24 November, 2007
I was talking to a guy at a conference yesterday. He was telling me that the EU is slashing the amount of money it spends on health and education in Africa; instead, the money is going to be focussed on infrastructure projects. There might be sound reasoning behind this, with some sort of calculations leading to the conclusion that spending on infrastructure is a more effective way of moving African countries towards sustainable development and self-reliance. However, it is widely believed that the real reason for the change in spending priorities is political. China has over the last couple of years earned itself a lot of kudos with African regimes by building roads and bridges for them. The EU now feels the need to compete – it is important that when an African looks at a bridge, they know it was built by the EU and not by China.