By Gershom Ndhlovu
For as long as I can remember, no Zambian has ever caused a buzz in international academic, media, political and social circles such as Dambisa Moyo, author of controversial book published early this year, Dead Aid, has in the last few weeks.
Admittedly, I have not read the book suffice to say that I have placed an order for it and hope to get it delivered before the end of the week.
Dead Aid has been reviewed by publications ranging from the respectable United Kingdom’s Economist and the New York Times, and on blogs ranging from one run by UK-based Zambian economist Chola Mukanga to one by David Roodman, architect and project manager of the Commitment to Development Index since the project's inception in 2002 and he is writing a book on microfinance.
Moyo herself has appeared on numerous TV and channels and radio stations giving interviews about the subject of her book.
The critiques of Moyo’s book have ranged from positive to utterly negative with those on this end saying that the issues Moyo raises are not new and have been raised elsewhere. The question, however, is why her work has generated such interest? Is it because she raises these issues as an African or does she touch the raw nerve of international aid which, actually like its twin, charity, has become big business for people in the west and their representatives in the developing countries?
I will neither go into the merits or demerits nor the nitty-gritty of Moyo’s book—which I am yet to read anyway—as these have adequately been covered by the publications and some of the people cited above.
Talking about charity, I find it to be the bane of
These NGOs will station people outside western shopping malls and high streets selling sob stories about Africa, making people to sign up to make monthly donations on the understanding that the money goes to a good cause because of the images they see on TV of people huddled in tents, scrambling for food or drawing muddy water from rivers and ponds.
All that indigenous British people who have never travelled to
Strangely, even some struggling companies such as one that sells bottled water, want to cash on the negatively portrayed picture of Africa by pasting a message on its products that a percentage of the proceeds from the bottle goes to sink boreholes in Africa for which sympathetic western citizens are always taken in. I am yet to know the country, the province, the town, or more specifically, the village where such boreholes have been sunk by this company.
A British citizen I have regularly been in contact with for the last few years once told me about what he for 25 years knew to be Africa where there were no motorways or highways as we know them, no cars, skyscrapers etc until I explained to him that the Nandos and Subway restaurants in the UK town he lives were the same Nandos and Subway restaurants in Lusaka and similar features.
I personally know of someone in the
I have no doubt that a big chunk of the money goes to pay mortgages of the NGO staff and service their gas-guzzling 4x4s vehicles back in the UK while most of the remainder fattens the accounts of the NGO workers in periphery countries. Only crumbs fall on the Katete girl’s reed mat.
Is it not high time Africans said “enough is enough” and turned to their rich natural resources which have since time immemorial, been thrown away to the west for nothing? Is it not high time
The counsel to newly appointed Zambian diplomats by President Banda could not have come at the right time. The attitude of diplomatic staff manning Zambian embassies and high commissions leaves much to be desired.
When Zambians go to these offices, they are treated as if they are pests who should not have found themselves in that country in the first place and diplomatic members of staff are in a hurry to see the back of them, instead of listening to what it is that has taken them to those offices.
One recent case that has particularly incensed Zambians in the Diaspora is the manner the Zambian embassy in
A lot of Zambians abroad who felt for the young man’s case, donated money to raise upwards of US$15,000 dollars for the operation which I understand should have taken place last weekend or should be taking place any time in