Col. Muammar Gadaffi has urged African governments to reject any Western aid that comes with conditions and hit out at Western countries for using aid to dictate electoral democracy such as multiparty systems which “…Work in the West, but not in Africa.” One can understand Gadaffi’s displeasure from the fact that aid has eroded Africans’ confidence; disconnected Africa’s electorate from their governments; muffled critical opinion and bred corruption.
One can argue that Gadaffi has the guts because his country has oil. Do African governments require payment to ensure good governance, justice, rule of law, respect of property rights and wealth creation institutions? Shouldn’t these values evolve within respective countries? How many resources are lying unexploited in African countries? Consider Kenya's post election anarchy. It could have been avoided, but since politicians are driven by non-market incentives, the country is now begging Kshs 31.5 billion for reconstruction.
Col. Gadaffi should however guard against allowing zeal to overshadow reason. Instead of dismissing Western systems wholesale, Africans ought to find out why they work, Africanize them and forge ahead. With failing agriculture, prevalence of killer diseases that were eradicated in the West, Africa can’t afford insulating itself in the era of globalization. Just like eating fish, Africa ought to eat the flesh in Western systems but eschew the bones. African taxpayers must vehemently oppose policies and actions that will plunge their countries into debt and dependency.
Comment on this article!