October 14, 2014 (SSNA) — The former president of the United States, F.D. Roosevelt, says it best, and I quote; “True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made”. He said.
Contrary to traditional view that; nothing good will comes out of Africa, a new school of thought is emerging in many Western countries, with a new agenda for Africa. Quite recently, a group of critics has been urging African leaders to take over the affairs of their continent and stop the habit of blaming the western world for everything.
Furthermore, a leading Africanize nation recently told a group of African leaders that; “It is about time for the Africans to take up their responsibilities, the European has provided you with the best political and economic institutions they had. After a hundred years of trial and error, the western world has comes to realize that; African has its own unique political, social, and economic experiences, thus it is about time for you in Africa to do something for your continent”. He added.
Nevertheless, the critics were trying to tell African elites that; the Western world has reached the end of the dead road to deliver Africa from its chronic problems. The European institutions which inherited have proven ineffective and therefore, African should introduce their own political and economic-people-institutions.
In my humble opinion, nobody would deny that since independence of most African nations had been looking toward donor countries and international financial institutions for consultation and guidance on economic affairs. That guidance has been transformed as time passed into some sort of total economic dependence, with many African policies being decided not in Africa, but, in meetings with IMF, the world bank donors and creditors in Paris, Geneva, London, and Washington DC. In effect, the world community had been citing Africa’s economic hardships and attributed them to its poor politics and bad economic ideas. This happens at the time when everybody knows that much of the mischief has come from the critics themselves
My friends, “It is public secret”.
The IMF old idea of basic needs theory of the 1970s resulted into complete failure only to be replaced with yet another basic needs model, the famous structural adjustment.
A reform program known for its lack of prioritization in the 1990s the new doctrine shifted its focus to what has become known as “the IMF is so governance’ as the new perquisite from reform, therefore, “the IMF is so obsessed with price stability in Africa that it hardly thinks of anything else”.
The World Bank on the other hand insists that; the debt –ridden African nations should comply with its (111) policy framework paper. The list begins with decentralization of public administration, privatization of infrastructure, civil service reforms, new customs administration, value-added taxes and more similar, and South Sudan is not exempted.
The low growth in African economy may be explained in the World Bank’s that; is lack of Priorities. It’s naturally plausible to assert that, if the international bank was Instrumental in the economic breakthrough in East Asia, it is also possible that these remedies can work, if properly modified, in Africa.
Cynically, is sarcastic to note that; the same western nations which were responsible for the establishment of the modern African states institutions are the same ones blaming for its economic problems.
In conclusion, there is no any doubt in my mind that; foreign aid had been a total failure in Africa. Only when it is limited in time. In Africa today; aid has become part of the continents problems. In economic terms aid needs to be selective and should be given to those countries that are willing to promote market -based- export-led growth. For Africa to become part of the global economy, and as the world enters the 21st century, foreign aid should go to Africa in form of debt cancellation and should be phased over time and conditional on basic and essential economic reforms.
This way, Africa may join the international community fully recovered from its coma!
The author of this paper is a Criminologist, a former employee of Khartoum Bank, Sudan, and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com.