Africa: Zambia – Once a Poster Child for New Africa, Now Divided and Broke

Zambia perfectly illustrates the developing country conundrum. It is poor because it has weak governance, and it has weak governance because it’s poor. Can one break this cycle through more aid, or aid better spent, or by removing altogether the prop that aid provides to government? By GREG MILLS.

It was the sight I feared most: The freshly-torn branches strewn on the road as the Zambian warning triangle, a white petrol tanker stationary in the middle of the road, a fracas under way on the verge.

A man, beer in hand, angrily gesticulates for us to pass on the right. As we crawl by, the unmistakeable shape of a small person under the blue cloth, dark blood running out to the edge of the road, a hand peeking out.

The accident took place about 30kms from Chipata, down the Great East Road travelling towards Lusaka. It was a common, confused and crowded village scene – stalls selling potatoes and tomatoes and the odd pumpkin, upright white sacks of charcoal, sugar-cane waving in the wind, bags of maize and brightly coloured cell-phone kiosks, people milling about, furniture and building materials on sale, and bundles of firewood. Just further on was the…

SOURCE: Daily Maverick