International development organizations that work in Africa have been criticized for their approaches to developing Africa which disregard the input of the recipients of their projects. These TED Talks from leaders break down why aid reform is needed and how the reforms can benefit Africans as well as shift perceptions of the continent as unstable and hopeless.
Probably my favourite one is by Ernesto Sirolli who says, if you want to help someone, then shut up and listen. Solutions do not transfer, they are unique to communities just as problems are unique to these same communities. We cannot make assumptions that what worked in country X will also work in country Y, we need to assess each community on an individual basis,
Sustainable development expert Ernesto Sirolli talks at TEDxEQChCh about the need of aid organizations to listen to the recipients of their services before shaping programs. He calls the tendency of aid organizations to tell communities what to do to improve lives a patronizing and paternalistic approach.
Also echoed here is Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Finance Minister of Nigeria, who says Africans can lead development in their own countries. Arguing that the way to develop African nations is through partnerships that grow economics and drive business growth, she states “Africans…they’re tired, we’re tired of being the subject of everybody’s charity and care.”
Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of Acumen speaks at the TED conference about the increased focus on Africa and global poverty and argues for approaches that help Africans implement their own solutions to challenges on the continent.
Maybe someone that was missed on the list is Miss Dambisa Moyo author of ‘Dead Aid’. Dambisa Moyo says that aid is killing the very countries it’s supposed to help. She singles out for criticism the celebrity crusades to “save Africa,” and the skewing view they present of African life.