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Aid and trade better for sustainable development

By Vision Reporter

Added 10th June 2007 03:00 AM

The recent announcement by President George Bush of his acceptance to increase aid or international funding to the developing world has been over due though still necessary if Sub-Sahara Africa has to see any meaningful economic transformation.

By Taha Mohammed
The recent announcement by President George Bush of his acceptance to increase aid or international funding to the developing world has been over due though still necessary if Sub-Sahara Africa has to see any meaningful economic transformation.

Apparently different countries have different strategic plans that should lead them into better economies and on this note I would suggest that if any success has to be made the following should be addressed.

Aid in colossal terms and fair terms of international trade
According to available information it is known and acceptable that after the Second World war, much of the European countries were economically shuttered and through the Marshall plan, the USA took responsibility to fund major activities that led to economic recovery and even spurred unprecedented economic success in all sectors.

The former Soviet Union which was not among the favoured economies disastrously failed leading to total collapse of communism in the early 1990s. All the countries in that arrangement are hitherto finding it difficult to catch up with Europe.
The US did not only provide loans to Europe, but massive aid was given in form of grants. According to the World Bank statistics every African aid beneficiary gets an average of $30 per annum, not in the development context, but in form of emergency relief, debt relief and international donor consultants.

Though some African leaders have advocated for “trade not aid” the best approach should be “aid and trade” because most economies can hardly generate revenue internally to sustain them. And any measures to overtax the population can lead to tax evasion-cum social-economic instability. The level at which Africa needs trade should be when absolute poverty is synonymous to the country side has been minimised.

Debt cancellation so that countries are not trapped in debt servicing schemes
It is a distressing era where by some donor recipients cannot sustain half of their national budgets. The donors keep pressing hard to recover accumulated debts from very poor economies. For instance Ghana which by African standards is fairly stable has suffered this problem for long. It is of great relief that some efforts are being made to have the debts cancelled. Thirteen Sub-Saharan Africa countries Uganda inclusive are categorised as Highly Indebted Poor Countries.

It should be noted that one reason that has kept Russia in a poverty trap is not only ideological communism, but donations in form of loans. These donations have continued to accumulate beyond national capacity for repayment.When countries in Europe were receiving grants, Russia on the other hand received loans. Todate much of the tensions between America and Russia revolve on these loans which were actually borrowed for emergency relief and saving lives.

Environmental conservation to mitigate catastrophes against man
The issue of environmental conservation visa visa sustainable development should be seriously considered because the cost of mitigating environmental catastrophes is far beyond what most economies can afford.

The benefits of a good environment are very enormous not to the immediate population surrounding conserved nature, but worldwide. For instance tropical rain forests in Brazil have been conserved for neutralising industrial emissions from America and the industrialised world, that would negatively affect the ozone layer.
All nations should embrace global environmental stewardship to avert catastrophes that have recently shocked mankind.

Engage countries in scientific and technological activities that can guarantee sustainable development

One common element among developed countries is that they have been involved are still involved in scientific research or development.

Whereas some developing countries cherish technological transfer, the Asian tigers have shown great success in this field through embracing research oriented training.

For example one of the leading Chinese company in solar energy production has been established by a scholar who acquired the skills from Europe since 1997.

Also much of the Asian tiger countries continue to engage in medicinal research aimed at treating Asiatic diseases. The current world economy, which is predominantly run on the private sector led by research and development system,will not consider solutions for the impoverished in the third world countries since their purchase power cannot guarantee profits.

Donor organisations and governments must foster research programmes to mitigate world problems. For example it was after the intervention of the Rockefeller foundation that a vaccine for yellow fever was invented in 1928.

Therefore, more research has to be made in areas of tropical agricultural farming, energy systems that are appropriate for the rural off power grid communities and water management science. Also environmental forecast has to be on a continuous appraisal and sustainable management of the ecosystem is highly required.

Critically devise means for
population control

Whichever intervention measures made to up lift the world population from absolute poverty, the population surge in the developing world may hinder required success in the long run. For instance population growth directly depletes capital accumulation in form of overstretched factors of production like land and finances and the required skilled labour.

In the developing world, it is also very difficult for planners to predict and plan accurately for an ever increasing population, which cannot help itself to skip the poverty trap.

The worst scenario has been poor infrastructure and mobilisation means to get short term updates on the population increase. Most of these countries depend on United Nations Population Fund for population forecasts. This creates a deep backlog in national planning in the long run.

Finally, as the developing world makes attempts to alleviate its members from the poverty trap, not only traditional activities of basic health care, formal infrastructure and education will drive the engine of growth in the globalised world.

Despite the urgent need for sustainable development, the resources needed for the development strategies are enormous. In this case, the international community in conjunction with nation states should work hand in hand to see the above strategies layed for sustainable growth and development.

Aid and trade better for sustainable development

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