Photo courtesy of UN Photo/Mario Rizzolio
"BYE BYE" AID," HELLO" PARTERSHIP FOR AFRICA
Everywhere you look partnerships are taking off with Africa.
Whether it's the US Department of Defense in one of its most successful programs on helping African nations improve maritime safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea to China-Africa private sector and public-private sector partnerships that are sprouting up across the continent- like the one in Malawi where rows of cotton are being cultivated by local African farmers receiving instruction on budding from Chinese experts, or in Ethiopia, where a shoe factory has been built using funds from the China-Africa Development Fund, or the hydropower station now in the works in the Democratic Republic of the Congo being financed by credit from China. The list goes on and on…
EU-Africa partnerships in the area of infrastructure, for example-are exemplar. The general assessment at last week's Fourth Meeting of the Steering Committee of the EU-Africa Partnership for Infrastructure was held in positive esteem, as some of the remarks were said to emphasise that, "it has proven to be quite successful in supporting some of the very large-scale infrastructure programs, which help meet Africa’s needs."
In 2010, The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development recommended that Africa "should take steps to ensure that its growing economic interactions with large developing countries, including China, India, and Brazil, result in economic diversification rather than simply the sale of African commodities and raw materials -- the traditional pattern of the continents relations with the industrialized North." Point taken, that's exactly what the Continent has been up to.
"New, increasingly important economic partners in the "South" can help this African transformation along not only through growing trade and financial flows but by supporting regional infrastructure projects and transferring knowledge and technology", notes the Economic Development in Africa Report 2010, this also is taking form.
According to The African Economic Outlook 2011, many African countries have made progress toward replacing aid with domestically mobilized resources. On average, the findings reveal that Africa has managed to raise an estimated 441 dollars in taxes per person per year while receiving 41 dollars per person per year in aid and the African Development Banks says Africa's private sector developmentis the key to sustainable inclusive growth.
Today, only about a third of African countries receive aid that is equivalent to less than 10 percent of tax revenue. They include Algeria, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Libya. This is a significant change from its years of traditional high dependency on aid and more toward self-reliance from growing partnerships.