At last year’s G8 Summit, much was made about “historic” debt write-offs and other huge amounts of aid. The media and government spin implied the problem was that aid often gets wasted and thus should only be delivered to poor countries if they meet certain conditions and demands.
Yet, hardly ever addressed in the mainstream discourse is the quality of aid of from rich countries. Following is an excerpt from a briefing prepared for a G8 summit by Action for Southern Africa and the World Development Movement, looking at the wider issue of economic and political problems:
"It is undeniable that there has been poor governance, corruption and mismanagement in Africa.
“However, the briefing reveals the context — the legacy of colonialism, the support of the G8 for repressive regimes in the Cold War, the creation of the debt trap, the massive failure of Structural Adjustment Programmes imposed by the IMF and World Bank and the deeply unfair rules on international trade.
"The role of the G8 in creating the conditions for Africa’s crisis cannot be denied. Its overriding responsibility must be to put its own house in order, and to end the unjust policies that are inhibiting Africa’s development."