Monday, June 11, 2007

"Africa should stand on its own two feet"

When we visited Mary in Kenya, we had dinner with a third generation missionary who had been born and raised in Kenya. He spoke to us of his frustration. He values the idea of providing the resources to the Kenyans to build their own country, but he laments the fact that they largely waste what is given them and nothing is accomplished. They are often back for more help, depending on the white missionary to solve their problems. He said to me, "I just don't know what is to be done!"

Carol brought to my attention this interview in Der Speigal of Kenyan economics expert James Shikwati, and it is well worth the read. (Glen Reynolds links to it on Shikwati cries, "For God's sake, please stop the aid."

A mere ten days in Kenya hardly makes one an expert, but I came away thinking that the main thing these people need is the Gospel. See Acts 3:1-10. And John 5: 2-9.

UPDATE: This on the West's patronizing interference with Africans regarding the malaria menace.

1 comment:

mary said...

It's so complicated. The west has done plenty of harm, certainly; but it can do some good. It has to be in the form of development, I think, rather than relief (or just sending money for relief). Developing the church, developing the infrastructure and economies--not creating false economies by what we donate or send over--developing better health systems. And if there is help from the West, which I think there is a place and a need for, it must happen by weterners coming alongside and helping Africans to develop these that they take ownership and responsibility for them. How does this happen? I don't know. Probably not by sending billions of dollars to corrupt beauracracies.

There's so much to think about and say. I am still trying to figure it all out and figure out what my own role should be.