African nations are the biggest recipients of foreign aid, with countries like Botswana and Rwanda counting amongst the success stories. Both countries have two of the fastest growing economies on the continent and have successfully managed to direct their foreign aid towards developmental efforts and initiatives.
Although the dispersion of aid is meant to stimulate economic growth, there are many who question whether the continent is actually benefitting from it. Some common challenges include the misallocation of funds which in turn leads to corruption, aid dependency, an increase in debt and bureaucracy. It is often believed that aid doesn’t go to the people who need it the most, and that trade would be more effective than aid when it comes to developing the continent.
What do our readers think? One of our readers Khanyi said, “It has crippled Africa. Africa does not need foreign aid. We need African solutions for our African problems. Also in the long run the only people who are benefiting are the people who are claiming to be helping Africa.”
We spoke to Professor Carlos Lopes, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa 2012 to 2016 to hear his perspective
We also put the question to Dr. Frannie Léautier, a leading international finance and development expert.
Has foreign aid crippled or benefitted Africa? What does the continent need to reach its developmental targets?