Aid to Africa: Redeemer or Coloniser?

Aid to Africa: Redeemer or Coloniser?

Edited by Hakima Abbas, Yves Niyiragira

SocioLingo Africa
Jun 11, 2011
This is an extract from an article which can be read in full on the SocioLingo website.

Since the end of the Bush administration in the USA ... there has been a steady increase in the activities of individuals and groups who are presenting arguments supporting a move to have aid to the African Continent, south of the Sahara, changed in radical ways. One of the most persuasive publications presenting these arguments is the multi-author book, "Aid to Africa-Redeemer or Coloniser". The publication is interesting in many ways, and not least because, besides presenting solid arguments with references and citations it also contains a considerable amount of detailed insider information related to West African Aid which is skilfully written into the text but not referenced as contributed by any individual or organization. These type of inclusions are now becoming more common in other European media presentations, news or otherwise, indicating that supporters of the European Anti-Aid Lobby are targeting West Africa.

- Denis Tither , SocioLingo Africa

Dec 15, 2010
For some time, critical publications about foreign aid to Africa have been stimulating in-depth reassessments. This pocket-sized collection of 12 papers further widens the spectrum of critical voices, with its sponsors – Fahamu, the African Forum on Debt and Development and the German Development Church Service – adding status. In fact, the contributors list reads like a who's who of left-wing critical or "progressive" voices on aid and African development.

Its message is made quite clearly at the start of Hakima Abbas' preface: Africa is the biggest recipient of aid globally, but the terms, conditions and principles upon which aid is conceived and delivered are not defined by the people for whom, at least rhetorically, this aid is supposed to create positive change. In global politics, aid is often flaunted as a golden carrot by established and emerging global powers alike. Lofty pledges are pronounced during crises or to wield political clout. Yet the effects on African peoples’ lives have been limited.

- Wolfgang Thomas, University of Stellenbosch Business School, New Agenda 40

Jun 7, 2010
Despite a flurry of recent books probing the current aid system, very few have been written by authors raised and resident in developing countries. Aid to Africa: Redeemer or Coloniser? is the antidote to this - profiling the voices of sixteen writers from sub-Saharan Africa.

Although the contributors frequently disagree, Samir Amin of the South Centre captures a common theme when he argues 'The choice is not between aid as it is and no aid at all. The battle must be waged for radical transformation of the concepts regarding the function of aid'.

- Tim Gee, Bond