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UK should focus on trade barriers that stifle Africa

INSTEAD of addressing Ukip and Conservative galleries and accusing African migrants seeking a better life in Europe of undermining the continent's standard of living, the Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, should listen to the voices saying that foreign aid is not working anywhere - especially in Africa.

Since independence some 60 years ago, the UK and other Western countries have handed to Africa more than £500bn in development aid, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit and other organisations.

In spite of this, the continent is becoming ever poorer, hungrier and angrier, as evidenced by civil war, famine and disease.

With the population currently standing at one billion and expected to triple by 2050, according to the latest UN World Population Prospects, many more African migrants will try to come to Europe .

The solution to African migration is not to continue pouring in British aid, which is fuelling corruption and perpetuating a culture of dependency in Africa. Instead, the UK should assist Africa to trade itself out of poverty.

The UK should lead other EU countries in targeting their aid at tackling the population explosion, investing in trade and removing the EU Common Agricultural Policy, food subsidies and other trade barriers which stifle African exports.


Director, Democratic Institutions for Poverty Reduction in Africa

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