We don’t want the West’s money any more …we can now create own wealth

Liya Kebede

Aid … last year UK gave £324.1m to Ethiopia, birth place of supermodel Liya Kebede

DAVID CAMERON has restated his promise of keeping up Britain’s foreign aid bill.

In the next year a whopping £12billion, 0.7 per cent of GDP, will go to overseas development – at a time of huge cuts at home.

Former Defence Minister Sir Gerald Howarth yesterday slated the move, saying: “I don’t think it’s correct that we should ringfence overseas aid and see it continue to increase in amount at the same as we are cutting our Armed Forces.”

But do countries such as Ethiopia, which gets the lion’s share of our aid, still need such continued hefty handouts?

The Sun’s SHARON HENDRY visited its capital Addis Ababa to find out.

Ethiopia

POVERTY still exists here, but forget the Live Aid images of dust, flies and famine – Ethiopia is rising from the ashes FAST.

And it is thanks to a growing economy and investment rather than huge handouts.

Supermodel Liya Kebede, 34, who has graced the cover of US Vogue several times, is among the prolific entrepreneurs emerging from the country.

Her online fashion range, Lemlem, is made in Addis Abba and its £160 dresses and £100 scarves quickly sell out.

 

Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, soleRebels

Entrepreneur … Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu employs 100 workers at soleRebels

Another businesswoman is Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, who owns footwear firm soleRebels.

She is suspicious of the long-term effects of the vast aid promised by David Cameron.

Mum-of-three Bethlehem, 32, explains: “In Ethiopia we have become used to taking money from the West, to always getting help.

“That does not make for a sustainable economy. We need to solve our own problems.

“I grew up in a small village watching charities bringing in aid but it didn’t change anyone’s life.

“The future for Ethiopia is in the jobs we are creating, not your aid.”

Bob Geldof visits Ethiopia, 1984

Aid … Bob Geldof visits Ethiopia during famine in 1984
Brian Aris

She set up soleRebels seven years ago. She now employs 100 full-time staff making 800 pairs of shoes a day, sold online.

Her success is challenging preconceptions about the best way to lift Ethiopia out of poverty.

Minister of Industry Mekonnen Manyazewal told The Sun: “We have been very grateful for what we’ve been given and have invested it wisely. But ultimately, trade and investment is our exit strategy from aid. We are open to all investment, particularly from the UK.

“But China is more aggressive in taking opportunities. And now we have interest from the USA.”

Ethiopia, synonymous with famine since Bob Geldof’s Live Aid in 1984, is no longer a place to pity — it is a place to make money.

Addis Abba

Thriving … cafe culture in Addis Abba

Of the ten fastest-growing economies in the world, seven are African and Ethiopia is one of them.

Even Prince Harry’s favourite polo gloves are made here from Ethiopian leather by UK-based firm Pittards. A tannery in Nazret employs 700 while 450 more jobs have been created in a glove factory in Addis Ababa.

Pittards boss Reg Hankey says: “We now see ourselves as an Ethiopian company with British people involved. Ethiopia is still fragile but it’s growing.”

Brazil

THE fast-growing South American country overtook Britain to become the sixth largest economy last year, with a GDP of $2.48trillion (£1.5trillion).

Brazil is one of the world’s biggest exporters and enjoyed a 7.5 per cent growth in 2010, when most of the rest of the world was in recession.

Adding to its status, it intends to splash out £9billion staging the Rio Olympics, which it hosts in 2016.

Britain paid part of the £10million that was donated to the country from the European Union. This included £660,000 on “assisting the social integration of women living in fishing communities” and £120,000 on the “integration of indigenous city dwellers”.

India

INDIA is fast becoming one of the wealthiest countries in the world – a place where millionaires rub shoulders with Bollywood stars and Ferraris and mansions sell like hot cakes.

The Indian Government recently announced they are to spend £50million to send a rocket to Mars.

Yet last year our Department for International Development handed over £268.4million – a figure the Indian Government said they didn’t want and described as “peanuts”. Yet DFID insisted that cancelling the aid would cause “grave political embarrassment” to ministers who had spent money justifying it, said a Delhi source. India is the tenth largest economy in the world, with a GDP of $1.848 trillion. (£1.14trillion). It could overtake Britain by 2020.

Nigeria

THE Department for International Development gave £171.5million to Nigeria to help improve education there, as well as family planning and immunisation services.

This could be a welcome relief in a country where the majority of the population still earn less than £1 a day. But critics worry about how much of this money was lost to corruption.

They also point out that Nigeria is one of the world’s major oil suppliers, pumping out about 2.2million barrels per day. GDP is $413.4billion (£256billion), ranking Nigeria the 30th largest in the world and third in Africa.

And with the economy growing they are expected to join the top 20 by 2025.

myView

By TREVOR KAVANAGH, Sun columnist

DAVID CAMERON claims that cash-strapped British taxpayers have promised a whopping £12BILLION to poor countries.

Not true. HE made this reckless promise. The poor bloody taxpayer had nothing to do with it.

Mr Cameron did not even win the election.

But he did become Prime Minister and a PM’s promise is sacred.

So we will be legally bound to shovel almost 1p of every Pound we earn down the corrupt sink of world aid.

We know huge sums are creamed off by fat cat consultants on six-figure salaries and five-star expenses.

Vast sums go to newly-rich countries such as India and Russia. Billions more end up in the pockets of dodgy despots.

Yes, there are examples of UK money delivering clean water, health and education. But less than half reaches the truly poor.

The powerful aid lobby includes former Prime Ministers, ex-Chancellors (guess who?) and the saintly David Dimbleby.

It takes a brave Chancellor to say NO.

But Britain has no cash to give away. Every penny has to be borrowed.

Yet we are slashing our Armed Forces just as the world becomes increasingly unstable.

As former Defence Minister Sir Gerald Howarth says: Charity should begin at home.

Where the aid goes…

1. ETHIOPIA: £324.1m On healthcare, education and water supplies.

2. INDIA: £268.4m On projects including building schools and reducing violence against women.

3. PAKISTAN: £215.8m To train 45,000 teachers, build 20,000 classrooms and provide vocational skills training to 40,000 people.

4. BANGLADESH: £202.8m To help mitigate the effects of climate change and improve local businesses.

5. NIGERIA: £171.5m On improving education, family planning and immunisation services.

6. AFGHANISTAN: £153.9m On trying to lift people out of poverty and improving the infrastructure.

7. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: £142.7m On education, basic health services and ensuring that everyone has the right to vote.

8. TANZANIA: £141m On trying to improve economic growth.

9. SOMALIA: £102.9m To help bring stability and prosperity.

10. KENYA: £94.3m Spent creating jobs for young people, getting children into school and fighting malaria.

 

The Sun