According to Todaro(1992), Economic development is a multidimensional process involving the reorganization and reorientation of the entire economic and social systems. In addition to improvement in income and output; it typically involves radical changes in institutional, social, and administrative structures as well as in popular attitudes and in many cases even customs and beliefs.
Africa as a third world nation has the attribute of depending on more developed nations for support. The question however is whether or not these aids have benefited us with regards to the definition stated above; as developing areas of the economy, social structures, and even attitudes and customs of the nation.
To start with, we can say that Africa has benefited through the numerous infrastructural set ups we see in our cities today. For instance, the building of roads, schools, hospitals, banks, and industries among others. It cannot be disputed however that these infrastructures render a level of output that go into developing other aspects of our economy.
The debate however lies in how negatively we use these aids and how the negative effects far outnumber the positive. For example, the rate of corruption has increased in African nations. The leaders end up using the greater part of the monies acquired on luxury to the detriment of our development. Most of these leaders are very clear about the goals for seeking these aids but are not able to bring them into fruition due to selfish gains and ambitions. Corrupt practices, embezzlement of funds, and using monies generated from international organizations like International Monetary fund for misplaced priorities is the cause of our many woes in Africa.
Furthermore, more areas of Africa remain impoverished and the sufferings of the larger population increases. In Ghana for instance, the Northern and rural areas have nothing to write home about when it comes to development and social interventions unlike the the few urban centers. Throwing good money to a bad government and a people with poor attitudes make their nation worse off. That is to say that the attitude of the people must change. Of what use will the aid from World Health Organisation be if the people still observe poor sanitation practises which can render them unhealthy anyway?
Last of all, these aids seek to cripple and manipulate the people to do the will of their donors. An example is how Ghana and Uganda had their aids withdrawn due to the fact that they did not accept to legalised homosexuality. This is to inform us that so far as there is some level of influence from the donor country to use these aids for specific interests, Africa and therefore underdeveloped nations will continue to struggle for development.
Once there is over dependence on foreign aid, we can forget about developing our total infrastructure, level of income and output, and to some extent our attitudes and beliefs as a continent.