Give China all the roads; traditional donors have moved on to other projects
16 April 2012
East African - 14 April 2012
In her column last week, Rasna Warah offered a critique of “traditional donors” in Africa, and heralded a new approach, led by China and embodied most recently by Turkey.
What is this “new development aid paradigm?” The model emphasises, in her words, “mutual trade benefits and infrastructure development.”
This is in contrast to the Western focus on “humanitarian aid and governance issues.”
Warah is a seasoned aid critic, and has written passionately and keenly about Somalia.
It is undoubtedly true that Western donors have shifted their attention over time from heavy infrastructure investment to a focus on governance (but also “softer” development areas like health and education).
And it is also true that infrastructure and investment are among the vital ingredients for economic growth.