Fred Ezeh, Abuja
A Researcher from the Department of Global Management, Ryerson University, Canada, Prof. Kenneth Kalu, has observed that years of financial intervention by international donor agencies has failed to salvage the continent from the clutches of poverty.
But the aids, he added, had rather worsened the economic situation of African continent, resulting in high record of deprivation and poverty.
He revealed that on per capita basis, an average African citizen received more than eight times what the average Asian received in foreign aids in the last 50 years. But ironically, poverty level has risen significantly.
Prof. Kalu told journalists in Abuja, that there are conspicuous presence of foreign interventions in Nigeria’s public health system, sanitation, education, poverty alleviation programmes and several other areas.
“But in spite of the high level of interventions by foreign donors, poverty has remained endemic throughout sub-saharan Africa. The region had, unarguably, occupy the unenviable position as the center of poverty,” he said.
The Don argued that the abject poverty in the continent does not necessarily imply that foreign aids have been useless but that it does not have the capacity to procure development and eradicate deep rooted poverty in Africa.
“The interventions have been confirmed to only soothe the pains of poverty but never to eradicate nor even reduce poverty levels significantly,” he said.
He, thus, suggested a redesign and reconceptualization of direct foreign aids to Nigeria to target the root cause of poverty instead of treating its symptoms.
Such, he said, would go a long way in redirecting the concept of the interventions to deal with the issue of poverty and underdevelopment instead of scratching the surface.
He added: “It’s unfortunate that several global development agencies had continue to operate on the wrong assumption that increasing the volume of foreign aids could help eradicate poverty in Africa.”