Aid and Africa

Chris at Midwest Conservative Journal points out an article about Western aid to African nations. The Kenyan economist interviewed in the story provides excellent insight into the problems of African poverty and disease. In our well-meaning but poorly-designed attempts to help Africans, we are contributing to their problems. Western societies, particularly the United States, have reached the consensus that money solves everything. From this story, we can clearly see the fact that, sometimes, money only creates problems.

Citizen magazine recently featured a story about how U.S. attempts to help decrease sexually-transmitted diseases in Africa have resulted in the erosion of valuable and effective abstinence-based efforts. We must reconsider what harm we’re doing to the developing world by not allowing them to develop and, instead, treating them like domesticated animals. Domesticated animals–a household cat, for example–depend on their masters to provide for their every need; they can never take responsibility for their own lives because they don’t have the faculty of reason and the faculty of instinct has been numbed through domestication. We provide babies with the essentials and, as they mature, they take responsibility for their own needs and obligations; fledgling or precarious African democracies are the same–they can only sustain their commitments to freedom by being responsible for it themselves.

The abstinence-based, faith-based programs in a certain African nation has flourished:

The prevalence of AIDS cases in Uganda plummeted from nearly 30 percent to just 6 percent within the last decade.

Why do we want to destroy that success by handing out condoms and promoting promiscuity?