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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #287 - Echoes of Africa: Official Development Assistance ... French Interests (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Thu, 18 Oct 2018 08:22:15 +0300

Official development assistance (ODA) is generally presented as a political instrument that is necessarily generous and useful, and many NGOs are pushing for an increase. But far from being a " lesser evil ", ODA is a vital part of (neo) colonial politics, and therefore part of the problem. ---- Let's move quickly on the catch-all side of what the State counts in ODA to reach 8.6 billion euros in 2016: cancellations and rescheduling of debts to make them " sustainable ", sometimes linked to mechanisms of reorganization. indebtedness ; technical assistance, including the impressive salaries of co-workers, tuition fees, that is to say related to the study in France of students from developing countries, the costs of refugees, but also the financing of French schools abroad, French research on development ...

Beyond the numbers, the effects of aid on the ground can be detrimental to " recipient " countries. In the economic field, the goals of ODA are more often to open up local economies to international markets than to develop their capacity to meet the needs of the population. Without counting the perverse cultural and social effects of ODA, which are now widely documented: the feeding of corruption, the orientation of development according to the standards and criteria of donors, the focus of administrations and civil society on external financing, the supervision of populations by an army of international experts, and ultimately, creation and maintenance of addictive effects.

Despite the involvement of actors convinced of the legitimacy of their action on the ground, this policy, regularly subject to technical reforms but without questioning its foundations, therefore appears ineffective or even counter-productive vis-à-vis its official goals of fighting poverty. Especially in the face of the nuisance and plundering of resources in so-called " developing " countries, ODA represents only a drop of water.

The benevolence of development aid shows limits.
In addition, ODA is also proving to be one of the tools of Africa's resource mobilization for the benefit of our companies: "to seek ways of combining support for development projects and the creation of "an ecosystem favorable to French interests " wrote the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2014 ... ODA is also a lever promoting the influence of France throughout the world by promoting its language and culture.

In February 2014, Pascal Canfin (then Minister of Cooperation) declared before the National Assembly that " the objective of the aid is to allow the beneficiary countries to be able to do without one day ", plagiarizing the Burkinabe Thomas Sankara, who had joined the actions to the word. But is France able to do without it ?

Pauline Tetillon (survival association) and Noël Surgé (AL Carcassonne)

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