Official development assistance to Africa

Authored by: George Klay Kieh

Handbook of Africa’s International Relations

Print publication date:  August  2013
Online publication date:  September  2013

Print ISBN: 9781857436334
eBook ISBN: 9780203803929
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9780203803929-26

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Abstract

Since the inception of the post-Second World War global order, foreign aid has been, and continues to be, a major mode of interaction between wealthy countries and multilateral institutions on the one hand, and poor countries in the ‘global South’ on the other. Particularly, official development assistance—both bilateral and multilateral—has assumed increased importance. This is because official development assistance is portrayed as critical to helping spur the process of social and economic development in poor countries. As Ian Goldin et al. argue, official development assistance ‘is increasingly a catalyst for change, and it is helping to create conditions in which poor people are able to raise their incomes and to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives’. 1 However, this summation that official development assistance helps to promote socio-economic development in the recipient countries has been challenged and disputed by various studies, which argue that there is no relationship between aid and development. 2 In turn, this has led to a major debate in the scholarly literature about the effectiveness of official development assistance. One of the emergent issues revolves around the determinants of the allocation of official development assistance. This is an important issue because it seeks to address the various major intervening factors that shape and condition donors’ allocation of official development assistance. These factors have implications for aid effectiveness.

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