Are you a little bit bored of the "does aid work" debate? Well, so
is Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and in a tour de force 20-minute talk
at the end of TEDGlobal, she asked us all to get "a bit more sophisticated"
in terms of how we approach such questions.
Of course aid can be good, she says, and tells a very personal story
of how it affected her and her family directly during the Nigeria-Biafra war.
But of course aid can be wasted, too. And so she asks the foundations who are
directing aid at Africa to look to how Spain has used $20 billion in EU aid,
or how Ireland has used its $3 billion: to build the infrastructure which enables
growth and prosperity. And she asks Africans to be a bit more aggressive in
terms of communicating to those foundations exactly where and how their aid
can be used most effectively.
What Africa needs is not more aid, or less aid, but much more effective and
coordinated aid. But don’t listen to me, listen to Ngozi, who can tell this
story a million times better than I can.