Africans receiving aid
SOMALILAND MINISTER SAYS “AID IS A CURSE”
Confronting but thought-provoking: Somaliland’s Minister of Energy has told a conference in South Africa that his ‘country’ doesn’t receive aid, doesn’t need aid and that aid is a “curse”.
Hussein Abdi Dualeh is the Minister for Energy for the breakaway territory of Somaliland: breaking away from Somalia, that is, in 1991. Somaliland has never been recognized internationally and therefore cannot officially receive aid.
“AID NEVER DEVELOPED ANYTHING”
“This is a blessing in disguise”, Dualeh told the Reuters news agency. “Aid never developed anything”.
“Aid is not a panacea, we’d rather not have it”, Dualeh continued. “How many African countries do you know that developed because of a lot of aid? It’s a curse. The one’s that get the most aid are the ones with problems”, he said.
That is an interesting thought: more problems may result in more aid but more aid may be the cause of more problems!
SOMALILAND RELATIVELY PEACEFUL
Hussein Abdi Dualeh was speaking whilst attending a mining conference in Cape Town, South Africa, where he was trying to convince investors to explore for minerals in Somaliland which he described as Africa’s “last mining frontier” which is “almost completely unexplored”.
Unlike the rest of Somalia, Somaliland has been relatively peaceful since it broke away, and has held two close, but pretty much non-violent elections.
“We’ve been left to our own devices”, said Dualeh. “We are our own people and our own guys. We pull ourselves up by our own boot straps”.
For the same reasons Somaliland does not receive international aid money, i.e. because it is not officially recognized as a country, it also cannot access international capital markets, so it also has no debt.
“We owe absolutely nothing to anybody”, said Dualeh. “We would not change hands with Greece today. We have zero debt”.
Somaliland’s economy is largely based on the selling of goats and cattle to Arab countries, and remittances from the Somaliland Diaspora of about one billion dollars a year.
AID TO AFRICA $125 BILLION PER YEAR
Sub-Saharan Africa currently receives about $125 billion in international aid each year. In the last 50 years that has amounted to approximately $1 trillion (Stanford Journal of International Relations).
Is Hussein Abdi Dualeh right? Would we be better off without the aid?