Aid and Authoritarianism in Africa: Development without Democracy (Africa Now)

Aid and Authoritarianism in Africa: Development without Democracy (Africa Now)

Tobias Hagmann

Language: English

Pages: 204

ISBN: 1783606282

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

There is a shocking aspect of Africa’s foreign aid that is almost entirely ignored: since 2013, almost half of Africa’s top aid recipients have been ruled by authoritarian one-party states. Many international donors such as USAID, DFID, the World Bank, and the European Commission have watched their aid policies becoming increasingly entangled with the agendas of governmental elites. The situation prompts an uncomfortable question: to what extent are foreign aid programs now actually perpetuating authoritarian rule in Africa?
Aid and Authoritarianism in Africa sheds much-needed light on the moral dilemmas and political intricacies raised by the poisonous relationship between foreign aid and autocratic rule. Leading experts on the political situations in Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Cameroon, Mozambique, and Angola contribute essays that expose the impact of foreign aid on military assistance, rural development, electoral processes, and domestic politics. Offering a controversial yet crucial argument on the perpetuation of authoritarianism in Africa, this book will be an indispensible resource for scholars and activists interested in the relationship between development aid and politics in the contemporary landscape.

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their authoritarian core. A perfect illustration of this is electoral violence, and how it is often discussed. A number of scholars have argued that democratic elections cause a spike in political violence that poses special dangers for democracies in low-income poorly institutionalized political systems. Collier, for instance, is categorical: discussing a set of mostly African countries, he writes, ‘at low incomes, democracy increased political violence’ (Collier, 2009: 22; also Snyder, 2000;

(Khan, 2012: 121). Scholars like Khan are probably correct that good governance may be as much the product of development as its cause. The empirical literature is fairly contradictory on the endogeneity of governance (Mauro, 1995; Sachs et al., 2004; Kaufmann et al., 2007; Kurtz & Schrank, 2007), but some proponents of governance have undoubtedly exaggerated its likely impact on growth, particularly in low-income economies with many other constraints on economic growth. The comparison of

development that they are promoting. Donors are bound by the collusion around development activities that Kagame agrees to but this is not politically neutral activity as, by nurturing their development indicators, they strengthen his rule with economic and political resources. They become complicit in events over which they have no leverage, and experience has shown that when Kagame has promoted controversial policies he has pushed on through donor scepticism and they have tended to acquiesce

vote have been pushed for as an additional guarantee. The ambivalent support for voter registration, which has been at the centre of donors’ attention, led to some unexpected effects, limiting rather than maximizing the credibility of the process. Since 2003, the revision and reform of the electoral register have constantly been on the electoral agenda. Nevertheless, every election held until the last 2011 presidential election is now considered as biased because of a fraudulent electoral Macamo, E (2006), Political governance in Mozambique, Report for the UK Department for International Development, June, viewed 1 October 2015, Macamo, E & Neubert, D (2003), ‘When the post-revolutionary state decentralizes: the reorganization of political structures and administration in Mozambique’, Cadernos de Estudos

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