Can Africa Survive Without Aid?

The issue of whether African countries should or should not receive foreign aid is a hotly contested issue. Foreign aid or Official development assistance has been defined by the Development Assistant Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD:2008), as those flows to countries and territories on the DAC List of ODA (Official Development Assistance) recipients and multilateral institutions i) designed to promote the economic development and welfare of developing countries and ii) the transaction is concessional in character and conveys a grant element of at least 25 per cent (calculated at a rate of discount of 10 per cent).The presence and availability of foreign aid has prompted debates centred on the impact of foreign aid in African countries.

African countries are in dire need of foreign aid as it is plagued by a number of factors that make it impossible for it to stand on its own. Africa has highest rampaging poverty rates and these are perpetuated by the illicit financial flow of funds that have not been accounted for. As a result, African countries are in need of aid that involves citizens in development projects that would make their governments accountable for the illicit flow of funds.


Since African countries are classified as underdeveloped countries and there is evidence of poor road infrastructure that hinders possible growth of the countries, it is important that the African countries receive aid that will create a foundation that necessitates economic and social growth of the countries.

Youths make the majority of Africa’s population and most of them are educated but are unemployed due to their countries’ unstable economic situations. 


The difficult economic circumstances faced by the youths and their families is another viable reason for the need of foreign aid so that the countries can receive aids and investments that would create jobs for the leaders of tomorrow and contribute to their active engagement in issues that concern them. This is emphasized by (Randhawa 2012) who states that the availability of foreign aid raises the standards of living as foreign aid tends to raise the level of national productivity, income and employment, which, in turn, lead to real wages for labour, lower prices for consumers and rise in their standard of living.


In the same vein, there is need for foreign intervention on matters related to education and medication in African countries. Availability of project aid would assist in the promotion and enhancement of learning and medical facilities, giving the people from unfortunate backgrounds a chance to access their basic Human rights to health and health care, and to education.


On the other hand, in her book, Dead Aid, the Zambian born Economist Dambisa Moyo argues that aid is the cancer that cripples the accountability of African State stakeholders and leaders. She says, ‘aid has helped make the poor poorer, and growth slower. ’Thus, foreign aid is deemed as cultivating the dependency syndrome which is seen as a retrogressive element, that stifles Africa’s ability to stand on its own considering that Africa is richly blessed with natural resources and indigenous knowledge systems that can sustain it if properly managed. Hence, aid cannot be viewed as a remedy.

In conclusion, it is an open secret that Africa has abundant resources that consist of minerals, land, fertile lands, good climate condition for food production so that it can sustain itself as a continent however, the citizens yearn for foreign aid so that they can be equipped with skills that can aid in promoting development and economic growth within the continent as well as fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals. Also, the poverty of Africa stems from government and top officials who misappropriate funds. Hence, foreign aid is needed to change some African governments.


By Charity Matizanadzo


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