Africa has received billions in "aid" yet seems to get worse each year, not better. The truth about most of this aid money is that it goes to aid Africa's rich and to prop-up dictators and psychopathic rulers; they get "projects" which are of little use but which create a new class of wealthy dependent on the West and separated from their own people. We have "helped" Africa into a new dark ages. What Africa really needs is not a hand-out, but simple justice. In the area of global economics, this means mostly a fair price for their produce. "Free trade" is a lie in Africa, which has been forced to open its markets to the West, while their own produce, mostly raw materials and food, is forced to compete with the highly subsidized agriculture of the U.S. and Europe. There is a reason that Dutch butter is cheaper in the Nairobi market than the local product. It has nothing to do with the "inefficiency" of the Kenyan farmer, but rather with the subsidized inefficiency of the European sort.
But Africa needs something more. Or at least, that is the opinion of Matthew Parris, an atheist who works on African development: Africa needs Christian missionaries. Says Mr. Parris:
Whenever we entered a territory worked by missionaries, we had to acknowledge that something changed in the faces of the people we passed and spoke to: something in their eyes, the way they approached you direct, man-to-man, without looking down or away. They had not become more deferential towards strangers - in some ways less so - but more open."Development" is viewed as a way of turning Africans into Western consumers, just at the moment when the consumer economy is collapsing. The results, says Mr. Parris are that:
Removing Christian evangelism from the African equation may leave the continent at the mercy of a malign fusion of Nike, the witch doctor, the mobile phone and the machete.We certainly should encourage Christianity in Africa. And if it works there, we might even try it in the United States.