Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Quick comment on aid and Rwanda

Roving Bandit argues here that aid shouldn't be cut to Rwanda just because they are probably  responsible for repeatedly invading, raping and pillaging the DRC. Is that really what is going on? Does it not, also, have to do with the fact that Rwanda has been disproportionately feted and funded over the years out of guilt and on the seriously mistaken belief that it is anything other than an oppressive dictatorship where so-called development is prioritised over freedom?

Has Rwanda really used aid money better than anyone else? One of the main supposed gains of the Rwandan government has been a dramatic increase in agricultural production. Which would be fantastic if there was anything like a market for the milk, for example, that is now being produce. An awful lot of the gains in Rwanda seem to be artificial and propped up only by aid money and the proceeds of looting a neighbouring country's mineral fields. Perhaps, just perhaps, that money could be better spent as direct budget support to some of the other desperate countries in Africa like, say, Niger, Burundi or Mozambique, where the government has shown incredible commitment to work with and enhance the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in a way that may sustainably generate income.

Perhaps this is not about taking away aid from a country that is the answer to all of Africa's problems, but about no longer rewarding a dictator for oppressing his people and waging war against his neighbours.

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