage investment by international investors, but also domestically.
Nobody wants to be bothered to try and do business in these places.
Similar to this, in terms of bureaucracy, I just visited Rwanda at the invitation of President Kagame. He
was very interested in the book. I'll talk about him a little bit later.
I went to Rwanda, Kenya, and Tanzania. These are countries that are right next door to each other. I
needed three visas and I had to change my money three times, which is completely absurd. We need
much more regional integration, but that's another point. The layers of bureaucracy to get a visa from
one country and so on—the bureaucracy is set up to actually discourage private-sector investment
because the government needs to feed itself.
Inflation. African countries have had triple-digit inflation throughout most of the 1980s and 1990s. It has
come down. Sometimes it is food inflation, like we saw last year, but in general we as Africans live in a
pretty inflation-dependent economy. It is very, very clearly linked to dumping billions of dollars into the
I think the worst problem with having such high levels of inflation is that some governments try to fight
the inflation by, for example, issuing bonds. That actually costs money. In fact, in the book I talk about
Uganda, which ended up spending an additional $110 million a year to fight the inflation that has
basically come in because of all this aid money coming in.
So inflation is another one.
Debt burden I talked about. I am sympathetic to the view that perhaps there should be a debate about
debt relief. In the run-up to the Jubilee 2000, for example, I wasn't campaigning, but I could see issue
from both sides—the issue of moral hazard, where governments just get used to getting themselves
bailed out.
But the problem is that I think debt relief in isolation may make sense, but the more fundamental
problem is: what is the point of giving debt cancellation or debt relief and then just subsequently adding
on new debt? It just perpetuates the cycle.
So, basically, we end up in the situation where African governments, even today, are spending about $20
billion in interest payments every year. That money is being spent to keep the system in place. So you
pay a little bit of money to the World Bank and they re-lend to you, or you pay a little bit of money to
Norway or the United Kingdom or U.S. aid agencies and then you get the money back. But no money is
going to education and health care, for example, or infrastructure for that matter. In fact, in many
countries the education or health care share of government expenditure is something like less than 2
percent, whereas military is something more like 40 percent, with the rest going largely to debt
There is also a notion of "Dutch disease." Some of you might be familiar with this. It's what is very much
known in parlance as the oil curse, the fact that there are these large flows of money coming into the
Think about this as dollars going into, let's say, Kenya. You send them this billion dollars going in. It
means that the Kenyan shilling becomes less available, so it becomes more scarce, meaning that it
becomes stronger, so it appreciates. That kills off the export sector, because nobody wants to buy Kenyan
goods if the shilling is so expensive.
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Again, although this was an issue that was raised initially—and it is called "Dutch disease" because it was
a phenomenon that was spotted in the Netherlands when they discovered oil—it is something that in
economic literature and development literature is very well known to be an artifact of the aid model. And
yet we skirt over it.
Nobody seems to care that it is killing off the export sector.
It is not just the export sector, because the exporters in a poor country, particularly a commodity-
dependent country, like many African countries are, basically supports the domestic economy as a whole.
They are the ones who go and buy haircuts and go and buy clothes or foods and go to restaurants. So if
they can't do it because their business has been shut down, then the whole economy starts to shrink,
which again we have seen in Africa.
I've talked a lot already about the fact that having large aid flows coming in, which are essentially free
because African governments don't need to do anything. They don't have to cater to their people, they
spend their time courting the donors to get more money. That basically means that they have abdicated
their responsibilities.
I've talked about the fact that really the governments in Africa should be at the forefront of this debate,
talking about what their plans are to generate jobs and to keep these economies together. We don't see
or hear from them.
In fact, if I polled you—this group here is a relatively sophisticated crowd—and I asked you to name three
African presidents, I'm sure we would all struggle. And beyond that, if I said, "Name the economic
agenda of even one African president," I think we would definitely be stumped in here.
So again, is it reasonable, is it sensible, for a whole continent to have its future rely on aid flows and
political strategies, policy strategies, that are defined by an NGO class or by foreign aid? It seems to me
that it is not.
I just want to also touch on the point that here the fundamental problem is that we have aid as
essentially an open-ended commitment. African governments don't even see an end, so say, "Oh, actually
in 30 years we won't have any more aid, and therefore we should start to plan."
I think the credit crisis is really showing this. Here we have a situation where many African governments
are attending the G20, not in the circle, as the G20 is—only South Africa is included among these
economies—but they are hanging around outside saying, "Well, don't forget Africa for a bailout."
Well, nobody is asking the question,"We have just come out of a commodity bull run. What has happened
to that money?" No one is asking, "What if America can really not help you out because America is
suffering from its own economic crisis? What's your contingency plan?" The governments don't have that
strategy. They are completely dependent on aid.
I touched a little bit on entrepreneurship and how basically the aid model completely kills that off. As I
said, if the governments cared about the need to raise taxes from a private sector, they would invest
more money and more effort in building the private sector, or certainly at least in creating the
environment through which the private sector could flourish. They don't.
Here I am going to give an example, a specific example of what I consider the attitude of many African
governments. I hate to pick on a particular country, because I think this is just simply an example of
what is going on across the continent, but here is an example from Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is the second-largest population in sub-Saharan Africa. Nigeria has about 100 million people.
Ethiopia has about 90 million people. The mobile phone penetration rate is 2 percent in Ethiopia, so about
2 percent of the population has a mobile phone, compared to the average in Africa, which is about 30
percent (one in three Africans has a phone) and compared to the fact that there are now 30 countries
that have over 100 percent mobile phone penetration rates (people have more than one mobile phone). I
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don't know what that's like in the States, but in Europe the landline has not really been the main use of
telecommunications. People use mobile phones. They have a personal and a work phone.
