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Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa
     

Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa

3.8 13
by Dambisa Moyo, Niall Ferguson (Foreword by)
 

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A national bestseller, Dead Aid unflinchingly confronts one of the greatest myths of our time: that billions of dollars in aid sent from wealthy countries to developing African nations has helped to reduce poverty and increase growth. In fact, poverty levels continue to escalate and growth rates have steadily declined—and millions continue to suffer

Overview

A national bestseller, Dead Aid unflinchingly confronts one of the greatest myths of our time: that billions of dollars in aid sent from wealthy countries to developing African nations has helped to reduce poverty and increase growth. In fact, poverty levels continue to escalate and growth rates have steadily declined—and millions continue to suffer. Debunking the current model of international aid promoted by both Hollywood celebrities and policy makers, Dambisa Moyo offers a bold new road map for financing development of the world's poorest countries.

Much debated in the United States and the United Kingdom on publication, Dead Aid is an unsettling yet optimistic work, a powerful challenge to the assumptions and arguments that support a profoundly misguided development policy in Africa. And it is a clarion call to a new, more hopeful vision of how to address the desperate poverty that plagues millions.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Moyo is right to raise her voice, and she should be heard if African nations and other poor countries are to move in the right direction.” —Jagdish Bhagwati, Foreign Affairs

“Moyo presents a refreshing view.” —Lisa Miller, Newsweek

“A tightly argued brief . . . Vivid.” —Matthew Rees, The Wall Street Journal

“An incendiary new book . . . Here is a refreshing voice . . . What makes Dead Aid so powerful is that it's a double-barrelled shotgun of a book. With the first barrel, Moyo demolishes all the most cherished myths about aid being a good thing. But with the second, crucially, she goes on to explain what the West could be doing instead.” —Christopher Hart, The Daily Mail

“Dambisa Moyo is to aid what Ayaan Hirsi Ali is to Islam. Here is an African woman, articulate, smart, glamorous, delivering a message of brazen political incorrectness: cut aid to Africa. Aid, she argues, has not merely failed to work; it has compounded Africa's problems. Moyo cannot be dismissed as a crank . . . She catalogues evidence, both statistical and anecdotal . . . The core of her argument is that there is a better alternative [and it deserves] to be taken seriously.” —Paul Collier, The Independent

“The wisdom contained here--if absorbed by African and global policymakers--will turn this chronically depressed continent into an inspiring miracle of dazzling economic growth.” —STEVE FORBES, President and Chief Executive Officer of Forbes and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes magazine

“Dambisa Moyo makes a compelling case for a new approach in Africa. Her message is that Africa's time is now. It is time for Africans to assume full control over their economic and political destiny. Africans should grasp the many means and opportunities available to them for improving the quality of life. Dambisa is hard--perhaps too hard--on the role of aid. But her central point is indisputable. The determination of Africans, and genuine partnership between Africa and the rest of the world, is the basis for growth and development.” —KOFI ANNAN, former Secretary-General of the United Nations

Dead Aid is an important book . . . at the very least, [it] provides a first step towards changing how America, and the world, thinks about how to help Africa.” —Heather Wilhelm, Real Clear World

Dead Aid is a wonderfully liberating book.” —Doug Bandow, The Washington Times

“[Moyo's] book offers an analytical, researched approach to restoring life and sufficiency in this developing continent. Dead Aid calls for a new way of thinking . . . After unraveling the myth created by many policymakers and celebrities that Africa simply needs more charity, Moyo poses a series of hopeful alternatives . . . Moyo speaks with both cultural and academic authority, unpacking the full nature of poverty and its regional impact. She unveils the sobering reality that $1 trillion in financial aid has not helped, but rather hindered African economies and their ability to grow into sustainable markets. This book offers a fresh insight into the plight of poverty and a vision for developmental change--the kind of change that could help millions.” —Curt Devine, Relevant

“Dambisa Moyo's book Dead Aid is a timely book which brings forth what we have been thinking about Western aid, but did not dare to speak out . . . Moyo has shown brilliantly that Western aid, governmental or non-governmental, couldn't help Africa in regard to transforming to a better form of social organization, by which innovation and technological development become possible . . . Moyo shows the strong correlation between increasing aid dependency, corruption and the nature of government structures in many African countries . . . In general Moyo's book is a very challenging book, and addresses our problems. It confronts those aid gurus, like Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, who manipulate the African leaders with their neo-liberal agendas. It is a very good starting point for further discussion, and can contribute to eliminating confusing ideas.” —Fekadu Bekele, Merkato Blog, Nazret.com

“A radical, counterintuitive solution to the continent's economic problems . . . [Moyo] is unequivocal, not to mention convincing.” —Jason Zasky, Failure Magazine

“The evidence assessing the impact of aid on economic growth (or the lack thereof) is comprehensive and convincing.” —Apoorva Shah, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

“Moyo's indictment of the past 50 years of aid-giving is compelling . . . [She] has written a well-informed book, and her passionate commitment to improving Africa's fortunes drips from every page.” —Jonathan Wright, Geographical

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374532123
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
03/02/2010
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
110,574
Product dimensions:
8.28(w) x 5.52(h) x 0.54(d)

Read an Excerpt

Introduction

We live in a culture of aid.

