Can aid end aid?
We put the question to six campaigners and opinion-formers.
Founder and patron, Africa Governance Initiative
I believe in aid. That’s why, as prime minister, I negotiated the doubling of aid to Africa at the Gleneagles Summit in 2005. And we can see the difference aid has made. To take just one example, the UK’s financial contribution to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (Gavi) will immunise 80 million children over the next five years, saving 1.4 million lives. That is why it’s critical that the rich world continues to meet its obligations on aid.
But aid alone is not enough. Ultimately, development depends on two things: governance and growth. By governance, I mean governments having the capacity to deliver for their citizens, to improve health and education and tackle poverty. All countries, even rich ones, need governments that can do this. And when I speak to African leaders they tell me this issue of governance capacity is the biggest they face. This is why I have made it the focus of my charity the Africa Governance Initiative.
Developing countries also need growth, which generates jobs and income. And to get growth, leaders of emerging economies need
to attract high-quality, sustainable investment; make sure that the rules are clear and followed; and work together to remove regional trade barriers. For our part, the rich world has to open up its markets and ensure that global trade rules are fair. With every stride African countries make on growth and governance, their reliance on aid diminishes. We are not there yet, but the end of dependence on aid can be achieved within a generation.
Tags: NS aid special