Misguided Priorities and Persistent Poverty in Africa
In response to persisting poverty in Africa, representatives from the world’s eight leading industrialized nations—Germany, Canada, the United States, France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Russia—met in Gleneagles, Scotland, in 2005 and agreed on a three-pronged approach to help Africa. They would increase foreign aid to the continent, reduce Africa’s debt, and open their markets to African exports. Unfortunately, aid has harmed rather than helped Africa. It has failed to stimulate growth or reform, and encouraged waste and corruption. For example, aid has financed 40 percent of military spending in Africa. Similarly, debt relief has failed to prevent African countries from falling into debt again.