The director of IREN, James Shikwati, argues that,
"When aid money keeps coming, all our policy-makers do is strategize on how to get more...They forget about getting their own people working to solve these very basic problems. In Africa, we look to outsiders to solve our problems, making the victim not take responsibility to change."On the other side, a spokeswoman for the U.N. World Food Program interviewed for the article argues for constant subsidization of African poverty from now until forever:
"Prevention doesn't sell that much. The world has to wait for images of dying children to react. The question is, how to mobilize the international community when it's still preventable?"A third man, an African born and raised, appreciated the international help (and in the short term, who can blame him?), says,
"We need to find other long-term solutions. We can't just address emergencies."Long-term subsidies discourage creativity, productivity, engagement with the markets, and long-term growth and competitiveness. The same is as true for America's subsidy check-cashing farmers as it is for the down-and-out in Africa. Sometimes the best thing we can do for people is to let them fall on their own faces - tough love, so to speak - and stand back as they learn and grow from their own mistakes. That sounds like the correct approach for our relationship with Africa right about now - perhaps set a definitive end date for U.S. aid to the continent?