African countries can achieve aid independence within a generation, given “right thinking” and “enough political will” from leaders of both developing and developed countries, according to former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is patron of the Africa Governance Initiative.
“I believe that within a generation, no African country need be dependent on aid,” Blair writes in the Huffington Post. “Of course this is a hugely ambitious goal. But it is attainable with the right thinking and enough political will -from leaders in both the developed and developing worlds.”
Echoing arguments from officials such as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Blair notes that aid remains relevant and important to Africa but argues providing aid on its own is no longer enough. Africa’s progress ultimately depends on growth and governance, he stresses.
Blair outlines three “clear steps” he says the international community needs to take to make aid independence a reality as called for by African countries themselves:
Deliver aid in ways that strengthen African governments.
Help African governments develop the capacity they need to provide their citizens’ needs.
Support the development of Africa’s private sector.
Blair adds it is necessary to rethink the interaction of rich and poor countries if these steps are to be implemented successfully.
“We must move on from thinking in terms of rich countries helping poor countries, to an understanding of how everyone can contribute to common, shared goods,” he notes.
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