Letter: The wrong sort of aid for Africa

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The Independent Online
Sir: It was wonderful to see John Major so moved by the spirit of reconciliation and the renewed commitment of ordinary South Africans to getting an education ('Major asks Pretoria to join British peace plan for Africa', 21

September).

But what a pity he did not find time during his visit to stop off anywhere else in sub- Saharan Africa. He would have had the opportunity to see ordinary people with that same commitment to getting an education and playing a part in the development of their community and country - with significantly fewer resources and less international backing than South Africa has enjoyed.

If the Prime Minister really feels strongly about this issue, he surely cannot allow the Government's planned cuts in the British bilateral aid budget to continue. The Government currently estimates that British bilateral aid to Africa will be reduced by 17 per cent over the next three years.

Unless something is done, the ordinary people our agencies work with in Africa will surely conclude that the British government is not really interested in helping them to develop the education and skills they need to tackle the daunting challenges that face them.

Yours faithfully,

KEN CALDWELL

Chair

British Overseas NGOs for Development

London, N1

23 September

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