for a brief history of Ajegunle see Ghetto Radio
So you’ve gained hard currency, but you’ve lost jobs, most of which will never be recovered. The multiplier effect (the number of jobs created to serve primary jobs) is damn near zero, because the fancy new plantations and huge farms use machines built elsewhere, run on oil pumped elsewhere, need to be repaired by expats who were trained elsewhere, the fertilizer comes from oversees and even the seeds probably even come from overseas.. . .So, at the end of the day, by following the advice of western experts you’ve destroyed your rural economy, gone from a country which could feed itself to a net importer of food, created huge slums around your cities, increased the instability of your country – and haven’t modernized.. . .When citizens of third world countries talk about how the West in general, and America in specific, is keeping them down, this is much of what they’re talking about. It’s an economic system, which while sold as a benefit to the third world countries following the prescriptions, coincidentally worked out to provide very cheap commodities to the first world for decades, allowed quite a number of loans to be made and didn’t lift a single country I can think of out of poverty. (emphasis mine). . .Those loans were made with the aid of experts who made pretty explicit claims about how things would work out for the better. The common excuse is that “corruption” is why they failed, but even in countries where there was little corruption, they failed. . . . Thirty years later the locals were worse off than they were before the loans were made and the advice was followed.. . .
And meanwhile, in Asia, countries that didn’t follow this path – countries that built up industry behind trade barriers, didn’t try and convert their farmland into cash crops – countries that rejected the advice of the western experts, who didn’t accept the loans – they’re the ones who have lifted themselves out of poverty. The lesson, one might say, is clear. Beware Westerners giving advice. It’s not that the advice doesn’t work out to someone’s benefit, it’s just that that someone isn’t you.
The dollar diplomacy, the low or no interest loans China is providing some countries, may offer a way to change course. Of course China is a huge marketer of cheap weapons as well, which are hugely destabilizing. And the US emphasis on military aid is also destabilizing. I’d like to be optimistic, but recent history does not offer much support.