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Madagascar: A New Hope and Weighing in on the “Aid for Africa” Debate

The hope generated from the TED conference in Arusha that Africa is on its way up has inspired the Malagasy blogosphere.
Aiky reports that Malagasy senator Christian Razafimbahiny wrote a manual for success in which he asks the Malagasy youth to reach for their dreams. . Aiky himself wonders:

« La jeunesse malgache (de 7 à 77ans) possède-t-elle un rêve? entretient-elle un désir enfoui qui lui permettra d’enlever toute inhibition qui le freine actuellement? Chacun doit rêver. Il est permis de rêver… il est conseiller de rêver car sans rêve on manquera de vision »

Do Malagasy youth (from 7 to 77 years old) have a dream? Do Malagasy youngsters hold a secret ambition that would help them get rid of any inhibitions that currently hold them back ? Everyone must dream. Dreaming is allowed… we should dream because without dreams, one will lack vision.

Harinjaka got to visualize his dream of helping his homeland by attending the TED conference: “Africa the next chapter”.
He explains that he drew inspiration from the discussion in Arusha and he plans on leaving France and going back home to contribute to the turn around.

« En côtoyant ces gars, pendant mon séjour en afrique , la question du retour au pays me trotte plus que jamais.Qu’est ce qui fait l’Afrique si ce n’est ses fils ? Qu’est ce qui fait un pays si ce n’est son élite ? Mais pourquoi les élites en questions ne rentrent-elles pas ?Est-ce qu’il faut rester convaincu qu’il n’y a pas d’avenir au pays ? »

As I was rubbing elbows with these guys during my stay in Africa, more than ever the idea of returning to my country was growing on me. What is Africa if not its sons? What is a country made of if not its elite? However, why is it that the elites in question do not return home? Are we still to remain convinced that there is no future at home ?

At TED, Harinjaka witnessed the ongoing debate about improving the efficiency of aid for Africa and he wished that more francophone Africans were present.

The conversation was continued by Randiana who wrote:

« How aid can become detrimental to sustainable development, and paradoxically trigger the opposite of its goals? […]

“The very recent complain deposited by a French NGO againt President Bongo of Gabon and President Sassou N’Guesso of Congo is illustrating this exasperation (western tax payers’ fatigue in paying for development, yet not seeing tangible results of their efforts.)

If the allegation proves right, then international aid would have financed the purchase of luxury “hotels particuliers” in fancy residential Paris for the personal use of these two presidents.»

Shadow Gasy explains that one of the requirements for more accountability with international aid lays in three intertwined concepts: responsible governance, the “State of Law” and foreign intervention.

« L'Etat de droit est également un thème privilégié par les bailleurs de fonds multilatéraux (exemple) et bilatéraux (exemple).
Le concept d'Etat de droit peut trouver de multiples interprétations. Pourtant, malgré cette polysémie, il semble que contrairement aux autres juristes africains et aux juristes africanistes, peu de juristes Malagasy définissent l'Etat et le droit.
[...]
La première idée fausse que nous évoquerons est celle qui consiste à dire que les étrangers ne doivent pas intervenir dans des questions qui relèvent des affaires nationales du pays qui les accueille».

The State of Law is an important topic to multilateral and bilateral stakeholders. The concept of State of Law can be subject to multiple interpretations. However, in spite of the potential confusion arising from its many meanings, it seems that, contrary to the other African lawyers and the lawyers dealing with Africa, very few Malagasy lawyers have defined the State and the Law.[..] The first false concept that we will discuss is that foreigners should not intervene in matters that concern domestic affairs of the country that hosts them.

It should be noted that international aid is not always a one-way street. There are instances of African aid directed towards Europe and even the most powerful countries need a little help sometimes.

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