Why am I telling this story? Because here we have a situation where we have a lot of evidence now that
mobile phones are very, very important and they can be very, very influential in terms of providing jobs
and generating an income. I'll give you a specific example.
In Ghana there is a lot of literature about how a farmer can now call city A and say, "Listen, I'm in the
rural area. If I bring my sack of corn to you how much are you going to charge?" He could find, "If I bring
it to city A, I'll get paid $20. If I bring it to city B, I'll get paid $40." Therefore, the farmer can improve
his income by taking it to city B.
But there is also other stuff. Health care records can now be put on mobile phones. People in rural areas
in Africa can get text messages to say "The doctor is coming into your area on Tuesday of next week at 4
o'clock." And so on.
But here we have a government with 90 million people and 2 percent interest rates. That is also one of
the governments that is at the G20 asking for bailout money.
Why am I bringing this up? Because why would it be so difficult for the government to sell off the license,
earn a one-off large fee, but also maybe even put on a tariff so they can continue to earn a usage fee
from people using the mobile phones, but also really provide a real chance for its citizens to actually start
to do business, start to be able to trade, and generate incomes for them to stand on their own two feet?
This is a classic example of the type of attitude that I think pervades the African continent.
Perhaps it is no surprise that 97 percent of the budget in Ethiopia is aid-based. It shows a lack of
innovation. There is a lack of any effort being paid to try and wean the country off of aid.
Very quickly, the last two on my list of ten: civil wars and civil conflict in Africa. In the last five months
we've had four coups: Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, and just two weeks ago, Madagascar. We have
a number of failed states, Somalia being the classic example. In the 1990s Africa had more civil wars
than the rest of the world put together. This pattern of political instability is rampant.
There is a lot of literature in the development discourse about how in a situation where there is no private
sector or a weak private sector the government basically becomes the only thing that has any pool of
cash. So you end up with these cycles where there are factions constantly trying to capture the state
because that's where the money is. I think it seems rather obvious now when you look across the
continent that this pattern seems to definitely feature quite extensively.
In the book I also talk about some very interesting work that has been done by some academics. One of
them is Przeworski et al., where he has actually calculated the probability of a country being able to keep
a solid democracy in place. He basically says that probability is directly correlated to the per capita
income. So if you've got low per capita incomes, your democracy cannot hold. I think for him the
benchmark is $6,000 a year; only after $6,000 a year can you actually have a stable, solid democracy.
At the time I was writing the book, Thailand has just had a coup. I thought it was incredibly interesting
that even in the case of Thailand, who has less than $6,000—it has been doing really well, but it still had
less than $6,000—he was right. He actually gives a time period. He says that you can keep a democracy
in place for ten years if you have less than, let's say, $6,000. But it's a very interesting piece of work. I
talk about it in the book.
But he is right. I think it's not surprising that in Africa the democratic environment is so tenuous. Kenya's
situation last year is an illustration of this point. My belief is that if we continue down the aid model, the
number of Africans living on less than a dollar a day in the foreseeable future will probably increase from
over 70 percent to 90 percent, and we will see many more failed states, many more corrupt
governments, civil wars, and so on.
If there is one problem with the aid model that I would like you to walk away with today, the fundamental
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problem with these large aid flows going into Africa, it is the fact that it disenfranchises Africans. Africans
have no voice. Africans cannot hold their governments accountable.
In the United States, if you are not happy with the way your leadership is dealing with a problem or an
issue, whether it's health care, education, security, or infrastructure, you vote them out of office. In Africa
it means nothing.
There are many countries in Africa—and I talk about this in the book—where the presidents have been in
power for over 30 or 40 years.
They are propped up by the aid model. They are not going anywhere. They do not deliver anything. The
society is becoming worse.
To quote my former Ph.D. supervisor Paul Collier, Africa is shearing off from the rest of the world, so the
rest of the world is going in one direction and Africa is going in a completely different direction.
The reason is that many African governments just don't care. They really don't care about what their
citizens think.
I go back to the point of no taxation without representation. Until the governments actually desperately
rely, their existence relies, on taxation, we'll continue to see this cycle of where they don't care, and they
can just call up donors to get more aid.
Let me very quickly go through some of the solutions that I recommend. As I said, I think the fact that
you live in the United States probably means that you are very familiar with this, and it might actually
seem kind of bizarre that this seems to be such a big controversial notion when it's actually so obvious
and such a part of the backbone of the United States.
I will say, though, with the free market or capitalistic system under fire, I would remind everyone
that—and I'd like to paraphrase President Obama from his inaugural speech—despite all the problems and
the questioning and the concerns about the capitalistic model, it is still the best model for delivering
wealth, and we should not forget that. It is unprecedented.
Now, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't regulate it more, or perhaps be a bit more thoughtful in the
manner in which it is implemented. But let's not throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. I think
there are a lot of good things that happen. And let's also not forget that it has been over 300 years that
you have had a system that has worked.
And yet, where African aid is concerned, we have had 60 years of poor performance and nobody is
questioning that. Nobody is really saying, "This thing is not working." I mean look at how much flak the
free market is getting after 18 months of a problem. We have completely forgotten that we had had 300
years of a good system. Whereas for something like the aid model, nobody seems to care.
But very quickly let me just go through some of the big ones.
Trade. In the book I recommend that Africa should not spend another penny trying to negotiate in the
trade rounds of Doha and Uruguay, WTO rounds, trying to negotiate access to Western markets, Europe
and the United States, where, as we know, there are billion-dollar subsidy programs. I believe in free
trade, but I am also very pragmatic. It is very unlikely—in fact, it's pretty impossible—that these markets
are going to be opened up for African goods and services.
The American president and the administration is first and foremost responsible to the American people.
