Robert Calderisi on Kenya, the
role of foreign aid
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
February 2, 2008
In the last few days, a number of outside voices have offered
advice on the crisis in Kenya, Robert Calderisi wrote Saturday in
his Globe essay High time to lose patience in Kenya
"We can't just sit by," said the chairman of the African Union,
opening its annual meeting in Addis Ababa on Wednesday. "If Kenya
burns, there will be nothing for tomorrow."
The president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, favours a military coup
"It might not be fashionable," he says, "but in situations where
institutions have lost control, I wouldn't mind such a solution."
Mr. Calderisi argues that Less draconian approaches may also work
but only if Kenya's problems are seen in a larger light.
"So how can the international community respond to Kenya's and
Africa's impatience for progress?" he asks.
"It can seize the assets of senior officials who, until now, have
salted away their loot in Western banks with total impunity.
"The world can continue to provide direct support to community
groups, human rights activists, democratic reformers, and those
promoting a free press.
"And, in a number of cases, the answer may be to make foreign
assistance more openly political . . .
"Making aid more political does not mean using it as a convenient
instrument of foreign policy. But if the goal is to fight poverty,
the way a government treats its citizens including its
journalists, entrepreneurs and small farmers should be central
to the level of aid it receives."