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Commentary

Power to the African People
Julian Morris, The Spectator, 6-29-05

In The Spectator (UK) Morris analyses the G8 issue of Africa and concludes that more aid from Western countries will make poverty perpetual. Failing governments propped up by Western aid have left millions of people with no access to clean sources of water and fuel, resulting in unnecessary disease and suffering:

“Wood and dung are the primary sources of energy in Kenya and much of Africa — providing heat for the home and cooking. Clean fuels such as natural gas and electricity, not to mention central heating and air-conditioning, are luxuries reserved for plutocrats, politicians, and NGOs. Why do so many Africans rely on dirty energy sources? For the same reason that they are poor: their oppressive governments prevent them engaging in mutually beneficial economic activities. It is illegal in most African states to start a business without a license. And licenses are available only to those with government connections.
“Even if it were possible legally to operate a business, few would have the necessary capital. While their governments have been borrowing as if there were no tomorrow, most Africans cannot obtain a loan at any reasonable rate of interest. Those same oppressive, corrupt and incompetent governments prevent them obtaining good title to their land and thus they have nothing to offer as collateral.”


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