“It is significant that none of the most passionate advocates of aid for Africa are African. Aid can speed up development that people have already decided to carry out for themselves and have the capacity to do. It is also essential for vaccination campaigns and for ARVs to combat HIV/AIDS. Emergency aid is obviously vital to help the victims of war or natural disasters, but that is as true in Surrey as in Somalia. Small amounts of aid can also work well in local contexts. But aid from the outside cannot transform whole societies, whole countries. That can only come about through producing things and trading them or doing something someone else wants to pay for. Ironically, it is the capitalist West that still sees Africa as a continent that needs aid, while Communist and former Socialist governments like China and India see it as a business opportunity.”
- Richard Dowden, Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles.