贸易应多于援助

最近在苏格兰举行的八国峰会,以及除此之外的音乐会和名人活动,将人们的关注焦点放在了非洲各国和人民所受到的国际资助的数量上。考虑到非洲长期贫困、表面看来永无止境的冲突以及艾滋病和其他传染疾病的盛行,这是可以理解的。如果国际援助的目标正确、条件适当,它就能产生积极的、与众不同的效果。

但是援助并非万能药。虽然我们给出了价值成百上千亿美元的援助,并且多年来不断做出努力,但是诸多问题依然存在的事实却让我们悲哀地意识到,援助能够允许政府进行愚蠢的、毫无收益的投资,或者被贪污官员轻而易举地霸占。此外,援助本身的不确定性使得非洲人民在他们无法控制的外部力量下任人摆布。

另外一个对援助问题的关注焦点 (除了精确计算来自各渠道的资金规模的不可能性之外)在于,为增加援助的政治努力吸引了一部分注意力,而它们本该用于一个能使经济发展的更为有力的手段——贸易。

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