Monday, 1 September 2008

No effective aid comes in Sierra Leone…says Action Aid Director

The Country Director of Action Aid in Sierra Leone, Mr. Tennyson Williams, has said that more than half of the developmental aid coming to the West African states of Sierra Leone is fake and is an illusion made up to address poverty.

Mr. Williams exposed this development aid issue at a seminar held in the capital Freetown recently, adding that development priorities have changed as people are no longer talking about good roads, water and sanitation in the country.

“We should now be thinking of fighting poverty by creating wealth and not fighting poverty by creating poverty,” he pointed out.

In his address on the Paris Declaration which Sierra Leone and many other countries signed so as to improve on how aid was being spent to reduce poverty, Mr. Williams observed that one of the problems affecting the Paris Declaration was that 40 percent of donor funds are spent on administration costs.

He continued that another problem with the Paris Declaration was that donors should follow the country’s agenda; this he said should be in alignment with the priority of the country, not what the donor wants.

Mr. Williams further stated that partners were mutually accountable and that it should be a two way process, and that developing nations should be in the lead. He stressed that donors always plan the giant, as there is no harmonization between partners.

“We are putting pressure on our donors, we the people also need to do something because we don’t have anything to offer to their donor,” Mr. Williams said.

As the donors are preparing for the Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Accra, Ghana, the country director urged the country’s delegation to be ready to push effectiveness of aid, and that they should not hide behind Ghana, “as aid should not be given for the sake of aid but it should be effective.”

In his presentation on aid effectiveness, a consultant at Action aid Sierra Leone 5 unit Bagree, said that aid was in support of the social and economic development of poor countries to eradicate poverty.

“The effectiveness of aid should lead the people out of poverty and suffering but not to plunge the receipting into more constraints,” he disclosed.

In his contribution, the chairman of the Civil Society Movement of Sierra Leone (CSMSL), Mr. Festus Minah, said that the seminar was a step in the right direction as it has not only helped to illustrate the parameters of aid effectiveness, but will also assist in preparing the country delegation to the third high level forum in the Ghanaian capital Accra.

* By Bai-Bai SESAY
Freetown-Sierra Leone

Culled from

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In my experience the only aid that the Salone Government is interested in is that which comes in the form of cash - so-called budget support - that can be mishandled and diverted for personal enrichment.
Unless the Government gets serious and really does something to introduce concepts of accountability by Ministers and more importantly officials, aid donors will be forced to control the spending of aid moneys themselves, as some are doing more and more. The new Government has shown no more good faith in the handling of aid than their rotten predecessors (Vide the Kaddafi debacle before the election).