There is no way, no matter what we think, that the Western governments are going to say, "Well, actually
I feel really sorry for some Zambian farmer who needs to earn a living, so at the expense of somebody in
Iowa who is growing corn, Mr. Iowa, you lose your job, but I'll give the money to open the market for a
Zambian." It's not going to happen. So I say to African governments: Get real. It's not going to happen.
The good news is that there are countries on this earth that desperately need African goods and services.
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China is an obvious one—1.3 billion people, 7 percent arable land—that desperately needs to feed its
population. I suggest African governments spend their time building alliances there on food. I'll come
back to the point of China, because I am not saying that China should have a carte blanche to come into
Africa and do whatever it likes. I think there are a lot of issues there. But I do think fundamentally what
the Chinese are doing in Africa is the right thing.
Foreign direct investment. I've talked a little about this. It's so obvious, in a sense, that investors want to
put money in a place that is transparent and accountable and where there is a legal framework that
actually works and has teeth. However, for some reason, that seems to have bypassed the whole aid
Some of these things that African governments could do are not long-term strategic things. They are very
easy things. They could tomorrow actually say, "It now takes two forms that you have to fill out and it will
take you a week to get your business license." That could materially change people's attitude towards
investing in these regions.
I come from a country of 10 million people, which is nothing. But I come from a region, southern Africa,
which is 200 million people. That's a very different perspective that investors would have.
There needs to be much more regional integration. I have talked a lot about this. I mentioned to you
earlier this whole idea of going to three countries in east Africa and having to get different visas and
change currencies. That doesn't make me as an African keen to invest in east Africa. They have to do
that—again, not just talking about it, but really doing it.
The capital markets. I strongly still believe that the bond market offers a transparent system that can
hold the issuer accountable. Yes, we are living in very challenging times right now. My advice to African
governments is twofold:
Stop looking to traditional markets to issue bonds, such as the United States and Europe; start looking to
the Middle East, to China, who are sitting on capital, and arguably can price African risk better than
Western markets, because the attitude of Westerners in Africa has tended to be one of pity, by and large,
which is what I believe the aid model is. Actually, the attitude of the Chinese and the Middle Easterners
has been very much one of investment and business approach.
I think yes, it needs to be regulated. If we did have accountable African governments, then maybe they
would bother to ensure that the Chinese are not coming in wholesale and taking advantage of Africa and
just leaving.
One would hope that in the model that I am prescribing that African governments would actually start to
care about investment and bringing in more investors from these places.
Those three are the sort of macro things that governments should be doing, things like the bond market
trade and foreign direct investment. But what about you and I, individuals? Are there things for us to do
that could meaningfully change people's lives?
In the book I talk a lot about microfinance. Just a few weeks ago, I had the privilege of being on a panel
with Muhammad Yunus, who maybe some of you know, who is the founder of Grameen Bank, a Nobel
Laureate from 2005. I almost fell off my seat when he told me that in the last nine months he has raised
over $1 billion from rural Bangladesh to invest in rural Bangladesh. I'm going to repeat that because I am
still shocked. One billion dollars from rural Bangladeshis to invest in Bangladesh.
It's not urban Bangladesh; this is rural Bangladesh. A billion dollars in this market.
It's not aid money. He has a policy of not taking aid.
As many of you might know, his default rates are very small. In fact, the moderator of our meeting said,
"So you're telling me that African governments have a worse default rate than these Bangladeshis in the
rural areas?" We said, "Yes. Essentially that's the point."
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But here we have a program which should have come out of the World Bank, I would think, if they're
really interested in development. Why are we looking at one man in rural Bangladesh who has come up
with this brilliant program? Why wouldn't the World Bank do something like that? I'm just going to leave
it at that.
I just want to leave you with one quote. An African friend of mine said to me, "Dambisa, why are you
bothering? Why have you bothered to write this book?"
Before I could answer, he said, "Africa is to development what Mars is to NASA. Spend billions of dollars
researching and analyzing and visiting and writing reports, but nobody really believes he will ever, ever
live on Mars and nobody really believes that Africa will ever develop."
I'll leave you with that thought and I'll take questions.
Questions and Answers
QUESTION: You are correct when you say that foreign investors are not going to invest in a country
where there isn't a rule of law or transparency, and that the existence of dictatorships in Africa and the
corruption and so on make it a real problem. But why do you think that if we stop providing aid that the
governments would be less dictatorial, that the governments would be less willing to spend money on
military rather than on social needs, and that there would be greater transparency and commitment to
the rule of law?
DAMBISA MOYO: Basically, it is because that's what the evidence has shown. Actually, if you think
about it from a logical perspective, if African governments borrowed money from the international capital
markets and claimed to investors that they were going to invest it in productive activities to grow the
economy and then pay back the interest and the principal and then spent the money on keeping
themselves in private jets or whatever and did not use the money productively, the market would shut
down on them.
So, just following that, they would then have no money to keep the armies. Africans could actually vote
them out of office, as opposed to now—there would be no stuffed ballot boxes—and Africans would no
longer be afraid of their governments and what their recourse might be.
Essentially, what I'm trying to drive at is we need to create a system where the governments feel like
they need to actually court Africans, as opposed to courting somebody from outside. I'm not saying the
bond market is absolutely perfect; of course they also have some challenges. But, by and large, with a
more transparent system the governments would have to deliver on promises, as opposed to now when
they can steal the money and do nothing. You're lucky if they do nothing. The problem is that many
African governments have become obstructive to the private sector and to things that actually would
improve the domestic economy.
QUESTION: The most developed government in Africa is South Africa. You had the president there for
years denying that AIDS was caused by anything other than green plants or something. And yet, in spite
of all the aid, it seems to me that Africa has got to start producing its own leaders, developing your
businessmen and your politicians that aren't corrupt. I don't know how you do that, but it's something
that I think Africa has to do for itself, not expect help from somebody else. There's just no way anybody
else can help in that particular thing.
