I was born on my way to hospital.

We lived a couple of kilometers away from the nearest mission hospital, which was aid funded.  The quickest way to get there at that time was by bicycle, so, by the time my dad strapped my mum on the saddle – nature had its way of operating and I popped out around two kilometers from the hospital.

I went to school, yes, most of the books were offered by aid agencies, thanks to a gracious book fund.  At some point, I recall eating yellow corn, because that was corn granted to the schools by aid agencies.  And again, it was not the government that donated the free books.  Rather, they were donated by an aid agency that bought them at subsidized prices and donated them.

Today, there is a road, a dust road where I was born, on which vehicles ply at irregular intervals.  Not bad.  The government has introduced free primary school, thanks to funds from aid agencies like World Bank and the IMF!   But I don’t know why they are called donor agencies when they really lend, and interest accumulates.  Students, for example, must contend with irregular funds, thus rarely guaranteed school terms.  The mission hospital has expanded and now has dispensaries closer to the people and is still run the way it used to be.  It now distributes free mosquito nets and condoms.   I think – thanks to a grant by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

I still don’t understand why so-called policy makers, think tanks and economists are busy playing roulette on Africa and Aid with debates and books.

AFRICA NEEDS AID!  And it needs people to manage the aid: properly!

My definition of aid is a little bit African.  In my village, you cannot teach a man how to fish without fishing gear, but what if he can’t afford the gear.  To help him, you get him the gear, and then teach him how to fish.  This is aiding a man in need. You do not loan him your gear and then teach him how to fish, asking him to pay each time he goes fishing.  Having proper management find proper ways to make projects self-sustainable is what we, Africa, need!

In the much-publicized Munk Debates, watching Dambisa Moyo engage and take on the likes of Stephen Lewis really does make me proud of being an African.  Boy!  This lady can argue.  But strangely, I become equally shocked that the synergy with her country is not there.

But to put to rest what real aid proponents like Bill and Melinda Gates and a host of other agencies stand for in creating an equal world out of Africa – is of benefit to the scholarly scene; and it should be differentiated for such purposes as arguing for scholarly benefits.

Africa might do better with a new crop of leaders but where do we get them?  The most brilliant minds that could take over leadership are busy staging debates or working on prime capitalistic ventures in the west.

Tackling aid is not a Spartan army, military affair but it could use fail-safe tactics.

So, will you kindly insist that those coming to the aid of Africa – integrate with the aid – the right minds to rightly manage the billions of dollars sent in aid: so as to fully benefit the people for whom it is intended?

Only then, will Africa begin to hold!

Comments are closed.