Yes its very interesting to note read the article by Dambisa, actually her patriotism doesn’t bother me at all, but the fact that she proclaimed, is the most interesting thing in my mind, whether we agree or not the cause of Aid in effectiveness in Africa has two dimensions as follows
1.0 African perspective and commitment level for helping real people in need:
In this perspective, many African leaders seems to loose focus after being elected in power by their electorates. They tends to forget everything that they promised to full fill after being elected, they some time use external global forces as an excuse to indulge themselves in corruption and mis use of public resource. Their level of accountability became minimal with the drastic increase of their individual/selfish demands to support their private lives. How do you expect a leader who assumed a certain position in public institution soon became a millionaire within short time period? their actual salaries plus all benefits are well known in advance by the public and can not make some body to became a millionaire after being in power for only short time of period. To me, it seems that , those kind of leaders are effectively mis use aid and thus became as one aspect of the source of the problem of Aid in effectiveness in Africa.
2.0 Some Self interest Donors requirement and Conditionality ones provide aid/loan to African Countries
This aspect is real as some self interest donors from all scattered categories in this world have their ambitious interest in African wealth, they normally give aid with a lot of condition taking the advantage of starved people as a result of in appropriate technology and techno *managerial capacity to extract their wealth in Africa. They always influencing African countries policies that in turn regulate allprogrammes and projects operation at all levels.
Some of us do remember the Structure Adjustment Programme ( SAP) in1980s by IMF/WB where by the Tanzania Government was forced to sign the agreement/Contract so as to qualify for a loan/aid kind of ( what ever the name) . In this aspect you can realize the mostly negative impact of this. The overall SAP exercise had dramatically increased the rates of environmental degradation and deforestation in indebted Nations in Africa as Governments strive hard to generate cash through collecting Tax from all sources to pay off debts and interest as well. These called aid/Loan whatever you may call them, have negative effect in various sectors as well as directly to many people in African especially poor countries like Tanzania For example in Tanzania , the Debt repayment is six time more than National health spending of which majority of people are suffering from malaria, typhoid etc. Pregnant women do not access appropriate medicaltreatment and later die abruptly. Hospitals have became breeding grounds for disease.
The Overall, structural adjustment in Tanzania has increasing input prices, promoting unsustainability through market liberalization, and reducing expenditures on "reforestation." In addition, unrelated sectoral policies have exacerbated degradation problems. The ending of ujamaa, poor agricultural extension, poor enforcement of land clearing, ambiguous land tenure, and inappropriate energy pricing have all reduced incentives to conserve. Structural adjustment has also differentially hurt the poorer farmers because pricing schemes have caused cultivation of marginal lands. Thus, a positive feedback loop has been created causing a downward spiral of economic and environmental well being.
We have been having a lots of economic reforms being in actual facts initiated by some of self interest donors as their participation in decision making rank is at almost 75%. For instance Tanzania Privatization policies that led to sell of many public institutions but little the people has been benefiting from, we also did have Civil Service Reform Programme ( 1990s) from which , many workers were laid off without appropriate compensation, the aim to was to destabilize African Countries so that they continue to be dependent.
We do also have Tanzania Public Service Reform Programe(1994), Local Government Reform Programme( 1996). All these initiatives have donor influence and they haven’t provide required results as expected to date as people are still suffer. You can also have a glance to our Tanzania National budget that generally comprises at 40% of income from donor poured in our National basket funds. This 40% does slaughter us without even say “ Bismillah” For instance , The Tanzania National budget preview for 2010/11 financial year as presented yesterday ( 1st July 2010) to the Parliamentary committee for the Finance is set to raise to 11.1 trn/= from the current 9.51trn/= with foreign aid funding nearly a half of it, the situation like this has some implication in terms of decision making process that mostly determine the future of the nation interims of priorities, normally in this kind of donor dependency the country would never and ever be free to decide their own priority issues based on peoples wishes and demands. Suppose donor refuse to grant that nearly half of the National budget , guess, what would happen? Some self interest donors( NOT ALL) would take advantage on that.
In respect of the above narrated fact, its obviously that, Dambisa analysis was very critical to the maximum as she was talking about facts, but the problem with her is on the issues of running away from solving African problems by condemning the existing institution frameworks and its associated process. But all in all African problems has been for a long time caused by selfish leaders as well as some self interest donors ( NOT ALL) on equal basis and its upon us African people to be alert and very creates to avoid the two changing agents interests ( Corrupt leaders and some of self interest Donors). Its better to have commitment leaders and even few true donors for supporting our National development for the benefit of the majority people in the grass root level
Hamisi Seif Simba
Programme Coordinator for CSOs Programme
CSOs - Strengthening the Capacity for Environmental Civil Societies
WWF Tanzania Programme Office
Regent Estate 350 Mikocheni
P O Box 63117 Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
t: +255 (0)22 2775346
f: +255 (0)22 2775535
WWF - for a living planet