The World Bank and African Development Bank have been urged to do more for Africa’s most deprived people by senior financial ministers. The African Caucus Meeting, which took place in Sierra Leone between 16th -17th August, was hosted by President Koroma who said, “the fiscal and monetary stimulus provided by the advanced economies played a critical role in jump-starting the global economic recovery. But most advanced counties are now exiting from the stimulus packages and are resorting to fiscal consolidation…in this regard, it is important that the Bretton Woods institutions take note of the impact of these developments on our economies and provide appropriate financing instruments and other forms of assistance to ensure the continued financing of our development and poverty reduction efforts”.
The President’s statement has ignited debate about whether extra aid is enough to shore up inefficient governments or whether it purely propagates corruption. While aid has the capabilities to lift populations out of abject poverty; this has clearly not been the case in many Africa nations.
Some critics maintain that international aid has served and continues to serve the economic, political and strategic interests of ‘donor’ countries while ignoring to the real needs of African citizens.
To truly ensure that Africa has a solid financial footing, there needs to be a distinct change in of international power relationships, especially reform of international trade and finance rules. A move to alter Western protectionism must also be met with domestic transformations by African leaders. This will be the only way to ensure that Africa’s potential to contribute as a strong, sustainable, more robust and resilient continent is realized.