May 26, 2009
A few months ago, Dambisa Moyo came out with a book called Dead Aid in which the author argued that aid was not only failing to help African countries, but actually debilitating their ability to organically grow. This news feed was remarkable on a number of fronts:
-the author is an African economist who is analyzing Africa;
-the author has worked in the private sector;
-the author is a woman.
She is the antithesis of almost all dominant voices theorizing on what is going to turn developing countries (especially in Africa) around—that is, foreign, academic, and male. Now, I’m not out to make enemies, but I think the public debate is clearly ready to be complemented with a voice that has relevant information given the time she spent in Africa, given her work with the actor that may be the economic growth engine (private sector), and given her insight into the best ROI vehicle (women). But then again, isn’t this just another opinion added to the mix? Maybe, but maybe this time she’s calling it right. To be continued this summer when I hopefully talk with Dambisa herself.