Most developed nations often times would trumpet home every donation extended to a so-called ‘poor’ Africa. They would paint Africa as stark poor and that she is in dire need of a helping hand or a padded shoulder to survive on.
Wealthy countries therefore end up heaping on themselves generous praise for helping ‘needy’ countries and using their donations to accelerate development in impoverished regions so as to end poverty.
We bring you blogger, Musah Iddris’ piece on how the world in the guise of helping Africa, rather ends up exploiting the continent unfairly.
It is based on a coalition of UK and African researchers report whose findings illustrates how the continent actually loses over six times the amount it receives in aid.
Africa, the receiver of $30 billion in annual monetary handouts, is not only making nothing from the aid it receives but it actually loses $192 billion to the rest of the world within the same time frame.
The research published recently indicates that current practices within the continent tend to favour wealthy countries. These practices include tax dodging, the repatriation of multinational companies’ profits with their unjust trade policies, the costs incurred from climate change and the exodus of skilled workers.
This means, basically, that if you take into account the money coming in through aid, investment and remittances ($134 billion), Africa is left with a $58 billion annual loss. To put this into perspective, the money that Africa loses each year is over one and half times the amount of additional money needed to deliver affordable health care to everyone in the whole world!
Just this scenario is an indicator that Africa is rather aiding the rest of the world and not the other way round.
Despite decades of public fundraising and aid, the end to Africa’s poverty is nowhere in sight. This “aid” is actually a smokescreen used to hide from public view the fact that it is the donors themselves who are perpetuating this cycle of indigence.
The report highlights that Africa is essentially not poor. A combination of inequitable policies, massive disparities in power and criminal activities perpetrated and sustained by wealthy elites, both inside and outside the continent are keeping its people in poverty. The UK and other wealthy governments are at the heart of this theft.
For example, the continent bleeds $35.3 billion annually through the tax evasion and other dodgy financial flows enabled by tax havens. These tax havens are jurisdictionally linked to the G8 and the European Union and account for 70% of global tax haven investment. The UK has 11 tax havens under its jurisdiction!
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Something is seriously wrong in this picture. It’s most often the resource-rich countries that show the most bleeding of finance. One would expect them to be displaying lower levels of poverty, but the opposite tends to be true. Out of one billion of the world’s poorest people, 33% live in resource rich countries. Which explains why 75% of the dozen countries at the bottom of the Human Development Index (HDI) are rich in natural resources.
It is time for the UK and other implicated governments to stop misrepresenting the real nature of the relationship between aid and poverty in Africa. Maybe then, that will put an end to endless rhetoric about what they are doing for Africa because, at the end of the day, it’s all about what Africa is doing for them! Politicians are only telling us half the story when it comes to the world’s financial relationship with Africa.
This article is entirely the author, Musah Idriss’ opinion only. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent those of YEN.com.gh or its Editors.