DAMBISA MOYO: Yes, absolutely. I think that leadership is the critical thing, which is why I left the last
point as disenfranchising Africans. We all want better leadership in Africa. But you are not going to get
good leadership, because the people who are really highly qualified, smart Africans, who would do a
fantastic job in transforming the economy, don't want to work in a place laden with bureaucracy and
QUESTIONER: Couldn't that change?
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DAMBISA MOYO: We can't, because the governments that are in power—not every government, but
many of the governments that are in power—actually continue to get aid money, and so they are able to
stay in their positions.
I think it is really important to understand that it is virtually impossible to de-link the aid culture from the
political system in Africa right now. They are two sides of the same coin. Until we get rid of the aid
culture and the aid system, we will not get good leadership. We will always get flashpoints of good
leaders who somehow manage to emerge.
I am going to give the case of Rwanda. If you haven't been to Rwanda, it's an amazing country. I feel
guilty because I'm actually a Zambian. I have to say if I weren't Zambian I would wish I were Rwandan.
It is an amazing country. What the president is doing there is unfathomable. They've got incredible
infrastructure. He is incredibly focused on getting Rwanda off of aid.
However, I have to say I left there quite saddened, because I realized that as animated as President
Kagame was, he is one individual. Right now he is getting a lot of flak from the donors, saying, "You need
to take more aid money." He is really adamant. If you ever get a chance to see him in action you should.
He's just something else.
But the risk is that he is just one person and one day he won't be president anymore. It is so clear to me
that it is very easy—there's almost a policy recidivism, in the sense that it is so much easier to say, "I
can't be bothered to go and talk to 1,000 investors, maybe 300 of whom will lend to me. I'd rather sit
here and call the World Bank and say, 'Listen.'"
And think about this: this is Rwanda 15 years after the genocide. If there's one country in Africa that
could guilt-trip all of us, it's Rwanda. They could pick up the phone and say, "You forgot us during the
genocide. You give us more money." Most of us would be happy to write a check, just out of guilt.
But here is a president—70 percent of his budget is in aid—and he is going out there and saying, "I'm
sorry, we have to take the harder route, which is we have to get off of aid." We have to ask the question:
Why would he say that? My book has got a number of quotes. It's a very public thing. He is very much
against it.
He does look at the economic arguments, but his arguments are more philosophical. He says, "You
cannot expect me to encourage Rwandans to be entrepreneurial and innovative in a place where they
actually are completely burdened by an aid culture, where they have no incentive to actually do anything,
because somebody is underwriting their business."
So yes, leadership is critical. But I think that it is an artifact of an economic system where we have a
middle class that will vote out bad leaders. I mean Thabo Mbeki with that type of a remark should have
been voted out. It's completely absurd. However, you are not going to get that type of a system if Thabo
Mbeki is sitting on a pile of aid coming in and doesn't have to go anywhere. He can sit there for years.
Obviously that is not the case in South Africa.
QUESTION: First of all, I salute your courage. I can only imagine the sort of attacks you will continue to
come under for having the courage to say what you are saying. There is a lot to be said for it. But I think
there are important nuances which perhaps in a very brief presentation like this you didn't bring across.
First of all, on Rwanda, I agree with you that remarkable things have happened there. It is the first
country I know of in Africa where cabinet meetings are now held electronically. All cabinet memos are
submitted, electronically processed. It's extraordinary. More than half the parliamentarians are women.
The president of the National Assembly is a woman. They have made remarkable strides since the
genocide. That is very true.
But you made some comments about civil war in Africa. A lot has changed over the past 10-15 years.
There are far fewer civil wars. Sierra Leone, Liberia, Burundi, DRC (except the east), Angola—so many of
the wars have come to an end. So let's acknowledge the progress in terms of an end of war and
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movement towards some form of democracy.
Let's acknowledge the fact that the African Union, in the Constitutive Act of the African Union, now a
policy which used to be one of non-interference is one now of non-indifference. The African Union no
longer accepts African countries where changes are unconstitutional. That's why Madagascar has been
suspended, Guinea has been suspended, Mauritania has been suspended. That's progress. It sends a very
important signal that there is a commitment to constitutionality. There is a lot more to be done, but it is
an important step forward.
Now, very quickly on the economic side, I think it is important to acknowledge many countries in Africa
are making strides to make it easier for you to get a business license in less than two years. There has
been some significant progress in some countries. I think it is important.
And then, regional integration also, please acknowledge SADC and Ecowas. Important steps have been
taken to improve regional integration.
So now that you have helped to spark this debate, how do you see the debate, a very legitimate one you
have helped to provoke, unfolding and what are your plans to try and get the debate to be even more
DAMBISA MOYO: I'm sorry if I have given people this Doomsday scenario for Africa. Let me just say a
few positive things. Thank you for underscoring that.
Africa now has 15 stock markets, over 500 stocks that trade on stock exchanges. Eighty-five percent of
them are non-commodities, so actually we are much more diversified. We are seeing banking and
telecommunications and so on.
There is progress. Sixteen countries have got credit ratings.
Yes, there have been some ostensibly democratic elections that have occurred.
But all this progress is in spite of aid, not because of it, and we are here to discuss aid. So yes, there
needs to be much more movement in the right direction. I still actually maintain that things like SADC,
COMESA, Ecowas, and so on—these are the big regional organizations in Africa—are doing way too little.
You have given the example of SADC. My country is a member of SADC, which is the Southern African
Development Community. We still have multiple currencies.
We still have the Zimbabwe situation right smack in the middle. We still have a situation where you need
multiple visas to travel in the region. So what it is that they are doing is not clear to me. I think that
there are some very fundamental things that can be done quite significantly if the leadership actually
came around and took these things much more seriously. East Africa is a similar sort of situation.
