Donors Must Stop Giving Us Money

A LOT has been written about the harm that donor aid caused much of Africa over the decades since the independence of just about every country on the continent. That message has been getting menacingly loud in Namibia.

Last week the Namibian media reported that schools in the poorest parts of Grootfontein were struggling because of a lack of textbooks, despite government’s pledge to provide every child with a textbook.

Guess who came to the rescue? The United States’ Millennium Challenge Account (MCA), through its N$3 billion aid package that comes to an end this year after five years. How shameful!

It has become such a common occurrence to see foreign donors funding crucial state projects, it doesn’t seem to shock us.

It is especially shameful to see so much begging by a country that boasts about being rich and where leaders are quick to tell Western “imperialists” that we don’t need their money.

Just how do we justify it to ourselves putting aside billions for state edifices and quick consumption programmes but fail to invest in our basic needs, including future generations’ education?

It is about time to take stock: how much funding have we received from donors over a period, say the past 10 years or since independence? How much of that money has taken care of crucial programmes? Why did we not pay for them ourselves?

We should stop the “ou my” syndrome. We have to live according to our income. Other than that, we must accept that we will never be masters of our own destiny even if we lie to ourselves by telling donors to “go to hell”.

The only time this country should accept donor money should be for emergencies, especially natural disasters as opposed to reoccurring natural phenomena.