It is one of the liberal media’s favorite code phrases: “developing world” or “developing nation”—by which they actually mean a perpetually retarded Third World nation that, despite massive foreign aid, has been unable to transform itself into anything approaching the First World.
The United Nations Development Program, for example, has warned that the economic growth rate of Africa is so slow that at current rates, it will take 150 years to reach the goals which were set for the year 2000.
That cold fact contradicts repeated attempts by the controlled media to pretend that Africa is “coming out” of foreign aid toward full economic growth.
Most of Africa, despite massive mineral reserves and fertile land, remains reliant on foreign aid for even the most basic of services.
More than $500 billion in foreign aid—the equivalent of four Marshall Aid plans—was pumped into Africa between 1960 and 1997.
The more aid poured into Africa, the lower its standard of living. Per capita GDP of Africans living south of the Sahara declined at an average annual rate of 0.59 percent between 1975 and 2000.
Over that period, per capita GDP adjusted for purchasing power parity declined from $1,770 in constant 1995 international dollars to $1,479.
Tanzania’s ill-conceived socialist experiment, Ujaama, for example, received much Western support. Western aid donors, particularly in Scandinavia, gave their enthusiastic backing to Ujaama, pouring an estimated $10 billion into Tanzania over a period of 20 years.
Yet, between 1973 and 1988, Tanzania’s economy contracted at an average rate of 0.5 percent a year, and average personal consumption declined by 43 percent. Tanzania’s largely agricultural economy remains devastated.
Some 36 million Tanzanians are attempting to live on an average annual per capita income of $290—among the lowest in the world.
Other African countries that received much aid between 1960 and 1995—Somalia, Liberia, and Zaire – slid into virtual anarchy.
The budgets of Ghana and Uganda are more than 50 percent aid dependent.
Much of the aid received was simply looted. Speaking at the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, in December 2003, the former British secretary of state for international development, Lynda Chalker, noted that 40 percent of the wealth created in Africa is invested outside the continent.
In July 2005, Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission revealed that a succession of military dictators stole or squandered $500 billion—equivalent to all Western aid to Africa over the past four decades.
Even when the loot is recovered, it is quickly re-looted. The Nigerian state has recovered $983 million of the loot of the former president, General Sani Abacha, and his henchmen. But the Senate Public Accounts Committee found only $12 million of the recovered loot in the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Foreign aid given to support reform in Africa has not been successful either. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development reported that: “Despite many years of policy reform, barely any country in the region has successfully completed its adjustment program with a return to sustained growth. Indeed, the path from adjustment to improved performance is, at best, a rough one and, at worst, a disappointing dead-end.
The World Bank evaluated the performance of 29 African countries to which it had provided more than $20 billion in “structural adjustment” loans between 1981 and 1991.
The bank’s report, Adjustment Lending in Africa, concluded that the failure rate was in excess of 80 percent. Even more insightfully, the World Bank concluded that “no African country has achieved a sound macro-economic policy stance.”
Uganda depends on foreign aid for 58 percent of its budget. There are growing concerns about its democracy, defense spending, and rampant corruption. Yet, in December 1999, Uganda’s aid donors announced the country’s biggest-ever loan of $2.2 billion – with no visible strings attached.
Ethiopia, the scene of massive aid following the 1984 manmade famine, remains one of the poorest countries on the planet. About a third of the population earn less than $1 a day and it received $504m from the UK government in 2011/12, making it the biggest recipient of bilateral aid from the country that year.
Observers can only wonder how long it must be before reality pulls the scales away from blind liberal eyes, so that the real cause of the on-going disaster can be laid bare, discussed and acted upon.