- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Penguin (28 Jan. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141031182
- ISBN-13: 978-0141031187
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.2 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Dead Aid: Why aid is not working and how there is another way for Africa Paperback – 28 Jan 2010
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A damning assessment of the failures of sixty years of western development (Financial Times)
Kicks over the traditional piety that Western aid benefits the third world (Books of the Year Sunday Herald)
Dambisa Moyo makes a compelling case for a new approach (Kofi Annan)
Provocative ... incendiary ... a double-barrelled shotgun of a book (Daily Mail)
This reader was left wanting a lot more Moyo, a lot less Bono (Niall Ferguson)
'Here is an African woman, articulate, smart, glamorous, delivering a message of brazen political incorrectness: cut aid to Africa ... her ideas deserve to be taken seriously' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
It's when she presents alternatives that the book struggles a bit. African nations should borrow on the international bond markets rather than accept Aid. Perhaps, but now is not the best time for that. The author is keen on Chinese investment in Africa, yet it is not clear how this is different from or better than western investment.
Overall the book has a slightly dry academic feel to it, Moyo is an economist not a journalist and it shows. While much is made of her being African, yet she doesn't seem to have lived there since she was a child, and there is little personal in a book heavy on economics.
A book anyone interested in the issues around Aid should definitely read. But a bit thin on hard examples to be quite the devastating critique of Aid that some credit it with being.
Ms. Moyo differentiates among three types of aid:
1. EMERGENCY HUMANITARIAN AID. This is needed in the aftermath of a disaster such as during the Asian tsunamis in 2004;
2. CHARITABLE AID. Administered by organisations like Oxfam, charitable aid is targeted to delivering specific public goods like building toilets for teenage girls in India; and
3. DEVELOPMENT AID. This is bilateral or multilateral (via the World Bank to African governments) aid, which is used to supplement government annual budgets.
Developmental aid forms the bulk share of total aid flows to Africa; therefore, Ms. Moyo focuses her criticism on development aid.
She begins the book with a credible overview of the history of development aid--from its conception at the Bretton Woods conference in 1947 through the oil crises of the mid 1970s to the fall of the Berlin Wall. She argues that development aid was conceived as a means to spur economic growth. Showing growth statistics for Africa in the 1970s and 80s, she conclusively demonstrates that aid-receiving African countries have not grown in the two decades.Read more ›
If I had not been at the presentation, I would probably have rated the book lower; at the start of her presentation, Ms. Moyo said that the book was not an academic analysis, but was rather intended to create debate. With this in mind, the book is surely worth reading, since the debate on aid to poor countries is in much need of reflection and new ideas.
But that said, this is not such a great book, and its message is not new. In fact, the best thing about the book is its quite provocative premise that Ms. Moyo largely views aid as the cause of all of Africa's problems.
The first part of the book is a fine albeit superficial summary of the history of aid, and its problems in relation to Africa, where she argues that aid to Africa since the end of colonial times has been the major cause for increased poverty, lack of growth, corruption and bad governance, even conflict! This of course leads to the more or less explicit premise that aid should just be done away with (something that the book has been widely quoted for), but in selected parts of the book, you can see that she is not necessarily as extreme as she gives the impression of in that first part: "However worthwhile the goal to reduce and even eliminate aid is, it would not be practical or realistic to see aid immediately drop to zero. Nor, in the interim, it might be desireable." (page 76).
The main problem with the first part of the book is her lack of differetiating between different kinds of aid; she does a simplistic differentiation in the start of the book between humanitarian and NGO aid (regarding the latter, Ms.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
interesting read even though I do not agree with a few points this author makesPublished 5 months ago by Elina Zandersone
It is a good book for someone who would like to understand the implications of foreign aid to recipient countries.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
I just come back from Somalia after doing 2 years voluntary work to support my people. Aid destroys Africa!Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Extremely one-sided and not particularly well-written. Absolutely didn't live to up to any of the hype.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Brilliant book anyone working in the NGO sector should read.Published 11 months ago by Jacquie Ryan
Brevity is the sister to talent, so this book is very talented. Moyo deliver fine evidence for her findings, and every one engaged in politics and especially aid-politics must read... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Mogens Brock
Great book for anyone interested in aid work and how it doesn't.Published 17 months ago by ZippyHorn