How can EU development aid shape Africa's future?

How can the European Commission improve development aid in Africa? Ivy Langat from Kenya, James Thuch Madhier from South Sudan and Catherine Mloza-Banda from Malawi weigh in.

With just a month until the third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and a few months before the United Nations adopts the post-2015 agenda, the global development community has an unprecedented opportunity to assess how future development efforts can make an impact.

On the sidelines of the European Development Days in Brussels, Belgium, Devex spoke to three African youth leaders — part of a group of 14 future leaders that shared their views and experiences in the forum’s high-level debates — who said that development aid should focus on policy reforms.

Kenyan Ivy Langat suggested a framework for migration to urban areas are needed. “Urbanization has taken place at such a rapid pace … that many cities have not been able to manage or cater to the needs that come with many people coming to the city,” she said.

South Sudanese James Thuch Madhier meanwhile thinks that developing new ways to improve aid is not the way to help Africa as it only empowers dictators. “Trade is a springboard for development,” he said, adding that it should be guided by ethics and strong policies.

To boost food security in the region, meanwhile, EU development aid to Africa must go beyond subsistence agriculture, Malawian Catherine Mloza-Banda argued. The European Commission must look at other needs — it is not enough to provide machinery, for instance, as farmers also need to know what to do when the equipment breaks down.

Click on the above video for more insights from #EDD15.

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About the author

  • Jacques Jimeno

    Jacques is a former copy editor at Devex’s news production team. Previously, he worked with the Philippine Department of Tourism and the World Wide Fund for Nature.