The West committed $2.3 trillion U.S. as development aid in the last 50 years, but more than 3 billion people still live on less than $2 U.S. per day. This is a sobering record indeed.

William Easterly believes that the reason for the futility of Western aid is the fact that politicians and aid agencies alike organize development according to the pattern of a socialist planned economy and by means of a "Big Push," thus losing touch with small entrepreneurs and their special local needs.

Development must not be imposed; it must follow a bottom-up strategy and initiate a self-feeding process of growth, if it is to be sustainable. Success is based on three basic basic requirements:

1. Entrepreneurs and free markets

2. Good governance

3. Social capital (trust)

Especially in the initial phase, the process can be promoted by Western aid that corresponds to the issues at hand.

By Professor Dr. Karl Homann

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