Sunday, 29 August 2010


Six people, six Africans representing groups like the Free Market Foundation and Law Review Project in South Africa have sent a letter to the Telegraph in the UK. Their letter says that this is an ideal time for the UK to "end their half-century-long experiment with “development aid”, which has, since its inception, stunted growth and subsidised bad governance in Africa". I hate free trade fundamentalists for their ridiculous belief that free markets will solve ANY social problems - in spite of all the very clear evidence that the exact opposite is true. Sure, the CAP is a problem. Personally, I think there is a different, much more obvious solution to the problem but no solution to the CAP problem in any way conflicts with aid existing. They are not mutually exclusive, nor are they part of the same solution, problem or intervention. The people who hold up trade and aid as mutually exclusive, the people who cynically claim that aid just makes people corrupt and trade is the solution to everything, are lying. They are also insidious. I hope this letter will be dismissed. I fear that people with no understanding of Africa will take it at face value and believe that it represents the views of everyone.

My response? Starving people in Niger, 27% acute malnutrition in Chad, renewed deadly fighting in Somalia, ongoing conflict in Darfur, mass rape in Congo... screw the principles of economics, we'll take whatever help we can get!

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