Let Failing African Governments Collapse: A Radical Solution to Underdevelopment

Policy Forum
April 2, 2008
12:00PM to 1:30PM EDT
Featuring: Edward N. Luttwak, Senior Associate, Center for Strategic and International Studies; George Ayittey, Professor of Economics, American University; and Mauro De Lorenzo, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute. Moderated by Marian Tupy, Policy Analyst, Cato Institute.
Many African states have been addicted to Western aid for decades. Unfortunately, Africa as a whole has stagnated and some African countries are poorer today then they were in the 1960s. In recent years, advocates of foreign aid have called for making aid more efficient, but that may be easier said than done. The problem, some critics argue, is that aid supports predatory governments and perpetuates institutions that are alien to Africa. The “modern” state, characterized by Western-style elections and bureaucracies, may be ill-suited to African conditions. Failing governments should be allowed to collapse and be replaced by institutions indigenous to Africa. Our panel will discuss the likely consequences of ending aid and consider subsequent institutional developments.