Sunday, June 25, 2017

Western Aid and the Sleeping Giant

Western aid is rarely free, if free at all. Such aid comes with strings attached, a hidden cost. More often than not, Western nations give not because there is a need to help, but because there is an agenda to be achieved. As this Department of State document from 1963 illustrates: aid is a tool to influence, to control. I discovered these documents from the archives 15 years ago. The documents tell us a lot about western aid and how it is used to control Africa and perpetuate neo-colonialism. In this case, one document refers to the US sharing the burden of providing "aid" with former metropoles (former colonialists) for the purpose of exerting political influence. The major African recipients of American aid included Congo (L), Ethiopia, Libya, Liberia, and Tanganyika. The other document touches on US policy guidelines for granting aid. The guidelines identify numerous objectives, including getting permission to install US military bases and other facilities, exerting "political influence" in order to "achieve specific political objectives" and to get an upperhand in the Cold War tension. Not much has changed more than 54 years later. Africa does not need aid. If anything, Africa needs fair trade. To expect fair trade from a capitalist system is to chase fairy tales. When it is all said and done, Africa needs to stand on its own feet. All the ingridients needed to wake up this sleeping giant are there. 
 ©Azaria Mbughuni

No comments:

Post a Comment