Friday, August 7, 2009

Session 5b: Aid vs Trade Andrew Rugasira

  • What thoughts come to mind when you think of Africa? Poverty, disease, AIDS..?
  • "I view Africa as 900 million entrepreneurs who are able to live on $1 a day"
  • Africa, 53 countries.... how we view Africa dictates how we will invest our time and efforts towards Africa
  • The international community split the continent into borders often breaking up families, relationships... creating dysfunctional development
  • Founded African Coffee in 2003
  • Africans are best placed to solve their problems
  • Integrity is about being truthful about what we need to do to get out of a difficult situation
  • There have been a lot of well meaning people thinking Aid would help the continent... No country in the world has developed through handouts... (China, India? All by trade)
  • Trade is the only way to bring sustainable change in communities, train them out of poverty
  • Took 14 trips to the UK (from Uganda) to get distribution going with the coffee...
  • Africa produces only 2% of world GDP
  • People tend to lump all African countries as the same.... one problem in one country and we can think it bleeds into all of Africa.... risky...
  • "I'm looking for people to give me shelf space, not handouts"
  • We need to change the conversation about Africa
  • In 1995 Aid was at it's highest, yet that same year was the lowest GDP- Aid isn't the answer... it undermines accountability
  • Buying African products best helps Africa, it employs people and allows them to continue to develop

Trade. Not Aid. Rethink and change the conversation about Africa.

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