A U S T R A L A S I A N A I D CONFERENCE
CRAWFORD SCHOOL ANU
14th FEBRUARY 2018
Panel 3d – Should Australian ODA re-engage in Africa?
Sally Moyle, CARE Australia
Fessehaie Abraham, Crawford School ANU
» view presentation ( This can also be seen as an Appendix to his submission to the Senate Inquiry https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Foreign_Affairs_Defence_and_Trade/TradeinvestmentAfrica/Submissions )
Bob McMullen of the Crawford School presented the introduction to the session, asking whether the 21st would be the African Century ? He said that If the aim of aid is to alleviate poverty, then aid has to go where poverty is, that is Africa. Australia stresses the importance of giving aid to ‘our region’. But how then does Mongolia qualify as being in ‘our region’ ?
There were a number of points that secured widespread agreement in the general discussion which followed: (1) Australia should only increase aid to Africa IF the overall size of the aid budget increases. (2) There are already too many European aid donors to Africa resulting in piecemeal aid. (3) Australia should only give aid in sectors where we have special expertise such as mining regulation and some areas of agriculture where ACIAR should lead the way. (4) Scholarships to Africa are a good form of aid and build expertise and important people-to people links.
The only people who spoke in favour of giving a larger share of the existing Australian aid pie to Africa were the Africans who commented, and Professor Helen Ware who favoured reducing aid to the Pacific, which receives the highest per capita aid by several multiples, and of diverting the savings to assisting to reduce the harmful impacts of mining and to increasing agricultural outputs in dry land areas where Australia has specialised expertise in low technology improvements.