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Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa


Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa Cover

ISBN13: 9780374532123
ISBN10: 0374532125
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We live in a culture of aid.


We live in a culture in which those who are better o. subscribe - both mentally and financially - to the notion that giving alms to the poor is the right thing to do. In the past fifty years, over US$1 trillion in development-related aid has been transferred from rich countries to Africa. In the past decade alone, on the back of Live 8, Make Poverty History, the Millennium Development Goals, the Millennium Challenge Account, the Africa Commission, and the 2005 G7 meeting (to name a few), millions of dollars each year have been raised in richer countries to support charities working for Africa.


We are made to believe that this is what we ought to be doing. We are accosted on the streets and goaded with pleas on aeroplane journeys; letters flow through our mail boxes and countless television appeals remind us that we have a moral imperative to give more to those who have less. At the 2001 Labour conference, the UK's Prime Minister of the time, Tony Blair, remarked that 'The State of Africa is a scar on the conscience of the world', and that the West should 'provide more aid' as, thus far, amidst the multiple problems facing Africa, the continent had received inadequate amounts of aid.¹


Deep in every liberal sensibility is a profound sense that in a world of moral uncertainty one idea is sacred, one belief cannot be compromised: the rich should help the poor, and the form of this help should be aid.


The pop culture of aid has bolstered these misconceptions. Aid has become part of the entertainment industry. Media figures, film stars, rock legends eagerly embrace aid, proselytize the need for it, upbraid us for not giving enough, scold governments for not doing enough - and governments respond in kind, fearful of losing popularity and desperate to win favour. Bono attends world summits on aid. Bob Geld of is, to use Tony Blair's own words, 'one of the people that I admire most'. Aid has become a cultural commodity.


Millions march for it.


Governments are judged by it.


But has more than US$1 trillion in development assistance over the last several decades made African people better o.? No. In fact, across the globe the recipients of this aid are worse o.; much worse off Aid has helped make the poor poorer, and growth slower. Yet aid remains a centrepiece of today's development policy and one of the biggest ideas of our time.


The notion that aid can alleviate systemic poverty, and has done so, is a myth. Millions in Africa are poorer today because of aid; misery and poverty have not ended but have increased. Aid has been, and continues to be, an unmitigated political, economic, and humanitarian disaster for most parts of the developing world.


How this happened, how the world was gripped with an idea that seemed so right but was in fact so wrong, is what this book is about. Dead Aid is the story of the failure of post-war development policy.


Step by step it will dismantle the assumptions and arguments that have supported the single worst decision of modern developmental. politics, the choice of aid as the optimum solution to the problem of Africa's poverty. The evidence is as startling as it is obvious. It will contrast countries which have rejected the aid route and prospered with others which have become dependent on aid and been trapped in a vicious circle of corruption, market distortion and further poverty - and thus the 'need' for more aid.


Others before me have criticized aid. But the myth of its effectiveness persists. Dead Aid will offer a new model for financing development for the world's poorest countries: one that offers economic growth, promises to significantly reduce African poverty, and most importantly does not rely on aid.


This book is not a counsel of despair. Far from it. The book offers another road; a road less travelled in Africa. Harder, more demanding, more difficult, but in the end the road to growth, prosperity, and independence for the continent. This book is about the aid-free solution to development: why it is right, why it has worked, why it is the only way forward for the world's poorest countries.


Excerpted from DEAD AID by Dambisa Moyo
Copyright © 2009 by Dambisa Moyo

Published in 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux


All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

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Shaun Willis, January 3, 2011 (view all comments by Shaun Willis)
One of the best books I read in 2010. Dambisa Moyo is to aid what Ayaan Hirsi Ali is to Islam. Just brilliant!
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ltobin, October 7, 2010 (view all comments by ltobin)
Although just a handful of pages, it is prudent to set aside some very quiet time to read Dead Aid. After reading it on my own, I was surprised to find Dead Aid on a list of required books for one of my Master's courses. A very analytic look at how aid has been given to African countries and the effects aid has had on African countries, a thorough discussion is the only way you are going to be able to process the information presented by Moyo. Personally, it helped that I had a basic understanding of economics before reading Dead Aid; however, I am sure anyone with access to Google will be able to wade through all the numbers and references. Just be prepared to have all your previous thoughts about aid monies challenged.
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Product Details

Moyo, Dambisa F.
Farrar Straus Giroux
Foreword by:
Ferguson, Niall
Ferguson, Niall
Ferguson, Niall
Moyo, Dambisa
Olopade, Dayo
International Relations - General
Public Policy - Economic Policy
Development - Economic Development
General Political Science
Developing countries
Emerging Countries
Developing & Emerging Countries
Politics-United States Foreign Policy
International Relations
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
23 b/w photos and charts throughout
8 x 5.31 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » Economics » Global Economics
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » International Studies
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » Social Science » Developing Countries

Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa Used Trade Paper
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Product details 208 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374532123 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "Dead Aid" describes the state of postwar development policy in Africa today and confronts one of the greatest myths of our time: that billions of dollars in aid sent from wealthy countries to developing African nations has helped to reduce poverty and increase growth.
"Synopsis" by , The path to progress in Africa lies in the surprising and innovative solutions Africans are finding for themselves
"Synopsis" by ,
andldquo;A hopeful narrative about a continent on the rise.andrdquo; andmdash; New York Times

andldquo;The Bright Continent will change your view of Africa. Itand#39;s that simple . . . A lively and enjoyable read.andrdquo; andmdash; Anne-Marie Slaughter, president and CEO of the New America Foundation

andquot;Spot-on . . . An optimistic vision.andquot; andmdash; Bookforum

Dayo Olopade knew from personal experience that Western news reports on conflict, disease, and poverty often leave out the true story about modern Africa. And so she crossed sub-Saharan Africa to document how ordinary people deal with their daily challenges. She found what cable news ignores: an innovative continent of DIY changemakers and impassioned community leaders, driven by kanju andmdash; the specific creativity born of African difficulty. Itandrsquo;s a trait found in innovators like Kenneth Nnebue, who turned cheap, VHS tapes into the multimillion-dollar film industry Nollywood. Or Ushahidi, a technology collective that crowdsources citizen activism and disaster relief. A shining counterpoint to the conventional wisdom, The Bright Continent celebrates the tools Africans use to solve problems themselves. Their ability to do more with less is a powerful model for the rest of the world.

"Synopsis" by ,

A national bestseller, Dead Aid unflinchingly confronts one of the greatest myths of our time: that billions of dollars in aid sent from wealthy countries to developing African nations has helped to reduce poverty and increase growth. In fact, poverty levels continue to escalate and growth rates have steadily declined—and millions continue to suffer. Debunking the current model of international aid promoted by both Hollywood celebrities and policy makers, Dambisa Moyo offers a bold new road map for financing development of the worlds poorest countries.

Much debated in the United States and the United Kingdom on publication, Dead Aid is an unsettling yet optimistic work, a powerful challenge to the assumptions and arguments that support a profoundly misguided development policy in Africa. And it is a clarion call to a new, more hopeful vision of how to address the desperate poverty that plagues millions.

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