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[afro-nets] Brown's £1bn Africa debt pledge

Brown's £1bn Africa debt pledge

Dear Colleagues

I was alerted to this by the ConserveAfrica team.

I am pleased that the UK government is stepping up to the plate
and is addressing the huge debt overhang that plagues Africa and
is committing UK £1bn - (One billion pounds sterling) to the
plan. That is good.

But, like almost everything that the rich nations do for the
poor, it is politics not economics that drives the agenda. Ap-
parently "Under the plan - .... - countries must spend the cash
saved on health, education and welfare." This is almost cer-
tainly the wrong way to get developing countries back on track.
Money save should be spent on the things that need to be done to
make the economy as productive as it can be, not merely to add
funding to an already desperate welfare based economic environ-
ment. I wish Keynes was around to challenge the policy options
that dominate donor governments.

People in Britain should remember the downward spiral of the
British economy until Margaret Thatcher arrived on the scene and
told Britain to get with it and be productive and become inter-
nationally competitive. And Britain did a pretty good job of
getting back on track. The welfare mentality that dominates the
donor community is a formula that has produced disaster in the
past, and will continue to do so.

The problem is compounded by the double speak of market econom-
ics and foreign direct investment that has made it even more
difficult to developing country economies to succeed, unless
they are productive. And even then, the profits from investment
rush out of the neighbourhood and give little of the famous
Keynsian multiplier impact.

Sad. Dumb. Disgraceful are three final thoughts are in my mind.

My views may not be popular, but the status quo is not so good.
We need progress that stands up.


Peter Burgess
Tr-Ac-Net / WISPforD in New York
Tel: +1-212-772-6918
Blog: http://taame.blogspot

In a message dated 1/14/2005 12:20:21 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

 > Brown's £1bn Africa debt pledge
 > Mr Brown is on a six-day tour of Africa
 > The UK has pledged to pay 10% of the developing world's foreign debt 
bill in
 > an attempt to fight poverty. Gordon Brown has signed a debt relief 
deal with
 > Tanzania - and he said the UK would make similar offers to 70 poorer 
 > around the world. Under the plan - which could cost the UK £1bn - 
 > must spend the cash saved on health, education and welfare.
 > "We make this offer unilaterally but we are now asking other 
countries to
 > join us," the chancellor said.
 > More:

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