Africa Doesn't Matter: How the West Has Failed the Poorest Continent and What We Can Do About It

Overview


What happens to the billions of aid dollars given yearly? Why do trade rules that fail African countries also cost us at the checkout line? Why don’t the African people matter? In this engaging, jargon-free, reader-friendly guide, longtime aid worker and diplomat Giles Bolton offers his radical analysis of the problems Africa faces, drawing on years of first-hand experience on the ground. Bolton illustrates how the needs of African states exceed their budgets, leaving a gap for aid to fill; how the way Western ...
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Africa Doesn't Matter: How the West Has Failed the Poorest Continent and What We Can Do About It

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Overview


What happens to the billions of aid dollars given yearly? Why do trade rules that fail African countries also cost us at the checkout line? Why don’t the African people matter? In this engaging, jargon-free, reader-friendly guide, longtime aid worker and diplomat Giles Bolton offers his radical analysis of the problems Africa faces, drawing on years of first-hand experience on the ground. Bolton illustrates how the needs of African states exceed their budgets, leaving a gap for aid to fill; how the way Western aid is delivered renders it largely ineffective; and how trade rules and globalization have worked against African development.
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Editorial Reviews

Financial Times
“A vivid account of the everyday problems facing Africa . . . . Thought-provoking.”
Publishers Weekly

Aid worker Bolton disappoints in this well-intentioned guide to Africa's economic and political challenges. While the book is well organized and lucid, Bolton veers wildly from straightforward analysis to heavy-handed attempts at humor (Bolton compares Democratic Republic of Congo president Kabila to Sean "P. Diddy" Combs). Graver still, the author condescends to his readers when he debunks "common" myths that he believes readers might hold about Africa ("Africa is overpopulated and they keep having too many children"; "Africa Has Many Dangerous Animals") and tests readers' patience with irrelevant asides ("Dressing to Meet a Real Minister of Finance") and an occasionally preachy tone. When discussing possible solutions to Africa's problems, Bolton acknowledges that "the weakest part of books like this... tends to be when they reach proposed solutions" and proceeds to stumble similarly, offering tepid ways to make a difference ("Write!"; "Sign petitions"; "Protest"). The final product is an earnest book with high potential that ends up reading more like a dumbed-down primer than a substantive introduction to the state of affairs in Africa. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611453065
  • Publisher: Arcade Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/1/2012
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Giles Bolton has worked in Africa and development for more than ten years as an aid worker and diplomat, with postings in Kenya and Rwanda. He now advises African governments on their relationships with the West. He lives in London, England.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

POVERTY: Impossible Choices

1 A Life Quite Ordinary 17

2 Africa Scrambled 31

3 President for a Day 51

AID: Good Intentions

4 Where Does Your Money Go? 73

5 Pass the Hat-Charity Ad 81

6 Budget or Fudge It-National Aid 97

Interlude: Gamblers Required 119

7 Airily Conditioned-International Aid 127

8 Aid Betrayed 145

TRADE: Dusty Plains and Unlevel Playing Fields

9 In Theory 165

10 Out of Africa 173

11 Into Africa 192

12 It Doesn't Work for You Either 211

GLOBALIZATION: Might and Right

13 Africa Doesn't Matter 235

14 Screw You, Too 255

CHANGE: Action Heroes

15 What Happens Next? 275

16 Powerless or Complacent? 288

17 Profit in Virtue 306

18 Guilt or Glory 323

Acknowledgments 333

Appendix 1 National Ad Donors 337

Appendix 2 United Nations Agencies in Africa 339

Notes 341

Bibliography 349

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