Foreign Assistance To Africa: Imperative Need For Local Agenda

Interest in Africa keeps growing by the day. Several countries and donor institutions have not only diversified and raise support mechanisms to ensure that the continent emerges, but have sustained capacity-building strategies and innovative steps towards


Within the continent, there has been a kind of reawakening over the years with questions being asked about the pertinence of foreign assistance and how well leadership in Africa has used such aid to tailor development agendas to meet needs. A recent announcement by Germany following the two-day G20 Compact with Africa Conference from 20-21 November, 2023 must have sent some signals to many who desire to know more about foreign aid to Africa.      
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged a whooping sum of $4.5 billion to Africa in the next decade as part of what has been qualified as the Africa-European Union Green Energy Initiative. The Compact with Africa Conference, as the gathering was called, brought together nations of the G20 and Africa in Berlin to boost private investments across Africa so as to enable Europe’s largest economy, Germany to expand its supply chains, secure skilled labour, reduce illegal migration and achieve its transition to clean energy. Compact with Africa came into existence in 2017 during the German G20 presidency and a number of African countries have already adhered to the vision. This is just one out of many efforts by African partners abroad to design strategies that can give greater meaning to the ties with Africa.     
 Each year, African leaders criss-cross the globe in search of different partners for various development projects. Such journeys are either made in groups for specific international conferences with individual agendas or they are done at bilateral levels. Looking at the infrastructural deficit that Africa has suffered since independence, there could be no doubt celebrating all attempts geared towards helping the continent to pursue structural transformation that can ensure significant improvements in the living conditions of the population.  
That at least should be expected as the logical outcome of the myriad of conferences that African leaders attend. Any surface reading into the meetings can likely end with a cup half full or half empty view depending on the country being examined. This simple means that African nations in the final analysis will hardly come out with the same development basket-content for their people. Divisions continue to remain strong and pervasive to efforts at fostering a common vision. Even worse, when nations push forward the ambitions of their countries, it is often from a beggar position which generally fails to project the real concerns of the continent.      
With a general consensus that Africa has a strong labour force which is increasingly gaining in terms of skills and efficiency to effect the transformational mind-set and structural leap that the continent requires to make significant progress, there is equally a sense of frustration generated by the inability to domesticate most of the value systems and imported development models. An incredibly high dependence on foreign goods backed by slow industrialisation across Africa have over the years signalled a painful dark spot in the development models that are evident in Africa.
The average citizen in most African countries must have heard or read about summits involving China-Africa, America-Africa, Africa-Europe; Africa-Japan; Russia-Africa and so on. Billions of dollars announced at the end of such meetings will hardly be confirmed, by even some of the best economists in Africa, as a true reflection of the level of development on the ground compared to the huge sums stated at the end of such rendezvous.     
Common concerns imposed by environmental hazards, global terrorism, violent extremism and other global scares have come to increase reasons behind the convening of more international meetings around the various woes that human and natural instabilities have imposed on most nations. For instance, several World Climate Change Action Summits (WCAS) have come and gone with their loads of promises and disappointments in terms of unfulfilled commitments by major world leaders.
Each time civil society organisations from Africa and some African leaders take part in such meetings, they almost always return with promises. It has certainly become a global trend to include climate change issue...


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