General News of 2014-05-12

Africa needs a "reality check" – Lord Boateng

The UK’s first ever mixed race Cabinet Minister Lord Paul Boateng has urged African countries not to allow just any kind of assistance to be shoved down their throat by international partners.

Lord Boateng said Africa must only accept help that fit into their development agenda.

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. Nothing will be handed to us. There is no way in which this Continent will ever be handed anything without first and foremost, a reality check being required,” he said at a recent forum on inequality.

“And the reality check is: ‘What’s the condition’? The reality check is: ‘How does this benefit Africa’? The reality check is: ‘How is this meeting with agenda that have been set in Africa’?”

The former Brent South MP, who is of mixed Ghanaian and Scottish parentage, said such assistance must hold “African solutions to African challenges [and] African solutions to global challenges.”

“We all have something to contribute. We all have something to learn from one from the other,” he said.