Chicken and Egg

Does Africa get aid because it is poor or is it poor because it gets aid? A Kenyan economist speaking to Der Spiegel thinks the latter. Readers?

About Chirol

Sir Ignatius Valentine Chirol (1852 - 1929) was a journalist, prolific author, world historian, and British diplomat. He began his career as a foreign correspondent and later became editor of the London Times. After two decades as a journalist he joined Her Majesty's Foreign Ministry as a diplomat and was subsequently knighted for his distinguished service as a foreign affairs advisor. Additionally, he wrote a dozen books on foreign affairs including The Far Eastern Question (1896), Serbia and the Serbs (1914), The End of the Ottoman Empire (1920) and The Egyptian Problem (1921). He is generally credited with popularizing "Middle East" in reference to the Arabian Peninsula with his book The Middle Eastern Question (1903). "Chirol" is a US citizen and graduate student studying Defense and Strategic Studies and government contractor. As with the historical Chirol, he has traveled to over two dozen countries and lived abroad for many years. Chirol speaks English and German fluently with basic knowledge of manyl of others.
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5 Responses to Chicken and Egg

  1. subadei says:

    Shikwati makes one hell of an argument to support the latter charge.

    “Why do we get these mountains of clothes? No one is freezing here. Instead, our tailors lose their livlihoods. ”

    The same could be said regarding African agriculture. A huge influx of foreign, cheap maize puts indigenous farmers out of business and feeds the mass poverty rather than staunching it. This dynamic combined with the incredible amount of bureaucratic and governmental corruption creates an endless cycle.

    Of course the idea of simply shutting off the faucet is virtual political suicide. Imagine Bono’s response to President or Prime Minister X declaration that Afri-Charity was no more.

  2. jomama says:

    Ain’t rocket science.

    And Shikwati’s basic premise applies to all to anyone, anywhere.

    But, as the man said, the institutional vested interests will last as long
    as there’s money behind them. If they eliminated hunger, they would
    wither and die.

  3. Hamilton says:

    I somehow suspect it is a combination of aid wrecking domestic markets, disease, tribalism, and massive corruption. If African leaders stopped the wholesale looting of their countries there would be more money to build economies. I seem to recall someone posting that 90 or more cents of every dollar that was sent to Eithopia during their famine in the 1980′s was intercepted by the government and never made it to the people.

  4. Curzon says:

    Ah, but Hamilton, Ethiopia is a very unique case, or at least the worst offender, as documented by Kaplan “in his first book.”:http://www.amazon.com/Surrender-Starve-Travels-Ethiopia-Somalia/dp/1400034523