British Prime Minister Theresa May’s much hyped recent visit to Africa sought to create a solution to Britain’s likely post-Brexit economic woes rather than promote a development agenda benefiting Africans.
More than 1,100 women living and working within the international aid sector in 81 countries have signed an open letter demanding that women be “taken seriously by men and decision makers in humanitarian and development organizations”.
The Oxfam sexual exploitation scandal signals the arrival of the moment for an honest public conversation about charities’ role in society, the white saviour mentality, gender relations, charity accountability, and the impact of western aid and power in developing countries.
Like political campaign contributions, today’s self-interested foreign aid often supports badly-designed development projects, imposes foreign investor-friendly policies on recipient countries, facilitates access to intended beneficiaries’ resources, helps aid-giving countries to look good on the world stage, all the while making unquestioning taxpayers in aid giving countries feel good about their supposed generosity.
An eye-opening report released by the Washington, D.C.-based Global Financial Integrity in December 2015 reveals an inconvenient truth: Between 2004 and 2013, Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe lost a staggering US$2.76 billion to multinational corporations through “illicit financial flows”.