The good news with respect to the debate is that I feel very, very happy that I have been invited, not just
by sort of libertarian or left-wing institutions to speak about these issues, but also the purveyors of the
aid system themselves. So tomorrow I am going to Washington to meet with IMF and World Bank
officials. Frankly, I am struggling to figure out what I am going to tell them, because they know all of
this. The only thing I can think about telling them is that they need to do much more, be much more
aggressive with what they are doing. So that's really going to be the big take-away.
Somebody forwarded me a letter from One, Bono's organization, which essentially labels me as a
genocidal maniac who is trying to kill off African babies because I want to cut off malaria programs and
HIV programs. That's not what I am talking about here. I'm talking about fundamental change, really
overhauling the system and giving Africa a real chance.
I do want you to leave with a positive message. I'll give you a sneak preview. I'm actually publishing an
article in Foreign Policy magazine in which the last sentence talks about aid. Everything else that I talk
about is positive things that have been happening in Africa.
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But we are here to discuss making the trajectory stick. It is not going to stick with another $50 billion of
aid coming into Africa. That is what I would say to that point.
QUESTIONER: I know that the president of Rwanda invited you to go over to speak to him. I was just
wondering whether the Zambian government has made any overtures to that effect, inviting you to go
over to help them figure out how to get off aid.
DAMBISA MOYO: The Zambian government actually has invited me. I got the invitation yesterday. So I
am going to Zambia, I am going home, which is fantastic, on Thursday.
It is, like The Economist's review of my book, kind of late, because I thought the Zambian government
would be the first ones to call me, and they weren't. I was slightly disappointed I must say. But they have
come around. They are paying for my flight, which is fantastic. They have promised to sell many copies of
the book in Zambia. I am very excited. I am going home on Thursday. I will spend two days also with the
president and his economics team to talk about specific ways to think more aggressively about these
QUESTION: Are Bill and Melinda Gates and Oprah Winfrey following the capitalist direct investment
model or the aid model or some combination thereof?
DAMBISA MOYO: I don't know the specifics of their approaches to Africa. I essentially read what I see.
Maybe you have better information.
The Oprah Winfrey Foundation, I think—I may get myself into a bit of a trap here—is much more effective
and interesting and useful to actually do stuff on the ground in Africa, to encourage Africans. I think this
whole notion of taking Africans off the continent is something we should be debating more vigorously.
Bill and Melinda Gates, again I think laudable interventions. I mean things like smallpox were eradicated
by aid interventions. But I go back to my point earlier on, that we can't build a system on Bill and Melinda
Gates. What if they change their mind? What if they are no longer interested in providing health care?
What are the African governments doing while Bill and Melinda Gates are trying to salvage the Zambian
health care sector, or whichever country they are in?
So this is about fundamental reform. Somebody quipped to me, which I think is very interesting, "If we
continue down this path, we should start telling Africans not to bother going to vote for their presidents.
They should actually start voting for Bill and Melinda Gates versus another provider of health care and
see which one provides better health care." It sounds absurd, but actually that is the logical extension of
the path that we are on right now.
I think that they have a lot of scope to do some amazing things. But if they continue with their more
charitable interventions, it's not clear to me that they will be able to get these economies to grow at 7, 8,
10 percent a year, or to actually get Africa to stand on its own.
QUESTION: I'm familiar with West Africa, especially Sierra Leone and Liberia, which have had decade-
plus-long wars, where the economies and the countries were really destroyed. Is aid appropriate to help
get post-conflict countries in a situation like that back to some kind of normal status?
DAMBISA MOYO: If Paul Collier were sitting here, he would say, "Absolutely, you need more aid." My
approach is that I think military interventions should be very much like bailout aid.
So if I may use the analogy for a quick second, right now much of Eastern Europe is going through
balance-of-payment crises, currency crises, on the back of this credit crunch. Do we think it makes sense
to give them loans to bridge this problem until things get better? Yes, I can see the argument for that.
However, there is no illusion—nobody is deluded—that that is a temporary intervention to try and get
something back to equilibrium.
I think the problem with the aid model I am talking about is that it tends to be permanent income and it
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becomes an open-ended commitment, nobody bothers to go and look for other forms of capital, and you
get into this cycle.
I think with military aid there may be scope for interventions. But what I really don't like to see is the fact
that these economies basically become completely dependent.
Let's take the DRC for example. It has, from what I understand, the largest population of UN security
staff of anywhere in the world, about 17,000 military staff on the ground. By many accounts—I've been
to Lubumbashi—the Congolese army is out of control, the government has lost control of the army. So is
the situation working, having 17,000 people on the ground? People are saying, "Actually, no. It will work
if we make it 100,000 UN officials on the ground." So maybe there are more fundamental things we
should be dealing with than just putting in these military interventions.
I don't know enough. Clearly, a place like Somalia may benefit from an aggressive intervention, military
interventions. But again, are we talking temporary or are we talking long term here?
I'm much more interested in ensuring that my children and my grandchildren can have a vibrant,
interesting life where they are productive contributors to the global economy rather than being seen as a
drag. To me, any type of aid doesn't make that a reality.
JOANNE MYERS: I thank you so much for sharing with us your knowledge.
Copyright © 2010 Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
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... The trade relations between Africa and China is at the aggregate level fairly balanced; at the individual level, some of the dyadic partnerships are not balanced in favor of China and others are imbalanced in favor of African nations, for example, Sudan and Angola. The Chinese policy in the continent of Africa has been tag "economic diplomacy" and mentions that the Chinese policy on the continent of Africa adopts a decidedly business-like approach, without political interference 13 , which permits for the pursuit of arrangements that, if properly implemented have the potential for positive outcomes [20][21][22]. African nations do have autonomy in their engagement with the Chinese; these African states are active participants that choose this relationship. While the literature has not completely addressed the drives of African leaders and their role in increasing their engagement with the Chinese, there is the need to know that African consent and agency is essential for this cooperation [4,5]. ...
