Dambisa Moyo came to town as part of the Ottawa Writer’s Festival. Controversial author of “Dead Aid…..Why aid is not working for Africa” and her most recent effort, “How the West Was Lost”.
Highly intelligent and articulate, she spoke before a largely receptive audience. However in the question period which followed she was predictably challenged on her central thesis of the necessity to reduce aid to Africa by Her Excellency, the High Commissioner for South Africa, which received a ripple of applause (no doubt from representatives of Canada’s International Development Agency (CIDA), or as they are known locally, a.k.a “The Lords of Poverty”.). Which proves Ms. Moyo’s point, that even if all African nations were to demand an end to western aid, the sheer weight of the aid industry with its entrenched infrastructure and the pieties of the privileged in the West would continue to force it upon them.
Good intentions, based on the narcissistic moral imperatives of the donor, leading to bad results for the recipient.