The West Can’t Save Africa

William Easterly has a piece in Monday’s Washington Post about the failure of development aid to help Africa. I’m just finishing Easterly’s previous book, The Elusive Quest for Growth, which is very compelling. This article, however, is a little over the top in its efforts to provoke. Easterly writes:

The West’s focus on sensational tragedies obscures the achievements of people such as Patrick Awuah and Robert Keter, who are succeeding even against tremendous odds. Economic development in Africa will depend — as it has elsewhere and throughout the history of the modern world — on the success of private-sector entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs and African political reformers. It will not depend on the activities of patronizing, bureaucratic, unaccountable and poorly informed outsiders.

Check out this heated exchange in the Post that Easterly’s review of Jeffrey Sachs’s book produced last year.