The mission of the fisherman is not to feed the fish.
If the Fish doesn’t Understand that, It’s the Fish problem.
If it’s Free, you are the Product!
Here below is an essay written by a commentator on the
Economist article on “Africa Rising”, which contains valuable analogies we could readily learn from.
“In 1960, China was experiencing their worst famine in history. At the time, China was overpopulated, impoverished, and running out of resources. People were malnourished, racked by disease and dying in the streets–worst than North Korea or Sudan today.
Africa by contrast, was the future: embracing western education, courting business, and accepting any and all Western Aid. It had oil, fertile farmland, abundant water, forests, minerals, and diamonds. Friendly people. Accepting of science, medicine and vaccinations. And NGO Aid came and became institutionalized. The UN poured resources in by the billions!
The Chinese leaders took a different tact from Africa. They denied any NGO, UN, or private relief organization access.
The Chinese refused Aid and more was shunted to Africa. The Chinese suffered the famine and millions died.
But a valuable lesson was learned. Never again. And efforts were redoubled. And instead of aid, China worked on cultivating sustainable trade. Being a low cost producer for cheap trinkets for gum ball machines, cheap footware, clothing and housewares. Factory jobs, dirty jobs, tedious jobs–they sought the business at cut rate prices. They learned and moved up the value chain.
And China lifted 300 million from absolute abject poverty into sustainable working class. This is the single largest poverty reduction program in the history of the world! Probably the most significant Social Event of the 20th Century.
And today China is the 2nd largest economy in the world, growing faster than 90% of world economies, and poised to become the largest by 2016.(IMF 2011)
Africa has declined in the worst nightmare way. Accepting Aid, brought dependence, corruption, lack of accountable government and overall a learned helplessness. Civil war, guerrilla warfare, terrorism, hatchet genocide, major recurring natural disasters, piracy.
NGOs are present not for acute crisis but for decades if not generations. And their presence perpetuates their need for future generations. Aid came to Ethiopia and Somalia in the 60s. It was another drought that brought them in again in the 80s. And now it is another emergency in 2011.
What is the long term success of current relief aid programs? It is an endless cycle of aid dependence and perpetuation. Your great, great, great grandchild will be solicited to donate to African Aid relief.
International Relief Aid is at best a mixed blessing. We do not need celebrities with occasional telethons or African Aid Relief Concert Tours. Fashionable, Poster Child of the Month, only to be dumped a few months later because our patience has grown weary by donor fatigue–Why are they still hungry?
And Aid frees African leaders from providing the welfare of their people and becoming accountable. And Aid can be stolen, resold, parceled out politically, and withheld as punishment. Aid multiplies and worsens the corruption system.
The Market is the best social program. And we should learn from the Chinese example. The Africans deserve better.
In the World’s Eye, Africa is less a continent than a metaphor for an unsolvable, unmitigated, eternal catastrophe. Let us not institutionalize the problem for the next generation.
I hope Africa transforms–Asia is a model to emulate.
..but there is a lot of inertia for the status quo.”
They would look so desperate, like if their world will fall apart! Africa doesn’t need Aid, Aid is the problem.
There are now more NGOs in Africa than entrepreneurs.
Aid has replaced the Church and the missionaries as the spiritual tool for colonization and looting Africa.