Flashback: Fifty years of donor aid to African agriculture
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This paper provides a long-term perspective on donor aid and African agricultural development. The starting point is 50 years ago in 1953 when a World Bank mission helped Nigeria lay the groundwork for its independence. But after fifty years of experience, most donors remain confused about how to package, coordinate and deliver aid to accelerate agricultural and rural development in Africa. The puzzles surrounding aid to agriculture in Africa are part of the broader debate on why global aid to agriculture in developing countries declined in the mid eighties followed by a further decline of aid to agriculture in Africa in the nineties. But generating additional donor funding is not enough. Some major aid reforms are needed starting with the basic question: Why have new aid modalities and multi-sectoral lending programs marginalized agriculture on a continent where 2/3 of the people depend on agriculture for their livelihoods?