Mzansi Afrika

From Johannesburg South Africa, a window on the world

Friday, July 01, 2005

The business of aid

"The aid business is booming. As Africa’s crisis has deepened and its problems have multiplied, so the number of foreign NGOs has risen. There were a few hundred in the 1960s. There are thought to be well over 25,000 today, their staff swelling the continent’s army of outsiders. They don’t come cheap. An estimated $4bn is spent annually on recruiting some 100,000 expatriates.

The result is that there are more foreigners working on development issues in Africa than there were in the 1950-1970s era of independence. They are helping to run everything from ministries to mines, working as behind-the-scenes policy-makers or performing heroics on the frontline in the battle against poverty.

This in itself need not be cause for concern, were it not for another fact: as foreigners go in to take up short-term contracts, skilled Africans are leaving, in their droves, to work abroad – some 70,000 a year."


In South Africa, a recent post-graduate dissertation suggests that our teachers are being lured to England by unscrupulous British recruitment agencies. According to the dissertation, the marketing strategies of the British recruitment agencies are highly questionable. By fast-tracking the teachers, agencies are not acting in the best interests of schools or of the recruited teachers, who can expect to earn up to 12 times the remuneration of their South African colleagues. (More)


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