DEVELOPING

Get Out of Africa!

Interesting review from Francis Fukuyama in Slate: according to two African female authors, the outpouring of Western aid may actually hurt Africa more than it helps. In The Challenge for Africa, Wangari Maathai says that Western imperialism has really done nothing more than devalue African identity. Change, she argues, must be a grassroots effort from African cultures themselves—not from Western sources. Maathai, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, also asserts that African governments should simultaneously pursue environmental protection and economic growth. Another book, Dead Aid, by Dambisa Moyo, says it more definitively: Western aid itself is the very source of Africa’s underdevelopment, and it should be stopped. But both books acknowledge that the real root of the problem—and the very thing Africans need to change if they’re going to help themselves—is the lack of good government.