Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Aid is not always helpful.

Quite often you'll see headlines instructing us that the US has upped its level of aid to the developing world by some extraordinary sum of money. Of course, you then discover that half of that is to tell people to stop having sex and half the rest is for torture equipment for the autocrats we are disposed towards this week.

But even when development agencies mean well they can sometimes but less than helpful. Take this story of how the one laptop per child programme (the brain child of visionary Nicholas Negroponte, pictured) has bestowed upon one Nigerian school three hundred brand spanking new laptops. Pretty cool eh? I know when I went to school (in the very developed Essex, UK) we only had a handful of computers between a couple of thousand kids. They are so lucky, no?

But then, unlike Galadima Primary School, Abuja, we did have electricity at our school. Something that often comes in handy if you want to charge a laptop.

1 comment:

John Angliss said...

Deputy Rhoderick Matthews of Guernsey proposed raising our foreign aid to 0.7% of GDP as recommended (it's presently less than 0.1%!) and it was defeated by a large margin...

Guernsey still dumps untreated sewage into the sea because "the tides carry it away".

Only now I'm back here am I beginning to realise what a small-minded place I've come from.