One of the blogs I read “What An African Woman Thinks” has an interesting summary of several articles about the debate Aid to Africa:
On AppAfrica, Jonathan Gosier used a well-known tale to make a point. He suggested that people look at Africa like it’s the land from the Wonderful Wizard of Oz:
“It’s a strange land, in some far away place; far away from Auntie Em’s farm in Kansas. There are many oppressed people, people who need a brain (an metaphor for better education), people who need courage and confidence, and people who need a little love. There’s plenty of evil witches to slay in Africa (pick your poison, actually) and often plenty of ‘men behind the curtain’ (The Wizards) who dictate what the politics of the continent really are.”
Into this land, enter Dorothy, the well-meaning but naïve Dorothy. She lands in Oz, catalyzes what appear to be positive changes, and then flies away, back to whence she came. When she returns, it turns out it’s not holding together very well and her actions/collaborations have had unforeseen consequences. But, Dorothy doesn’t live in Oz. She whizzes in and out of there and it’s the Munchkins, the little people, the inhabitants of Oz whom she so wants to help, who have to deal with the consequences.
According to Gosier, there are “Too many Dorothys in Africa’s Oz’.”
“Just remember, nothing happens in a vacuum and we should be careful of where we drop our houses.”
2 thoughts on “Aid to Africa: What An African Woman Thinks”
Jutta, I would be interested to know what you think about these statements.
I think there is a lot of truth in this. To name just one problem: I see many projects that look great at first but don’t go anywhere once the initiator has left or the money flow stops.
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