How can Africa develop without foreign aid is a very serious political question that deserves not only to be consistently asked by the African government, but also to be provided solutions, as many African countries are economically suffering from this dependency problem and this has so far subjected the continent into an abyss of no redemption, at least not any time soon.
Is Foreign Aid a Problem.
Across the world, Africa is the biggest foreign aid recipient. Annually, a large amount of dollars are sent in as foreign aid and development assistance to Africa with the aim of alleviating hunger, eliminate poverty, foster economic development, democratic governance, and the rule of law without jeopardizing the peace of these countries. On the contrary, the opposite is the result of these goals as little or no improvements have been made in terms of socio-economic or political development in the areas of rule of law and democratic governance as Africa remains the poorest continent in the world according to Gross National Income and the Human Development Index. One then should be careful to conclude that much of these foreign aids are desperately dangerous for the development of Africa.
It is believed that the conflicts, political instability, ballooning debt, civil wars, and coup d’états that have occurred in Africa over the past five decades may have been as a result of the foreign aid, which has afforded these countries the financial means to carry out the aforementioned atrocities. In addition, higher levels of foreign aid destroy the quality of governance, as calculated by rule of law indicators and corruption because foreign aid is viewed by corrupt leaders as a tool for western powers.
How Can Africa Develop Without Foreign Aid.
African countries have been recipients of foreign assistance since their independence. Many experts argue that the provision of foreign assistance has, at times, developed a culture of dependency in Africa and fostered paternalism as opposed to international partnership. It is no longer news that foreign aid in Africa absolutely encumber financial growth, structural development, and political stabilization. To effectively answer the question, how can Africa develop without foreign aid, some of the steps that must be taken are:
1. RIGHT POLITICAL DECISION
As political leadership in Africa is the cradle and the steering wheel for the expected change which is constantly nurtured by its citizenries, the right political decision made in governance by African leaders can go a along way in turning the image of Africa around, and then the continent and its peoples could go from dependent nations to independent ones across all sectors of government.
Many western powers especially America, Great Britain, and France reap heavily from the sociopolitical crisis of Africa and as a result, Africa is left economically crippling simply to become helplessly dependent on them for its growth and development.
2. REGIONAL INTEGRATION
In moving away from a reliance on Western assistance, African governments should seek to improve regional integration initiatives, which are key to sustaining development and encouraging long-term prosperity for the entire region. Increasing intra-African trade will be a key component to accelerating economic growth, as it will increase industry competition, improve productivity, and develop local infrastructure.
When combined with good governance and political stability, intra-Africa trade and deepening market integration will significantly increase economic growth, job creation, employment, poverty reduction, inflow of foreign direct investment, industrial development, and better integration of the continent into the global economy. It will also decrease the continent’s current heavy reliance on the outside world for its growth.
3. JOB CREATION
This is also is helpful to how can Africa develop without foreign aid. Africa has the youngest population in the world, with 200 million aged between 15 and 24 (doubling by 2045 according to African Development Bank). Given that the continent will have a shortfall of 74 million jobs that need to be created by 2020, governments need to create policies and implementation plans that will allow for a more competitive private sector that favors business growth, job creation, and the stimulation of African economies—such as sound fiscal and monetary policies; good governance, transparency, and strengthened judiciary systems; an improved investment climate, and reduced corruption. In particular, long-term investment in the private sector, the infrastructure and manufacturing industries, and agriculture will address food insecurity and create the necessary employment opportunities for African youth. Boosting incentives to improve the quality of education will also be key to producing a skilled workforce.
If African leaders must proffer the right solutions to how can Africa develop without foreign aid, it is definitely through education that Africa can sail through the hurdle of foreign dependency and attain its long anticipated economic buoyancy such that will spread to every other tentacles of Africa’s social life.
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