This is a must listen conversation between Dr. Ghidewon Abay from the Organisation of Eritrean American with radio presenter Obidike Kamau of KPFT 90.1 FM Huston.
The interview left thousands of listeners in the states very much impressed. The utter surprise displayed by the radio staff and the various callers was so telling after learning for the first time the existence in Africa of a really independent country that has made its people as the center of its development policy … with out an ally or a natural resource to rely on to.
“While the Eritrean government welcomes properly focused aid programs, it is inclined to discourage the proliferation of fragmented aid programs that do a better job of meeting the needs of donor, rather than recipient, nations.” – President Afwerki.
Early in 1992, only a few months after Eritrea’s long war of liberation from Ethiopia ended, we received a high-level mission from a friendly country determined to help us make the difficult political and social transition to peace and salvage our devastated economy.
Although the offer was well-intentioned, the package of food and commodity aid was woefully inadequate for addressing our huge needs. Yet that was not the reason we felt compelled to politely decline the offer. The real problem was that the aid package arrived with an appalling number of strings attached, chiefly those associated with privatization of Eritrea’s public enterprises. In fact, the donor nation stipulated that the $17 million in commodity aid would be disbursed in several stages, over a three-year period. Continue reading Foreign Aid Works Best when it’s Self-Limiting: Isaias Afwerki (1997)→