... So as to make significant headway it is vital that Nigerian government pay special attention to revitalizing infrastructure. As a result, Nigeria government is looking to China to play a role in the development of Nigeria infrastructure 22 . Corporate Nigeria 2010/2011 23 asserts that "Nigeria is dealing with the problem of transforming transport infrastructure that does not meet the need 21 The point was raised by two officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and one in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation and corroborated by a panel of academics at NIIA. 22 Phone Interview with AfDB economist, January 27, 2017, Abuja and corroborated by government officials, as well as NIIA academics. ...
... As a result, Nigeria government is looking to China to play a role in the development of Nigeria infrastructure 22 . Corporate Nigeria 2010/2011 23 asserts that "Nigeria is dealing with the problem of transforming transport infrastructure that does not meet the need 21 The point was raised by two officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and one in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation and corroborated by a panel of academics at NIIA. 22 Phone Interview with AfDB economist, January 27, 2017, Abuja and corroborated by government officials, as well as NIIA academics. 23 A business trade and investment guide (magazine) published by Corporate Guides International and Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC). of a modern economy. ...
... These two examples illustrate two different primary goals of such development aid interventions envisioned by the project leaders. To date, there is a lot of debate about the effectiveness of development aid projects to reach the projects' goals (e.g., Moyo, 2009; Sachs, 2005). One example that illustrates the ineffectiveness of such an intervention is the introduction of an improved cooking stove in India (Hanna, Duflo, & Greenstone, 2012). ...
... However, these interventions may also stimulate cultural changes that were not intended, such as less positive side effects of decreased social cohesion or even conflict genesis. Although the effectiveness of development aid to reduce poverty is highly debated (e.g., Moyo, 2009; Sachs, 2005), it is undeniably the case that development aid is a good vehicle for studying cultural change attempts. Over the past years, we have conducted various studies examining the psychological and cultural effects of these aid programs. ...
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To date, the study of societal change in social and political psychology has been dominated by an intergroup relations research agenda. But in addition to intergroup dynamics, there are other major pathways to societal change and emancipation, which are almost never systematically considered in psychological research. The distribution of technologies (e.g., “ICT for development”) or money (e.g., microcredits) are among the supposed drivers of societal change. Many development aid projects are anchored in expectations about the effect that such instruments have on anticipated primary goals and the emancipation of particular groups (such as women). In the current paper, we begin by reviewing theories in the field of social change. Social psychological theories mainly address the conditions under which social change stimulated by intergroup dynamics is likely to occur, while other mainly historical and sociological research has focused on the role of different technologies as drivers of social change in history. Next, we review recent research focusing on the anticipated primary goals and (often) unanticipated psychological and cultural changes resulting from development aid interventions, presenting two examples of such interventions in Ethiopia and Sri Lanka in more detail. We suggest that (1) development aid projects can instigate profound psychological and cultural change and (2) that the pathways to such changes are markedly different from those traditionally examined in the literature. At the political level, we reflect on the unanticipated side effects of development aid. We conclude with some recommendations for practice following from the research described.
... Similar results were documented in the works of Gupta et al. (2003) in the context of 137 developing economies and Pack et al. (1993) for the case of the Dominican Republic. In the African countries context, Collier (2007) and Whiteside (2010) also argued that the failure of foreign aid's effectiveness in Africa was due to corruption. ...
Full-text available
A great deal of the foreign aid–growth literature finds that the net effect of aggregate aid on total growth appears to be insignificant. This study argues that this aid–growth nexus can be better explained by testing the variation responses for each of growth sectors to their corresponding allocated aid inflows. It aims to investigate the heterogeneous effects of sectorally allocated aid inflows on their corresponding growth sectors (industry, agriculture and services) using data from 37 Sub-Saharan African and MENA-recipient developing nations from 1996 to 2017. We constructed two measures; one is the (SAASG) Sectoral-Allocated-Aid-for Sectoral-Growth, which was used as a major measure in the first two econometric specifications, and another one was the revised Clemens early-impact aid categories measure, which was used as the secondary measure in the third specification. The seemingly unrelated regression framework (SUR) was employed as the basic estimation approach, while the GMM approach was used to check robustness. The empirical findings revealed clear systematic impacts associated with aid distributed to each sector of growth, which may explain why the net effect of overall aid on total growth appears to be insignificant. The findings show that allocated aid inflows have a strong positive impact on agricultural growth, helping boost overall growth, whereas aid allocated to the service and industrial growth sectors tends to minimize the net benefits of total aid on growth due to financial and institutional reasons. The success of the planned scaling-up of aid to recipient countries depends on the financial system, institutional quality policies, and the ability to design a way to maintain incentives in the MENA and SSA regions’ selected recipient countries to overcome structural bottlenecks of sectoral growth.
... So in order to attain the particular objective, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is essential. Meece & Holt (1993), Moyo (2009) and Utvaer & Haugan (2016) defines extrinsic motivation as the one in which people are involved in different activities because of external reward (marks, grades, and punishment and are interested in how others perceive them. Whereas intrinsic motivation is the one in which people are engaged in different activities due to internal wishes and desires and apply different learning strategies for achieving a learning outcome (Ames & Archer, 1988;Dweck & Leggett, 1988) and engage in fun learning rather than rote learning (Ryan & Deci, 2000, 2017. ...
