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South African criticism ‘hypocritic’ Swedish economic aid. We say Sweden is right!

Wednesday, 07 March 2012
The South African authorities have heap criticism on the way, Sweden decides to provide economic aid program to the country by accusing Sweden's aid to Africa as being primarily designed to strengthen Swedish exports and Swedish economic interests - not to combat poverty. However we on this network don’t see it that way and thus support the Swedish approach.

This followed the South African government’s reaction when Sweden presented its new aid strategy 2009.
The South Africans wanted that support for poverty reduction should continue but the Swedish government chose instead to let the Export Council to manage a portion of the aid budget, according to media reports in Sweden.

In the 2000s, Sweden stopped aid to South Africa. But instead of completely leaving the country, the newly elected government introduced a so-called stakeholder involvement, which included that the Swedish Trade Council would start managing some economic assistance to South Africa.
According to the former head of development at South Africa's Treasury Department, Shaheed Rajie, Sweden broke international agreements which say that donor countries will implement assistance in collaboration with the recipient.

According to South Africa, Sweden favoured to greatly reflect Swedish interests. This was particularly when the assistance was channelled through the Swedish Trade Council of South Africa.
Further reports in Swedish media also stress that an independent panel found that Swedish Trade Council was not equipped to convey the various forms of assistance. Despite this, the government decided that Swedish Trade Council would be one of three Swedish aid brokers in South Africa.

Unfortunately for us on this network, we found nothing wrong with the action of Sweden. The African aid reliant countries have counted on economic aid from the west to line the pockets to embezzlers and corrupt officials while the common people who badly require such aid languish in disperse. 

Therefore if Sweden chooses to give aid through it own organisation based in that country so as to be sure that the money or such assistance is properly used - what is the problem with that?

The aid was not given to Swedish companies operating in South African to make their products cheaper in the South African market or was it given to Swedish companies for them to cheaply import Swedish goods into the country so as to sell them cheaper.  Sweden happens to have established a new mechanism to properly manage its economic aid.

South African can only defacto reject Swedish economic aid and or put a clause that such aid by passed through them if they to be administered in the country.

In a period relations between Sweden and South Africa remained firmly frosty because of the aid strategy. But in the end South Africa still choose to let the aid pass. According to Chris Albertyn who was South African consultant, it was due partly to fact that the Swedish contribution was relatively small and that South Africa did not want to jeopardize diplomatic relations with Sweden. However, said South Africans were clear that the Swedish support was a waste of money and resources.
By Team

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