Why West is aiding Africa

(MENAFN) The discourse surrounding Western aid to Africa has been reinvigorated, with Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo's concept of "dead aid" challenging conventional notions of development assistance. In her seminal work published in 2009, Moyo argued that Western financing exacerbates Africa's development challenges rather than alleviating them.

Against this backdrop, the emergence of a new generation of African leaders and initiatives such as the Alliance of Sahel States has brought Africa's sovereign economic development to the forefront of global discussions. Moreover, there is a growing recognition of the need to revisit the center-periphery model of development, which has long dominated Africa-West relations.

The implementation of structural adjustment programs by Western financial institutions in the 1980s further entrenched this model, compelling African states to withdraw from the social sphere and liberalize industries. However, the effectiveness of these reforms has come under scrutiny, prompting a reevaluation of the role of external assistance in Africa's development trajectory.

One figure that stands out in this discourse is Thomas Sankara, the former president of Burkina Faso, whose bold socio-economic reforms challenged the prevailing orthodoxy. Sankara's initiatives, often likened to those of "Africa's Che Guevara," prioritized self-reliance and grassroots mobilization over reliance on external aid.

In Burkina Faso, Sankara confronted the complexities of "center-periphery-periphery" relations, where the country's economy acted as the periphery to neighboring Ivory Coast, a key player in the global cocoa market. Despite facing formidable challenges, Sankara's commitment to self-sufficiency and empowerment resonates as a powerful example of alternative development strategies.

As debates surrounding Western aid to Africa evolve, the legacy of "dead aid" and the lessons from Sankara's reforms offer valuable insights into reshaping Africa's economic future. By prioritizing self-determination and community empowerment, African nations can chart a path towards sustainable development that is rooted in local realities and aspirations.



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