The Role of Foreign Aid in the Development of Sub-Saharan Africa

Authored By:

S. George


November 6, 2021

Foreign aid can be defined as “financial or technical help given by one country’s government to another country to assist social and economic development or to respond to a disaster” (Oxfam n.d.). This is often in the form of grants, loans and subsidies, but also includes technical advice, training and commodities (Wells 2015). Annually, Official Assistance gives $134.38 billion in aid globally, with $36 billion going to Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)— the most of any region by around $15 billion (OECD, 2015). Despite this, it is the poorest region in the world. Sub-Saharan African countries require aid to finance large investment projects needed for growth and development as borrowing on the open market is made difficult by poor sovereign credit ratings and they are not considered creditworthy.


“We can no longer continue to make policies for ourselves, our countries, our region and our continent on the basis of whatever the westerners will give us. It will not work, it has not worked...Our responsibility is to charter a path which is about how we can develop our nations ourselves.”

—Ghanian President His Excellence Nana AKUFO-ADDO’s Speech, 07 December2017

 “only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable.”

— Milton Friedman

“The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither. The society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great measure of both.”

— Milton Friedman

“Basic institutions that protect the liberty of individuals to pursue their own economic interests result in greater prosperity for the larger society.”

— Adam Smith

“...where effective competition can be created, it is a better way of guiding individualefforts than any other... regards competition as superior not only because it is in mostcircumstances the most efficient method known but even more because it is the only methodby which our activities can be adjusted to each other without coercive or arbitraryintervention of authority.”

— Frederick Hayek

"The fundamental cure for poverty is not money but knowledge."

— Arthur Lewis

"The end of Law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings, capable of laws, where there is no law there is no freedom."

— John Locke