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How myths on aid, development  rob world’s poor

Sunday August 11 2019

poverty

Members of the public wait to get food ration in Kenya. Sub-Saharan Africa has little or no chance of achieving the UN target of having not more than three percent of its population living in extreme poverty by 2030, according to a new World Bank report. PHOTO | FILE | NMG 

PHILIP OCHIENG
By PHILIP OCHIENG
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Every day that the sun rises in the east, all African countries produce newspapers carrying stories about government officials roaming Europe, North America, Japan and Down Under, empty bags in hand, in abject begging of something that our own intelligentsias happily advertise as “development aid”.

MOST BACKWARD

Such an activity appears to concern development. That is why members of Africa’s elite live in celestial houses and have tummies as prominent as the Kilimanjaro. The problem is that the African mass must continue to squirm, empty-stomached, in leaking structures. Yet, in at least one activity, the Caucasian elite that profits from this human tragedy considers this status quo perfect and vital.

For it is that elite’s perpetual concern to impress the thinking members of humanity’s youngest and most poverty-stricken countries. Concerning our continent, that statement can be recognised in quite a different form on the pages and screens of Euro-North America’s own media. There, however, it raises one vital question:  Why do Western Europe, North America and Japan insist on depicting their own countries as “developed” and even “clean” and on painting the African, South American and most other Asian countries merely as “developing”? Naturally, only the Caucasian countries are “well behaved”.

But, in what way can you correctly insist on the adjective “developing” to describe African countries when Africa remains the most backward of all the human continents?

What can any Third World state show for all the “development aid” that Japan, North America and Western Europe have boasted of since those aid-giving states invented “development aid” at independence as their means of sucking the human world?

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The answer is that without any quid pro quo, aid is a myth that the alleged givers created to deceive all the receivers, especially our ravenously greedy and allegedly educated leaders. Development aid is what sustains a local elite in power, enabling it to ensure the interests of the top Euro-North American class are met.

PRODUCE STATISTICS

Why do the givers call it aid when all it does is to cause such suffering to millions of human beings? How can anybody involved in such cruelty to humanity be called an aid giver? Why do the European and North American media and intelligentsia insist on painting our continent as the quintessentially “developing world”?

Exactly what does it mean to be “developing”? How is development possible when ours remains the human world’s most slowly developing continent? In short, why do the Caucasian intelligentsia and media insist on painting the Third World – especially Africa – as “the developing nations”? In exactly what way is Africa “developing” compared with, say, Japan, North America and Western Europe?

Vis-a-vis Britain, France, Germany and the United States, in what way do Kenya and Tanzania, for instance, qualify to be depicted as developing countries? Can anybody produce statistics to show that, vis-à-vis Britain, France and the United States, such countries as Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda are the developing ones?

Worldwide, that question can be multiplied about a million and a half times. If general knowledge and producer skills are the quintessential yardsticks of development, in what way can you classify Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, say, as developing and England, France and Germany as having arrived at development? Have they stopped developing? Are they now moving in the opposite direction?

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