Monday, May 11, 2009

No one cares about our nations more than we do

We appreciate support from the outside, but it should be support for what we intend to achieve ourselves. No one should pretend that they care about our nations more than we do; or assume that they know what is good for us better than we do ourselves. They should, in fact, respect us for wanting to decide our own fate.

Says Kagame in his op-ed last week in the Financial Times.

While I am concerned that certain individuals high up in the echelons of power actually care about themselves far more than their nations, I agree wholeheartedly with Kagame's sentiment. Especially the bit about supporting a country's own priorities, whether they be in health, education, infrastructure, etc., and not simply making up your own.

I wrote about donor distortions to Uganda's health sector in this week's Independent. I don't think many U.S. taxpayers, for example, realise that they are contributing more to fighting HIV/AIDS in Uganda than the Ugandan government is contributing to Uganda's health sector in its entirety. This is unacceptable on a number of levels. The current state of affairs is not the fault of only one party, but the donor/recipient relationship will never be equal and those involved should act/think accordingly, political correctness of "partnership" notwithstanding.

1 comment:

William Babigumira said...

It is a delicate dance between donor/recipient, one that can have total destabilising effects but also positive results if well managed. In Africa, the former is more prevalent.

If Aid is fed to an underperforming incompetent cast of actors, then it is likely to leave the situation worse than what justified the intervention in the first place.

If Aid is targeted towards beefing up real local capacities, then up to a point, the benefits exceed the cost, but in the overall picture, the benefits are marginal. Why? because mechanisms to wean the recipients off of the Aid are non existent in many instances.

Therefore, the winning formula might be one where the destructive effects are counter-balanced by the constructive ones, leaving room for marginal forward improvement, a generational issue.

Dont ask me how this can be done. It is far more complex than the Aid/donor relationship.

Thanks Melina....