George Ayittey on “Dead Aid” To Africa – Someone The Barbados Government Should Listen To


Africa – Barbados Relations

For years, Barbados as a country has supported the Pan African movement on the island and in Africa itself — admittedly less so since the death of Ikael Tafari —  but the political and social will to do so continues even if Barbadians do not have deep pockets at the present moment. Unfortunately, to date our intergovernmental and business relations with Africa have only borne fruit of non-viable pie in the sky and a tourism scam gone horribly wrong.

Before we continue further down our current path, anyone in Barbados who has anything to do with Africa is well advised to consider the ideas and passion of Ghanaian economist George Ayittey and author Dambisa Moyo. Moyo wrote “Dead Aid: Why aid is not working and how there is a better way for Africa”.

Most disturbing though, are Ayittey’s and Moyo’s observations that African countries that reject international aid do far better than those countries that embrace the foreign aid model. Ayittey has also championed the argument that “Africa is poor because she is not free”, that the primary cause of African poverty is less a result of the oppression and mismanagement by colonial powers, but rather a result of modern oppressive native autocrats. He also goes beyond criticism to advocate for specific ways to address the abuses of the past and present; specifically he calls for democratic government, debt reexamination, modernized infrastructure, free market economics, and free trade to promote development.*

Defeating The Mentality Of Barbados As A Beggar Nation

All this makes one have thoughts about the rejoicing that goes on around Barbados [ at least by the politicians and media ] every time some new “gifts” arrive from China, the United States or Cuba. Don’t forget folks, we live in a country where the newspapers and the government seem to think it’s a huge accomplishment when the big boys deal Barbados another loan and plunge us further into debt. The newspapers celebrate every time the government receives another 5 million from the Caribbean Development Bank like it is an asset instead of a liability for the future.

Can anyone tell us what the last $10 million European Union sugar grant to Barbados was used for? Can anyone point to a benefit or a national asset that resulted from the $10 million?

Come on BLP and DLP supporters —  where did the money go? Tell us what benefit resulted for the country!

Maybe Africa isn’t as far away as some might think.

Further Reading

Ted Blog: George Ayittey on “Dead Aid”

Africa Unchained Blog: Issues and solutions raised by George Ayittey’s latest book ‘Africa Unchained’.

* These two sentences were lifted from the Wikipedia entry for George Ayittey. Everything else is original BFP material.


Filed under Africa, Barbados

14 responses to “George Ayittey on “Dead Aid” To Africa – Someone The Barbados Government Should Listen To

  1. Bajangal

    Excellent article BFP and so very true .

    Will be interesting to see how your critics attack you on this one!!!

  2. Red Lake Lassie

    Hello DLP and BLP supporters! Answer the question about the sugar money!

  3. Sad To Say

    I heard an interesting interview with Dambisa Moyo this weekend on BBC – you can hear her by copying and pasting

  4. ru4real

    Dambisa Moyo is great everyone should listen to her.

  5. Sad To Say

    I am in LOVE with Dambisa. I LOVE intellectually stimulating women.

  6. marvinbareback

    An all-too-true remark about foreign aid was that “Aid is from poor people in rich countries giving to rich people in poor countries”. When giving aid, donors need to be mindful of how the charity is actually given to the beneficiaries. Mugabe confiscated foreign food aid and other charitable donations and distributed it to his party faithful at the expense of those really in need. The EU funding to Barbados for sugar is more like trade vs. aid. Those funds should be used to bolster the sugar industry or assist in developing new crops or industries that can bring in foreign exchange. However, in reality, the money probably went to help bail out CLICO.

  7. crossroads

    wow :)!

  8. crossroads

    A nation of beggars and people waiting for a free hand out ?

  9. Chicago

    Excellent article BFP. Proof is in the eating and I don’t see any DLP or BLP government supporters jumping in to inform us where the last ten million EU grant was spent. I want someone to point to a real result or asset!

    Hello BLP government types, Hello DLP. WHERE IS THE MONEY?

  10. Jodiperry

    I am relieved to see that BFP now finds the ‘aid’ industry in Africa ‘disturbing’. Not for the same reasons that I do but it’s a start at least.

    I posted a comment years ago outlining the EU/US slight of hands regarding aid in Africa and was ridiculed for my efforts. Moyo claims that Africa received 1 trillion dollars in aid over the past 40 years. I challenge her or anyone provide any evidence of this money actually leaving the EU/US banks and being deposited in banks/institutions in Africa or being pocketed by corrupt officials.

    The US/EU have been running a ‘Stanford’ type aid scheme in Africa for years where they pledge billions of dollars for Africa which is then handed out to US/EU construction companies, NGOs and farming industries to provide services and goods for Africa. Africa is later on stuck with a ‘debt’ of billions of dollars that was never circulated in the economy.

  11. Message to DLP Member

    DLP Member, answer the question!!!

    “Can anyone tell us what the last $10 million European Union sugar grant to Barbados was used for? Can anyone point to a benefit or a national asset that resulted from the $10 million?”

  12. me

    Some good points are being made here, but one must be careful not to fall into the error of good old colonial-style dark-on-dark hatin’.

    I’ve known too many hard-working Africans as well as Barbadians over the years to be comfortable with an article that comes within a hair of condemning peoples on the basis of the actions of politicians.

    Condemning “Africa” on such basis sounds like hating Canadians because of the actions of George Bush, or hating Barbadians because of the excesses of Seaga.

    Post-colonial self-hatred is a seductive trap for the thinking native.

  13. Pingback: President Obama Slams African Leadership – West, Colonialism, Neo-Colonialism “Cannot Be Blamed For African Catastrophe Of Last 20 Years” « Barbados Free Press

  14. mrblue68

    Although I generally agree with the idea, there are certain caveats that she has left out (in my view).

    One, the corruption of and impact of MNCs in Africa. That would have stop as well. Try telling the international community that, along with giving up aid, they must now also stop raping Africa of its resources?

    Second, the bi-lateral nature of donor aid, i.e. it is a deal between. governments. I would argue that civil society in Africa should continue to receive aid, but all aid to governments should stop.

    But my first point is MUCH more important. Without aid, there will be a vacuum that the amoral private sector would quickly fill, with even worse consequences.

    And that has always been my problem with the perspective ideology of the west: they never get at the core issues but rather navigate around the perimeter.

    In other words, Moyo is clever, no doubt, but she is also narrow minded. But, after all, she is a trained economist.