IGCSE FIRST LANGUEGAE ENGLISH NAME: GIFT CHIMANISHA CHANDA ESSAY TYPE: SPEECH TITLE: WHY ‘DEAD AID’ IS RIGHT AND WATKINS IS WRONG Mr. President Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, Members of the Symposium, good morning. It is a great privilege to stand here this morning to not only clarify the myths in Kevin Watkins’ article but also to run counter to his theory that Africa needs aid from the West. He vehemently repudiates “Dead Aid’’ by Dambisa Moyo, a Zambian born international economist who rightly argues that aid undermines the social and economic fabrics of the developing world, especially Africa. Ladies and Gentlemen, Watkins’ shocking remarks highlighting why foreign aid should not cease is more than just a mixture of cherry picked quotes, facts and figures that are filled with farragoes of misunderstandings, misquotations and representations. His verdict, which wholly supports his so called “Academic work”, is rather unconvincing and irrelevant to his argument .Claiming that reports have pointed out the ‘’positive” statistics that show that Africa has benefited from international aid is undoubtedly unrealistic. However, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is evident to acknowledge that there has been some minimal economic growth in Africa and Moyo strongly propose this fact and therefore vividly recognizes and illustrates this in her book. Perhaps what Watkins should have explained is why Singapore ,a country which was at the same economic level with most African states, is now developing exponentially while African countries slothfully waits for more foreign aid from the international community. Ladies and Gentlemen, how ‘’positive’’ are these figures? Moreover, I firmly believe that three decades of foreign aid have served to not only increase corruption but also increase humanitarian disasters in Africa .Affiliated members, I know what Moyo suggests, which I agree with, sounds fairly outlandish and not everyone will understand this except for those Africans who have been victims of wars, corruption and other atrocities that aid has bestowed upon them. Appallingly, Mr. Watkins accuses Moyo of “Tilting at windmills’’ while obliviously claiming aid has brought some sort of “Development assistance.” Bill Gates has tremendously contributed to the eradication of polio and minimized the number of children who die of malaria and no one will object to that fact. But, Ladies and Gentlemen, take a moment and think of where all that remaining huge sums of money end up. Yes! You are right to think that all that cash meant to improve people’s living standards ends up in hands of incompetent leaders who continue to embezzle aid money. Mr. Watkins, clearly, Moyo does not seem to be attacking imaginary enemies whatsoever, but rather serves to indicate that aid just increased corruption. Likewise Ladies and Gentlemen, aid to Africa does not alleviate poverty. Instead, it just makes African economies crippled with governments begging for more aid .Despite being a war death zone for all kinds of gruesome cold wars that have all been indirectly funded by aid, Africa still continues to ask for more aid. Somalia ,one of the most corrupt and certainly a war torn region is now becoming wholly dependent on aid despite the deadly wars that still transpires even up to now. Ethiopia is another example. Shocking figures show that a whopping 97 percent of the government’s budget comes from foreign aid in countries like Ethiopia and the Gambia. How did Ethiopia, a country which was never colonized, be so dependent on the West? How is this even possible? Where do all the heavy taxes on the citizens go? Nevertheless, not all that Watkins highlights is unjustified .He makes signicant statistical claims that supports his verdict. Ladies and Gentlemen, you might agree that countries like Burkina Faso, Mali, Tanzania and Mozambique are growing at an impressive rate of more than five percent a year and all this growth is credited to the international aid these countries have been receiving. However, my only concern is why aid has not benefited the majority of African states but rather just these four countries. Besides, by now, every African country should be growing at not less than 6 percent per annum on its own in order to catch up with demands of the 21st century. What is up for the other African states? In addition, Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Watkins rightly states that these international initiatives have “saved lives.” Quite alright, people like Bob Geldof, Bill Gates and other philanthropists have saved a lot of lives like I earlier highlighted. Like Moyo, my argument still stand, “Whose responsibility is it to solve African problems?” Certainly not aid donor organizations as most people would put it. Don’t you think Africa’s problems should be solved by Africans? This, I believe, is what is giving rise to neocolonialism, a situation that makes Africa think it is independent yet it is dependent on its long gone colonial masters. How outlandish! In a nutshell, Dambisa Moyo’s ‘Dead Aid’ end with a question, “What if,” she asks, “one by one, African countries each received a phone call … telling them that in exactly five years the aid taps would be shut off— permanently?” Ladies and Gentlemen, that phone call is what Africans need in order to work hard to solve their numerous problems. Thank you for listening.