It is time for Sadiya Farouq to stand up and be counted. She must tell the West to put all their aid money into an African investment bank so we have capital with which to create jobs

By Ayo Akinfe

[1] Over the last week, Nigeria's minister for humanitarian affairs, disaster and management, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has been in the news for the wrong reasons. While everyone has been talking about her private life, she has been in New York, attending a United Nations campaign against poverty. October 17 is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and she was engaging in the discussions there

[2] I just hope she put some concrete proposals in the table because for me, concerted international action to eradicate poverty is more important than who Sadiya ends up marrying. I sincerely hope she used the occasion of the poverty summit to tell the West that their hypocritical and patronising attitude towards Africa is one of the major causes of poverty and under-development on our continent

[3] I also hope that Sadiya stood up and told the UN that as from 2020, Africa will no longer be accepting Western aid as it is a recipe for perpetual poverty. Rather than give us these handouts and stripends which stifle industrial output and keep us dependent, why is the West not investing in wealth creation across Africa?

[4] Now, just look at the figures and tell me what you think. Is the whole "aid industry" not just a scam? At best, it constitutes economics of the madhouse

[5] In 2020, the US Agency for International Development (Usaid) is planning to spend a total of $40bn. Of this amount, about $8.5bn is earmarked to be spent in Africa

[6] In 2019, the European Union's initial humanitarian aid budget was €1.8bn, of which a total of which €417m was spent in Africa

[7] Most industrialised country's have large aid budgets too. For instance UK -$18.70bn, Germany - $17.78, France - $9.23bn, Sweden - $7.09bn, Netherlands - $5.8bn, Canada - $4.29bn, etc, etc.

[8] Now, by my calculations, Africa must get at least $20bn in aid from the rest of the world every year. If the industrialised world invested $15bn in job creation, infrastructure and manufacturing across Africa annually, we would be out of the woods within 10 years. We would have remunerative and sustainable jobs in manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, etc

[9] Sadiya Farouq, you are now in the limelight, so this is your moment to shine. It is your job to tell the rest of the world that what they need to do is create an African investment bank and put all their aid money into it. If we have a bank with say $20bn in it, which Africans can go to for investment capital, within five years, we will create at least 300m sustainable jobs

[10] Just imagine if every diasporan who has picked up ideas in the West could go to an African investment bank and borrow $2m to fund their ideas. I have lost count of the number of conferences I have been to where great ideas are discussed but participants have no access to capital to implement their ideas. Sadiya, the ball is in your court!