Thursday, July 19, 2007

Conning Africans

Via Booker Rising, the Kenyan commentator James Shikwati writes about aid and self-reliance:

Africans are underpricing their raw materials and commodities to developed nations because their bargaining power is lowered by the weight of foreign aid and debt relief. Countries that feature on the debt relief sheet coincidentally have raw materials of strategic importance to Western nations and China.
[...]
Rich countries are smart. They too focus on "sexy" headline grabbing packages such as disease and poverty to engage in what may become the greatest fraud in the World once all facts are pinned together. Africans are not beggars, we are simply being conned!

2 comments:

dearieme said...

"their bargaining power is lowered by the weight of foreign aid and debt relief": how?

Peter Risdon said...

I think he is suggesting that a reliance on aid distorts other forms of interactions, including market-based ones. So a country dependent, at least psychologically, on aid will not negotiate properly in commercial contexts, getting trade offs in other areas.