Development in the post-colonial period has been characterized by international experts and academics from the developed world advising governments of developing countries on priorities and development strategies. Aid has been allocated and disbursed in this rubric. The hierarchical nature of the international system makes it more likely that priorities come from expertise at the WHO or the WB than from the people of Bluefields or Antsiranana. But do these organizations really know best how development should be carried out? Who should get to set country-level priorities? Does international expertise count more than local understanding? What should be the role of international expertise in setting domestic development agendas?
Andrew Mwenda is a journalist who has spent his career fighting for economic empowerment and free speeach throughout Africa. He is a sharp critic of foreign aid that makes recipients passive objects rather than involved actors with individual agency. This talk addresses some of Mwenda's key ideas on international development.