Underdeveloped, or overexploitated? Against the narrative that Western aid “helps” poverty in Africa, a new study shows that the pillaging of Africa by Western economic interests is still the major source of poverty. A coalition of UK and African-based development campaign groups published research on Wednesday that indicates that Africa has an annual financial deficit of over US$40 billion in capital leaving the continent each year, the Guardian reported.
The research claims that approximately US$203 billion flowed out of the country in 2015 in the form of repatriated profits of multinational corporations, money moved into tax havens, and costs imposed by climate change adaptations. This massive outflow of capital from the historically colonized continent far exceeds that which flows into it, which according to the coalition is only US$162 billion.
“Africa is rich,” the study notes. “ Its people should thrive, its economies prosper. Yet many people living in Africa’s 47 countries remain trapped in poverty, while much of the continent’s wealth is being extracted by those outside it.”
The study also notes the role that Western governments and international organizations have in “pushing economic models that fuel poverty.”