Jonathan Glennie: Donors Should Consider Other Tools To Finance Africa's Development

Aid is the easiest way to support development in Africa, but there are alternative tools and approaches that donors can adopt to finance infrastructure and social development projects in the world’s poorest regions, a U.K.-based think tank fellow says.

“There are myriad policies western governments could adopt to help Africa and other poor regions finance development,” Jonathan Glennie of the Overseas Development Institute writes in the Guardian. “They just happen to be slightly more costly to us and/or run up against more powerful vested interests.”

These “more beneficial” approaches to financing development projects include debt relief, use of foreign reserves and reforms of local banks, Glennie says.

He adds that donor governments should seek an end to the era of tax havens, which he says allows politicians to siphon large amounts of money - some from foreign aid budgets - from their governments. Donors should also help address this massive corruption of state capital, Glennie says.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.