Take a read of the long analysis below and you may have to reassess what you think. It is from African Arguments.
PARASITES OF THE POOR? INTERNATIONAL NGOs AND AID AGENCIES IN ZIMBABWE -BY DIANA JEATER
This blog is called ‘Rethinking Zimbabwe’. It seems that a lot of people in Zimbabwe want some rethinking about the operations of international NGOs and aid agencies here. This is, of course, not a new conversation: international NGOs and donor organisations are perennially under scrutiny and criticism. But right now, it seems like an urgent conversation.
For the first time in years, I find that middle-class people I talk with in Zimbabwe don’t want to discuss politics or even economics. They want to express dismay at the stifling grip that international NGOs and aid agencies have on their lives and work. I am reminded of Joe Hanlon’s analysis of Mozambique as it emerged from the war with Renamo. No-one is claiming here, as Hanlon did there, that donor communities are manipulating food aid to win political concessions. But the donor organisations have disproportionate influence as employers and investors, particularly in the arenas of agriculture and the arts. During the worst periods of the past decade, they provided a lifeline for many people among the educated middle classes who found themselves with no other employment choices. But, when the shore is in sight, do you want to remain tethered to the lifebelt?
“The mission might be good governance, an anti-corruption campaign, empowerment of women, HIV/AIDS awareness, global warming – all valuable projects in themselves, but the overall structure is not conducive to free artistic expression and unbridled innovation, and does not eliminate the need for other purely musical structures.”