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Dead Aid Hardcover – Mar 17 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: FSG Adult (March 17 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374139563
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374139568
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 14.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #67,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By J. Tobin Garrett TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 21 2009
Format: Hardcover
After reading Jeffrey Sach's book The End of Poverty (his main argument calling for more aid to Africa), I felt that I should read a book arguing for the opposite, so I picked up Dead Aid.

The central argument is that aid is bad for Africa, and in fact, is the reason that Africa is caught in a poverty trap. It's an interesting argument, and one that I was ready to be convinced of, but I felt that Moyo didn't provide enough analysis and evidence for her claims. Too many times I found myself asking the questions: how? and why? While I am inclined to agree with her central claim, her argument in the specifics was too simplistic and she often presented the link between aid and Africa's plight as causal, when really it seem corollary.

The book is too short and the analysis too brief to hold up to the mighty claim that she proposes. Clocking in at only 153 pages, the book dedicates 19 pages to a brief history of aid (which is really well done), another 19 pages to show that aid isn't working, and 21 pages to prove that aid actually kills growth. While I'm not a fan of bloated writing for no reason, Moyo needed more evidence, more explanation to back up her arguments.

Even though I found the beginning part of the book frustrating at times, I was looking forward to her ideas on how to develop Africa without the help of aid (which the next 80 pages or so are dedicated towards). She has some interesting ideas around capital markets, foreign direct investment, and micro-lending, but again I found her arguments to be overly simplistic and too brief to be convincing. She discusses how trade should be a big factor in the growth of Africa, something that's obviously true.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By I. Dobson on May 5 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With all the hype about deadbeat western governments not living up to their committment to African aid, this book stops the shame-game dead in its tracks. Written by someone who has grown up and lived in Africa, not just visted in a chartered jet, this book looks at the way so much of our foreign aid is at best misdirected and at worst completely squandered. The author argues that simply propping up hand-out programs and feeding corrupt regimes does little to improve the long term survival of this highly dysfunctional continent. Instead she offers a more logical structured approach to fixing the problem through empowerment, and goes on to offer hope in what so many see as a hopeless situation. The money still needs to be forthcoming, just not in the way it is being currently applied. This book tells us how to do it right.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Andy on Sept. 26 2010
Format: Paperback
This book offered an easy to read history and viable solutions to helping Africa. Dead Aid will change the way that you think of Africa. Dead Aid wasn't full of confusing economic theories or in-depth history but clear, concise points. The book is a quick read but very helpful in understanding Africa and its people. Dead Aid should be recommended reading for politicians, business people, and aid groups.
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By Brian Maitland TOP 500 REVIEWER on Nov. 29 2012
Format: Paperback
Author Dambisa Moyo blows the lid off the Western aid program to Africa showing how Africa despite billions and billions of dollars in aid since the end of colonialism has regressed as a continent economically. The book is short and sweet because the author can write. I see there are complaints by other reviewers but she's not writing a thesis or a report for the World Bank. I'm sure she's done that before given her educational and working background.

What Moyo has done has shown how aid is pure folly in the vast majority of cases and how, mainly China now, is showing what direct investment in Africa can do. There are successes pre-China into Africa that Moyo covers such as Botswana which show that outside of the big boys of South Africa and Egypt that African nations can get their act together.

The fun thing about the book is she breaks it all down by introducing a fictional typical African nation called Dongo to some chapters to show how her theories may play out. Look, let's get over the idea she has all the answers. At least she is presenting an interesting argument and one that most aid workers will readily admit is true (at least off the record).

All in all, it's a must-read for anyone interested in the global economy, Africa and aid in general.
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