January 2

Development aid in Africa is flowing to the rich in urban areas and not the poor

The role of aid in Africa has been a controversial issue over the years, with economists like Dambisa Moyo even arguing against it, due to questions surfacing around its effectiveness in economic growth and poverty reduction.

A new research paper from Virginia Tech now delves deeper into this issue, noting that aid doesn’t even flow into poorer areas within countries. Looking at development projects commissioned by the World Bank and the African Development Bank across the African continent in 2009 and 2010, the paper shows that aid tended to flow to wealthier regions within nations, effectively undermining the goal of alleviating poverty in those areas. This spatial analysis shows the dichotomy between the delivery and effectiveness of aid and the levels of inequality that could exist between rural and urban regions.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Price.

Source: Quartz Africa (link opens in a new window)

Africa, foreign aid, global development, income inequality, poverty alleviation