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In today’s global world, online teaching and learning have become an important part of the education system. In Pakistan, Covid-19 has revolutionized the teaching methodology from traditional face-to-face classes to online classes due to the closure of educational institutes. Despite various efforts made by HEC, universities, and teachers, yet students face problems in online classes. Therefore, the present study aims to explore the perceptions of undergraduate psychology students towards online engagement in ESP classes using self-determination theory (SDT). For this purpose, a qualitative study has been utilized and data has been collected in two stages using sociolinguistic profiles and interviews. The data was collected using a purposive sampling size from 35 psychology students enrolled in ESP online course. The data from the sociolinguistic profile has been analyzed using frequency analysis and interview data has been codified for thematic analysis. The findings suggest that both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation play an equal part in online learning. Besides this, the learners reported that learning can happen within online classes, depending on the teacher’s methodology and strategies in online classes. The results are effective for higher education institutes in determining the level of motivation and perceptions respondents have while taking ESP courses online, which can be made interactive by developing outcome-based courses with the integration of technology to fit the needs of modern education in the post-Covid-19 world.
... Therefore, it will be more beneficial to seek for a home-grown policy based on selfmotivation on how to fit into the global value chain. Even the much-touted aid to Africa, instead of helping in the continent's development, contributed to trapping many countries in the continent into a cycle of corruption, slower economic growth, and poverty, of which cutting off the flow would be far more beneficial (Moyo, 2009;Moyo and Myers, 2009). ...
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The study explored pro-growth corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies of large firms in township economies of Cape Town in South Africa. The reasoning behind the choice of Cape Town for this study was due to the entrenched economic inequalities in Cape Town which stems from the apartheid governance system that was abolished in 1994. The study argued that the remnants of the apartheid governance are still prevalent and frames the township economies of the Cape Flats. The study found out that the endogenous growth of the Cape Flats township economies has been stunted and this aggravated the crime and murder rates in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Such an unfortunate trajectory still exists three decades after the abolishment of the apartheid system that propelled the minority races to higher echelons of wealth whilst leaving the black majority in adject poverty. These narratives have seen South Africa to be measured as one of the most unequal countries in the world. The study argued that township economies can be used to stimulate endogenous economic growth by large corporations working in collaboration with institutional stakeholders through CSR programmes that are focused on pro-growth strategies. The pro-growth CSR strategies are arguably strategic and sustainable for township economies when they are underpinned by community economic development (CED) programmes, enterprise development (ED) programmes and the local development planning (LDP) programmes. The study puts forward a township economies capacity building CSR framework that can inform CSR initiatives and policies for large companies and listed companies operating within township economies. The social capital theory was used to anchor the study as it postulates that positive social capital will increase the community wealth as well as benefiting individuals within the network structures of township economies. It therefore explores the relationships and classes of selected townships’ social networks of the business forums, township entrepreneurs, large firms, and local authority leaderships. The study was an embedded case study of the Cape Flats township economy pro-growth strategies within a period of ten years. The findings were limited to an inductive approach as no known similar study has been conducted before. The study was premised on the constructivism ontological and epistemological philosophical approach.
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This is an introduction to the UNU-WIDER special issue of World Development on aid policy and the macroeconomic management of aid. We provide an overview of the 10 studies, grouping them under three sub-themes: the aid–growth relationship; the supply-side of aid (including its level, volatility, and coordination of donors); and the macroeconomic framework around aid. The studies in the special issue demonstrate the centrality of research methodology, the importance of disaggregation, and the need to account for country-specific situations and problems. This introduction concludes that the sometimes “over heated” debate on aid needs redirecting toward more rigorous analysis, in which the advantages—and disadvantages—of using aid for development can be evaluated in a calmer manner.
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Hafner-Burton, Emilie and James Ron. (2012) The Latin Bias: Regions, the Anglo-American Media, and Human Rights. International Studies Quarterly, doi: 10.1111/isqu.12023 © 2012 International Studies Association Media attention is unevenly allocated across global human rights problems, prompting anger, frustration, and recrimination in the international system. This article demonstrates that from 1981 to 2000, three leading Anglo-American media sources disproportionately covered Latin American abuses, in human rights terms, as compared to other world regions. This “Latin Human Rights Bias” runs counter to broader trends within the Anglo-American general coverage of foreign news, where Latin America’s share of reporting is far smaller. The Bias is partially explained by the region’s proximity to the United States (US), its relevance to US policy debates, and by path dependency. A significant portion of the Latin Bias remains unexplained, however, despite our best attempts to rigorously model explanations offered by leading Western journalists. These findings suggest that geographic regions are an important factor in the media’s perception of global human rights problems and that both human rights policymakers and scholars may be inappropriately drawing general lessons from regionally specific and biased patterns. We conclude with suggestions for future research.
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This paper examines which factors can explain the allocation of aid by four regional development banks as well as three United Nations agencies. The results suggest the following: Most donors examined also exhibit a bias apparent in bilateral aid allocation in favor of less populous countries. Some of them also share another bias of bilateral donors who give more aid to their former colonies. However, the three United Nations agencies contravene a third bias of bilateral aid allocation and provide more aid to countries geographically more distant from the centers of the Western world. While the regional development banks with the possible exception of the Inter-American one focus exclusively on economic need as measured by per capita income, the three United Nations agencies also take into account human development need in their aid allocation as measured by the Physical Quality of Life Index. Some tentative evidence is found that respect for political freedom is rewarded with higher aid receipts at the aggregate multilateral level and by the Inter-American Development Bank as well as perhaps, in a few estimations, by two of the three United Nations agencies. Neither respect for personal integrity rights nor low levels of perceived corruption play any role in the allocation of aid by the donors looked at. In general, higher military expenditures and arms imports are not associated with higher aid receipts, with a few notable exceptions.
