How the foreign aid industry demeans Africa

11 November 2013

The Spectator (UK)

The Norwegian students' group which last year came out with the brilliant 'Africa for Norway' spoof video has again released a hilarious film lampooning the aid industry for the stereotypes they perpetuate.

The video makes a serious point. That the aid industry uses pictures of starving babies to trigger donations, even if it means spinning a misleading and patronising view of Africa.

All this is Western self-indulgence if the aid doesn't actually help Africa (as African authors like Dambisa Moyo have demonstrated). There are many African countries with a wide array of problems - chiefly, bad governance.

These videos raise a potent question: what's the point of all these charity appeals? To actually help Africa, or make Westerners feel better about themselves?

As they put it:-
The pictures we usually see in fundraisers are of poor African children. Hunger and poverty is ugly, and it calls for action. But while these images can engage people in the short term, we are concerned that many people simply give up because it seems like nothing is getting better. Africa should not just be something that people either give to, or give up on.

The truth is that there are many positive developments in African countries, and we want these to become known.

We need to change the simplistic explanations of problems in Africa. We need to educate ourselves on the complex issues and get more focus on how western countries have a negative impact on Africa's development.

If we want to address the problems the world is facing we need to do it based on knowledge and respect.

Original article by Fraser Nelson

Category: General

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