African Development: Despots or Aid?

This month’s G8 summit of industrialised nations in Canada will be dominated by discussion of the much heralded New Partnership for Africa’s Development, the latest attempt to meet the formidable challenges facing the continent. A new infusion of aid is tied to good government. Is it a realistic project or yet another grandiose initiative that will entirely fail to transform political and economic conditions on the ground? While recent events in Zimbabwe and the broader African reaction to them may not prove fatal for the scheme, they do not bode well for its long term success.

The World Today Updated 23 October 2020 Published 1 June 2002 6 minute READ

James Hamill

Retired lecturer in politics and international relations, University of Leicester

It has now become almost routine to refer to the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) as a Marshall Plan for Africa – a compact between African states and the developed world in which the latter has agreed to provide more aid for infrastructural projects, debt relief and education, to ease access for African goods to the markets of the developed world, and to channel greater investment into African economies. In return, African states have fully accepted the post-Cold War global economic and political orthodoxies and, consequently, have committed themselves to the principles of ‘good governance.’ This will entail:

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