To Build a Review of Dead Aid
Dambisa Moyo confounded developmental economists and academia in 2009 with her pointed critique of the assistance regime surrounding development in sub-Saharan Africa when she published Dead Aid. Since that time, the ideas professed by Moyo have been considered rather profound yet divisive. Niall Ferguson sums up the initial basic question Moyo asks in his foreword to Dead Aid. Ferguson states, “why, ask Moyo, do the majority of sub-Saharan countries ‘flounder in a seemingly never-ending cycle of corruption, disease, poverty, and aid-dependency, despite the fact that their countries have received more than US$300 billion in development assistance since 1970” (Ferguson, 2009). Moyo claims within the writings of Dead Aid that the support or aid given to sub-Saharan Africa has failed in its scope by making the region poorer and that there are alternatives to the regime of assistance. This essay will summarize and critique Dead Aid but also apply the findings to the broader debate on global integration. Moyo gives readers within Dead Aid a particular insight into the duality between ‘no-strings’ attached foreign direct investment (FDI) typified by the Eastern style of support to the Western ideology of democracy building as a contingency to aid.
Before diving into the summary and critique of Dead Aid, a few words on the uniqueness and background of Dambisa Moyo are in order. Moyo has a few significant benefits to the majority of theorist’s writing about sub-Saharan Africa. In borrowing from and summarizing Ferguson’s foreword to Dead Aid, Moyo is a black female born and raised in Zambia, a sub-Saharan African nation (Ferguson, 2009). On those merits alone she represents a perspective that should not be ignored. However, her education and career have taken her from places like Havard University all the way to Oxford University, and then to the professional world of economics with Goldman-Sachs for eight years in New York City (Ferguson, 2009). With her education and personal demographics, readers can see how she developed quite visceral views to aid in sub-Saharan Africa.