Njoroge Wachai at PostGlobal

Njoroge Wachai

Kenya

Njoroge is a journalist who formerly worked for the Kenya-based People Daily. He was Africa Correspondent for the Science and Development Network (SciDev.net), a UK-based web site highlighting science and technology issues from developing countries. He also freelanced for the Switzerland-based Bulletin of the World Health Organization (WHO). Njoroge was a press fellow at the Wolfson College, University of Cambridge for four months in 2003, where he researched the role of alternative press in the democratization process in Africa. Njoroge currently lives in the U.S. He has studied Journalism and Technical Communication at the graduate level. Close.

Njoroge Wachai

Kenya

Njoroge is a journalist who formerly worked for the Kenya-based People Daily. more »

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Trade, Not Aid, for Africa

Why do African countries keep pushing for aid that rich countries are reluctant and unwilling to give?

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All Comments (7)

Somai:

You are FRAUD Mr Wachai!!

Mariano Patalinjug:

Yonkers, New York
11 July 2008

The author of this essay, Mr. Njoroge Wachai, is right.

Trade, not aid, is what Africa needs, he contends.

It is time Africans get used to the idea that those G8 "pledges" of aid to Africa will pretty much remain that; the history of aid from the G8 countries to Africa, is a sorry and pathetic one of only "token actual deliveries" of money.

Consider that out of the $25 billion in additional aid pledged to Africa [by G8] in 2005, only $3 billion has been delivered. That's a measly 32 percent of what was promised. That simply is "token" aid calculated to mollify a few Africans and make people in donor countries feel generous!

This year, at Hokkaido, the G8 have pledged a $60 billion package to help Africa fight HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculoses. If their miserable record holds, the G8 can be expected to deliver at most $19.2 billion of what they have pledged perfunctorily.

But with the United States and Europe simultaneously going through a recession if not a historic economic crisis, Africa will be lucky if it actually gets half of $19.2 billion.

Given the size of Africa and the size and complexity of the problems it faces, those amounts are but drops in a very huge bucket.

It is high time that African leaders wake up to this brutal reality and press for trade and not aid.

Mariano Patalinjug
MarPatalinjug@aol.com

ZZim:

Good article, Njoroge. I agree with you 100%.

I used to room with an African during college and it was always good to hear his perspective on world events. It was surprising to me just how differently he looked at things from the way we do here in the US. I think that we need to hear more voices like yours from Africa so that our opinions are better informed.

I would like to see freer trade and freer migration around the world. I think that these two things will do more for the developing world than anything else could.

Premier:

Re: Njoroge

I see your point yet you are not ready to write this article.

"[T]rade, not aid, is what Africa needs"?

You need to aid-first-and-then-trade, Understand?
Please be a human being. If you play such a “cruel” card, no body trusts you.

I see you are also wearing the Obamanian lens: “Necessity” does not make this country strong. You have to “share” your humane efforts first with others who are in need.

dderv:

As you say.

Also, I for instance have become discouraged with how little past aid has accomplished. Probably most Americans feel like I do - we are happy to try to help Africans. But corruption is a byword in many African nations, and I don't want to give my tax $ to some guy who already wears $400 neckties.

Many of us probably personally give some of our income. Some charities are really very good about helping others to help themselves. Why does it seem these projects fight such an uphill battle? Is it because they too have strings attached - religious or otherwise?

Some African nations are making great gains. But many of them are so burdened by corrupt governments that the case for aid seems implausible, given its track record.

Hunky Santa:

I agree 100%. Trade, not aid! Free trade is the foundation on which African countries can prosper.

The rich nations should open their markets to African products and stop sending money to governments who keep the money for themselves most of the time.

Anju Chandel:

Why blame the "rich countries" for African woes when the continent itself - along with its people - is primarily responsible for all the mess that it is into? All so-called leaders of almost all African countries are busy escalating ethnic cleansing, genocide, civil wars, etc. There is no value for anything which could make life of Africans worth living. Mindset is still pre-medieval of both its people and politicians and so is the living style and attitudes. Then how do you expect Africa to grow economically unless it does not become more civil? Don't forget that Africa is the richest continent natural resources wise. It just needs to use them wisely.

African Union has to play the most important role otherwise there is no need for its existence. Of course, there is no denying the fact that Africa needs substantial help from the rest of the economically richer world.

By the way, in another post I just read you giving Thumbs-up to George W Bush for leaving a rich African-legacy! Whereas, the views here are in absolute contrast. Why this tectonic shift in your opinion?

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