A Tyrant’s Best Friend

George Ayittey
Sub-Saharan Africa
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Ghanaian economist George Ayittey launches directly into his argument about the uselessness of foreign aid in Africa with a quote from Albert Einstein: “Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting different results.” The parallel he draws to foreign aid in Africa is clear: while developed nations continue to pour money into the continent, war and economic trouble are still widespread. Ayittey acknowledges that there are types of aid that are more useful than others, but in each case the West is trying to help people without engaging them. Ayittey pleads for a more informed approach and asserts that the African people should have a say in what kind of aid they receive, because they know their own needs better than any foreign power.

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