Donors trying to set Africa agenda, says Chinamasa

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HARARE – Western aid donors should take note of Africa’s changing priorities, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has said.

Speaking at the 25th anniversary of the African Capacity Building Foundation last week, Chinamasa urged the continent to beware of development partners who mean well but give money for specific areas that are not Africa’s priority.

His remarks are in line with other data suggesting that the wealthy have differing priorities from average Africans and their governments.

“Generally, development partners mean well but they give money for specific areas that are not your priority and before you know it, you are driving someone else’s agenda unwittingly. We need to engage in constructive debate with development partners,” Chinamasa said, adding that, “We need to take ownership of decisions and not be influenced by outside parties.”

Chinamasa’s latest remarks have once again stirred up the perennial debate about the role of donors and recipient African states.

He also suggested that dialogue needed to be strengthened between governments and non-State actors, particularly to address mutual suspicions arising from the external financing of these actors who were encouraged to drive agendas that were not in line with national agendas.

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