Anti-Foreign Aid converts in Spain

Saturday, June 21, 2007

By Franklin Cudjoe

Franklin Cudjoe editor and director of IMANI, Franklin Cudjoe, is in Madrid as a guest of the Regional Governmnet of Madrid.

He was invited to speak on a range of development issues, especially aid and delivery of public services.

The programme went very well. After speaking today before a 450 audience, Franklin was told by the Minister for Immigration and Development that he was the "discovery" of the conference. True, as there were intermittent applauses as he dislodged some fundamental notions of development aid. Franklin says, he could feel some of my panelists, themselves aid ‘experts’very uncomfortable, but the audience was his real target. The audience, which was until yesterday full of praise for the sumptuous reports of aid experts gave up when they were faced with the reality of entrenched failure of ‘development aid’ to even account for the delivery basic of public services by developing world governments.

So, today the regional government officials tasted what it is to support NGOs that stand aloof for bad governnance to reign and then come in to offer help. Many lined to thank Franklin for ‘opening their eyes’.

Instantly, the Minister for Immigration and Development and his assistants asked IMANI to collaborate on better ideas to gradually counter these aid misfits. More than this opportunity, Franklin was indeed happy that over 400 people changed their understanding on development aid. The ripple effects will begin.

Remember, the Regional Governmnet of Madrid is Right of Centre politically and a sensible one too…

Franklin Cudjoe is editor of and executive director of IMANI Center for Policy and Education, a think-tank located in Accra, Ghana. His email is