Monday, May 05, 2008

TED talk: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: Let's have a deeper discussion on aid

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, previous finance minister of Nigeria and a director of World Bank talked about:
1. If you are the person in need, you don't care if it is aid. It is not shameful at all. It is important. Here , she accounts her own story of the shortest 10km walk of her life.
2. Lots of individual wealthy foundations are going in to help, but there is no coordination or consultation with local parties what they really need. After 10 years of efforts, it may still come to nothing. This may be unlike certain bodies such as World Bank etc, which has certain regulations to ensure proper projects. She is encouraging more dialogue from all the helpful wealthy individuals and the parties on the ground.
3. Africa need infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure and discipline. While certain bodies may view China's entry into Africa as exploitation of Africa's resources, but the fact is they are welcomed because while western aid may be keen to build schools and medical facilities, the Chinese will not shy away from building infrastructure such as roads when asked. Help Africa help itself.


The 2 most important points perhaps is:
1. Not only aid, but you need aid, debt relief, private captialism - a mixture of means and methods to help Africa.
2. Lend the money to the women who needs the money to continue helping themselves. Microloans and just say again, how much more trusthworthy women are to men!
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