Foreign aid makes African leaders rich

Today's top story in Malawi:

Malawi has launched an investigation into how $11-million in donor cash landed in former president Bakili Muluzi's private bank accounts, the anti-corruption agency said on Tuesday. link

A small grain of salt should be added to the above story. Recall that parliament (largely controlled by the former president) is currently trying to impeach the president. So this is definitely part of some political wrangling, yet I don't really doubt the charges, and I have a statistic to tell you why.

Estimated amount of African wealth held in foreign accounts, expressed as a percentage of African GDP: 172 link

This statistic tells me that as soon as anybody gets any money in Africa it is quickly transported to a foreign bank account. I think a good parallel statistic would be the total number of these foreign accounts as a percentage of the population of Africa. I am certain it would be miniscule, because the account holders are people like Muluzi, and they are filling it with money meant for the people that really need it.

At any rate, it will be interesting to see where this corruption charge goes. Claudia recently told me that there has yet to be a single corruption trial let alone a conviction. If only this implied that the level of corruption is low.

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