Infrastructure to serve the MDGs - Part Two

Infrastructure to serve the MDGs - Part Two

Are development partners really helping low income countries to eradicate poverty and develop?

Present aid situation in Low Income Countries (LICs)

  • Robert Zoellick, (11th President, World Bank) believes that over US$52billion per year in public and private investment is needed to close the infrastructure financing gap for Africa alone by 2010
  • Vivien Foster (Senior Economist, World Bank) considers that the main bane of rapid infrastructural delivery in most LICs is power generation. Her observation (2008) suggests that - aid from bi/multilateral agencies to LICs for capital projects are not necessarily in alignment with the priority development needs of the LICs. The extensive infrastructure deficit of Africa and other LICs is therefore not surprising
  • Many bilateral donors often tie their aid to some conditions consistent with their foreign policies and economic/other interests. Aid from multinational agencies is largely constrained by their Country Assistance Strategies to the LICs

"A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it" – Bob Hope

Align donor and country goals to meet the real needs of the citizenry

Eradicating poverty through the alignment of donor and country goals for aid effectiveness. The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (2005) best sets out how to align donor and country goals as follows:

  1. Ownership - Developing countries should set their own strategies for poverty reduction, and improve their institutions to tackle corruption
  2. Alignment - Donor countries must align behind these objectives and use local systems
  3. Harmonisation - Donor countries should coordinate, simplify procedures and share information to avoid duplication
  4. Results - Developing countries and donors should shift focus to development results and results get measured
  5. Mutual accountability - Donors and partners should be accountable for development results
    The Accra Agenda for Action (AAA, 2008) was drawn up in Ghana and complements the commitments in the Paris Declaration with four underpinning goals: Predictability, Country Systems, Conditionality and Untying.

Sustainable development may not be achievable without the commitment to align donor and country goals to meet the real needs of the citizenry.

 

References/

Foster, V. (September 2008) Overhauling the Engine of Growth: Infrastructure in Africa
Africon (June 2008) Unit Cost of Infrastructure Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa