Foreign Aid Inflows for Africa in Decline, Says Expert

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Original Post Date: 2010-11-29 Time: 18:00:05  Posted By: News Poster

By Jibrin Abubakar

Tunis – Foreign aids inflow from donor countries are drying up and in the next 15 years, many poor African countries may not be able to access the window, Chief Economist of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) Professor Mthuli Ncube has alerted.

He attributed the new trend to several economic factors that are redefining economic relations around the world, some of which include the economic recession in Europe and America, and Africa’s new economic partner – China.

Economic recession has forced some European countries like Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, Greece and Portugal to consider austerity measures with rising concerns that immigration and development budgets may be stifled.

From 1960 to 2008, foreign donors have pumped over $650 billion in aids into the continent with a population of about one billion people.

But Global Financial Integrity put the total capital flight from the continent from 1960 to date at $844 billion.

Professor Ncube said African countries must focus on building infrastructure and strengthening intra-continent economic ties.

China, he said, has introduced a new model to aid through its policy of ‘resources for infrastructure’.

Chief Investment Officer, Private Sector Department of AfDB Godfrey Mwindare told this reporter in Tunis that the entrant of China into Africa would create competition and fair deal, and that the continent is not currently benefitting from its extractive resources.

Africa’s trade with China has doubled every three years since 2000 and hit $107 billion in 2008, eclipsing the United States as the biggest trading partner.

Trade with China fell to $90 billion in 2009 because of the global recession. But the US Commerce Department said trade ties with Africa fell from $141 billion in 2008 to $86 billion in 2009.

Some 800,000 Chinese workers are now in Africa, according to a website that focuses on China in Africa,

Addressing a press conference last Friday top economist and former CEO of France’s international development agency, the Agence Française de Dévelopement Jean-Michel Severino said Africa has come of age to decipher its needs, and that the era of compassionate aids was over.

The 77 member-country of AfDB is championing Africa’s development, having supported 3,300 projects so far.

But it is worried that corruption has cost the continent about 25 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or about $300billion.

Former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Nuhu Ribadu said past Nigerian leaders had stolen $500 billion donors’ assistance from Western countries.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) last September said Nigeria is the third fastest growing economy in the world after China and India, as a result of the growth of the nation’s economy from 6.9 per cent in 2009 to 7.4 per cent this year.

Original Source: Daily Trust (Abuja)
Original date published: 29 November 2010