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Given Sub-Saharan Africa's enormous resource needs for growth, poverty reduction, and other Millennium Development Goals, the development community has little choice but to continue to explore new sources of financing, innovative private-to-private sector solutions, and public-private partnerships to mobilize additional international financing. The paper suggests several new instruments for improving access to capital. An analysis of country creditworthiness suggests that many countries in the region may be more creditworthy than previously believed. Establishing sovereign rating benchmarks and credit enhancement through guarantee instruments provided by multilateral aid agencies would facilitate market access. Creative financial structuring, such as the International Financing Facility for Immunization, would help front-load aid commitments, although these may not result in additional financing in the long run. Preliminary estimates suggest that Sub-Saharan African countries can potentially raise USD 1-3 billion by reducing the cost of international migrant remittances, USD 5-10 billion by issuing diaspora bonds, and USD 17 billion by securitizing future remittances and other future receivables. African countries that have recently received debt relief however need to be cautious when resorting to market-based borrowing.
Recent events have drawn attention to the issue of contagion. Dependencies among countries will cause shocks to an individual country (or group of countries) to affect other countries, often on a regional basis. Such linkages are not contagion, but an increase in cross-market linkages after a shock to one country could be contagion. Weak countries' economic fundamentals, macro-similarities and exposures to certain type of financial agents and associated transmission channels are found to increase the risk of sudden spillovers. And the state of the international financial system can also play a role. Although much of contagion need not represent irrational behavior on the part of investors, much is still unknown what makes countries vulnerable to contagion and through which precise mechanisms it is transmitted. It is clear nevertheless that volatility will remain and that specific measures at the national level and the international financial architecture might be necessary to reduce these risks, manage their impact, and recover as efficiently as possible.
Aid dependence can potentially undermine the quality of governance and public sector institutions by weakening accountability, encouraging rent-seeking and corruption, fomenting conflict over control of aid funds, siphoning off scarce talent from the bureaucracy, and alleviating pressures to reform inefficient policies and institutions. Analyses of cross-country data in this paper provide evidence that higher aid levels erode the quality of governance, as measured by indices of bureaucratic quality, corruption, and the rule of law. These findings support the need for donors to develop less costly and less intrusive ways of disseminating state-of-the-art knowledge on public sector reform in developing countries.
In this paper I use a cross-country data set to analyze the relationship between trade orientation, trade distortions and growth. I first develop a simple endogenous growth model that emphasizes the process of technological absorption in small developing countries. According to this model countries that liberalize their international trade and become more open will tend to grow faster. Whether this higher growth is permanent, or only a short-run result, will depend on the relative size of some key parameters. Using nine alternative indicators of trade orientation I find out that the data supports the view that more open economies tend to grow faster than economies with trade distortions. The results are robust to the method of estimation, to correction for errors in variables and for the deletion of outliers. I finally argue that future research in the area should move towards the empirical investigation of the microeconomics of technological innovations and growth.
We estimate the impact of foreign aid on corruption using geographical and cultural distance to the donor countries as instrumental variables to assess causality. Aid decreases corruption. Our results are statistically and economically significant and robust to different controls.
The aid effectiveness literature contains about 100 papers that see aid as a treatment given to poor countries to generate development. 68 of these papers provide a total of 543 comparable estimates of the effect of aid on growth, which are the data of our meta-analysis. We consider two questions: (Q1) Are the estimates converging to a clear result over time as aid agencies gain experience, models become better and data accumulates? We find that the results do have a positive average, but it is small, insignificant and falling. (Q2) Can we identify the main factors that explain the large differences in the results? We find that much of the variation between studies can be attributed to publication outlet, institutional affiliation, data and specification differences. However, some of the difference between studies is real. In particular, the aid-growth effect is stronger for Asian countries. The meta-analysis indicates also the existence of indirect channels, which need to be further explored.
Ten of the 15 seats on the U.N. Security Council are held by rotating members serving two-year terms. We find that a country's U.S. aid increases by 59 percent and its U.N. aid by 8 percent when it rotates onto the council. This effect increases during years in which key diplomatic events take place (when members' votes should be especially valuable), and the timing of the effect closely tracks a country's election to, and exit from, the council. Finally, the U.N. results appear to be driven by UNICEF, an organization over which the United States has historically exerted great control.
Past research on aid and growth is flawed because it typically examines the impact of aggregate aid on growth over a short period, usually four years, while significant portions of aid are unlikely to affect growth in such a brief time. We divide aid into three categories: (1) emergency and humanitarian aid (likely to be negatively correlated with growth); (2) aid that affects growth only over the long term, if at all, such as aid to support democracy, the environment, health, or education (likely to have no relationship to growth over four years); and (3) aid that plausibly could stimulate growth in four years, including budget and balance of payments support, investments in infrastructure, and aid for productive sectors such as agriculture and industry. Our focus is on the third group, which accounts for about 45% of all aid flows. We find a positive, causal relationship between this 'short-impact' aid and economic growth (with diminishing returns) over a four-year period. The impact is large: at least two-to-three times larger than in studies using aggregate aid. Even at a conservatively high discount rate, at the mean a $1 increase in short-impact aid raises output (and income) by $8 in present value in the typical country. From a different perspective, we find that higher-than-average short-impact aid to sub-Saharan Africa raised per capita growth rates there by about one percentage point over the growth that would have been achieved by average aid flows. The results are highly statistically significant and stand up to a demanding array of tests, including various specifications, endogeneity structures, and treatment of influential observations. The basic result does not depend crucially on a recipient's level of income or quality of institutions and policies; we find that short-impact aid causes growth, on average, regardless of these characteristics. However, we find some evidence that the impact on growth is somewhat larger in countries with stronger institutions or longer life expectancies (better health). We also find a significant negative relationship between debt repayments and growth. We make no statement on, and do not attempt to measure, any additional long-run effects of aid; four-year panel regressions are not an appropriate tool to examine those relationships.