We live in a culture in which those who are better o. subscribe - both mentally and financially - to the notion that giving alms to the poor is the right thing to do. In the past fifty years, over US$1 trillion in development-related aid has been transferred from rich countries to Africa. In the past decade alone, on the back of Live 8, Make Poverty History, the Millennium Development Goals, the Millennium Challenge Account, the Africa Commission, and the 2005 G7 meeting (to name a few), millions of dollars each year have been raised in richer countries to support charities working for Africa.

We are made to believe that this is what we ought to be doing. We are accosted on the streets and goaded with pleas on aeroplane journeys; letters flow through our mail boxes and countless television appeals remind us that we have a moral imperative to give more to those who have less. At the 2001 Labour conference, the UK's Prime Minister of the time, Tony Blair, remarked that 'The State of Africa is a scar on the conscience of the world', and that the West should 'provide more aid' as, thus far, amidst the multiple problems facing Africa, the continent had received inadequate amounts of aid.¹

Deep in every liberal sensibility is a profound sense that in a world of moral uncertainty one idea is sacred, one belief cannot be compromised: the rich should help the poor, and the form of this help should be aid.

The pop culture of aid has bolstered these misconceptions. Aid has become part of the entertainment industry. Media figures, film stars, rock legends eagerly embrace aid, proselytize the need for it, upbraid us for not giving enough, scold governments for not doing enough - and governments respond in kind, fearful of losing popularity and desperate to win favour. Bono attends world summits on aid. Bob Geld of is, to use Tony Blair's own words, 'one of the people that I admire most'. Aid has become a cultural commodity.

Millions march for it.

Governments are judged by it.

But has more than US$1 trillion in development assistance over the last several decades made African people better o.? No. In fact, across the globe the recipients of this aid are worse o.; much worse off Aid has helped make the poor poorer, and growth slower. Yet aid remains a centrepiece of today's development policy and one of the biggest ideas of our time.

The notion that aid can alleviate systemic poverty, and has done so, is a myth. Millions in Africa are poorer today because of aid; misery and poverty have not ended but have increased. Aid has been, and continues to be, an unmitigated political, economic, and humanitarian disaster for most parts of the developing world.

How this happened, how the world was gripped with an idea that seemed so right but was in fact so wrong, is what this book is about. Dead Aid is the story of the failure of post-war development policy.

Step by step it will dismantle the assumptions and arguments that have supported the single worst decision of modern developmental. politics, the choice of aid as the optimum solution to the problem of Africa's poverty. The evidence is as startling as it is obvious. It will contrast countries which have rejected the aid route and prospered with others which have become dependent on aid and been trapped in a vicious circle of corruption, market distortion and further poverty - and thus the 'need' for more aid.

Others before me have criticized aid. But the myth of its effectiveness persists. Dead Aid will offer a new model for financing development for the world's poorest countries: one that offers economic growth, promises to significantly reduce African poverty, and most importantly does not rely on aid.

This book is not a counsel of despair. Far from it. The book offers another road; a road less travelled in Africa. Harder, more demanding, more difficult, but in the end the road to growth, prosperity, and independence for the continent. This book is about the aid-free solution to development: why it is right, why it has worked, why it is the only way forward for the world's poorest countries.

Excerpted from DEAD AID by Dambisa Moyo

Copyright © 2009 by Dambisa Moyo

Published in 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

Meet the Author

Dambisa Moyo is the author of How the West Was Lost. Born and raised in Lusaka, Zambia, Moyo completed a Ph.D. in economics at Oxford University and holds a master's from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. She worked for the World Bank as a consultant, and also worked at Goldman Sachs for eight years. In 2009, Time magazine named her one of the "100 most influential people in the world." Her writing frequently appears in publications including the Financial Times, The Economist, and The Wall Street Journal.

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Dead Aid 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
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wellpreparedrare More than 1 year ago
Truly pointed, well put and dense. Similar to a grueling and cathartic work-out, truly exposes the faults of charity.
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Ruru u on