The Trouble with Africa

Why Foreign Aid Isn't Working
Calderisi, Robert
Date published: 
October 2006

Frustrated by years of political correctness surrounding discussions of Africa, this book cuts through the conventions. Long time World Bank official Robert Calderisi reveals how most of Africa's misfortunes are self-imposed, and why the world needs to help the continent in a different way. Calderisi shows that Africa has steadily lost markets by its own mismanagement; that corrupt, dictatorial regimes have hobbled agriculture, enterprise and foreign investment; that African family values and fatalism are more destructive than tribalism; and that African leaders prey intentionally on Western guilt. Calderisi exposes the shortcomings and indulgences of foreign aid and debt relief, and proposes his own radical solutions. Drawing on many years of first hand experience, 'The Trouble with Africa' highlights issues which have been ignored by Africa's leaders but have long worried ordinary Africans, diplomats, academics, business leaders, aid workers, volunteers, and missionaries. It ripples with stories which only someone who has talked directly to African farmers - and heads of state - could recount.
Calderisi's aim is to move beyond the hand-wringing and finger-pointing which dominates most discussions of Africa. Instead, he suggests concrete steps which Africans and the world can take to unlock the talent and enterprise of the continent.