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Lemon Aid

April 2009

Systematic western aid, Moyo argues in Dead Aid, has essentially turned Africa into one giant welfare state. The unending stream of money has created a situation where governments aren’t accountable to their citizens: since they don’t depend on tax revenue, leaders don’t think they owe their people anything—and the people don’t expect anything from their leaders. Moreover, says Moyo, since the money flows virtually no matter what, tyrants like Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe (three hundred million dollars in foreign aid was sent to Mugabe in 2006 alone, says Moyo) often pilfer it and buy foreign goods, or stow it in foreign bank accounts where it does nothing to help the country. Furthermore, aid stamps out entrepreneurship. Moyo offers the example of an African mosquito net maker. When aid arrives in the form of a hundred thousand mosquito nets, the net-maker is out of business, and one hundred and sixty people (employees and dependents) are now aid-dependent. This, she says, is not a sustainable model.

Guernica / Aiding is Abetting