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Sustainability and funding issues in African countries

There are sustainability and funding issues in African countries, where there is clear need for sustainable solutions in form of programs and projects that assist governments in implementing policies and strategies that work specifically for their people’s way of life and current realities.

From research, we know that solutions are regularly approved by various international funding entities for African countries but the question is: Are the right solutions being approved?

Some solutions approved and funded are not right for these countries but are still pushed on them because of their potential to yield great financial benefits for Project partners. In this context, project partners refers to:

  1. Big corporate entities that own the solution and are lobbying for its implementation;
  2. Countries that own the funding entity and in which the big corporate entities reside; and
  3. Corrupt governments of receiving countries

Such solutions are never sustainable because once these projects or programs are terminated and funding no longer available, the people, the solutions are meant to serve, are not motivated to sustain them. See examples of some failed projects here

For a solution to be sustainable in these countries, they must meet the perceived needs of the people they intend to serve. Enhancing the well-being of the people must be the primary purpose for implementation while economic gains for the partners being the secondary purpose.

Adequate time and resources must be put towards educating the people about the issues the solutions will address. This must align with the people’s way of life (culture) and current realities making it easy for them to understand and appreciate the relevance of the solutions being offered.

Solutions must be affordable to the people even after projects or programs are terminated and funding no longer available for solutions to be provided free of charge or subsidized.

Countries are made up of people with unique perspectives; unique ways of analyzing situations and unique ways coming up with or adapting to solutions and its always based on culture and perceived need. Thrusting solutions on countries is never the sustainable way.

Obie Agusiegbe
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