American taxpayers are dumping $224 million into Nigeria. The objective is to reduce the epidemic of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS infections.
While dispersing taxpayer funds on the healthcare in foreign nations is questionably unconstitutional, the program is boasting some success; at least those who direct the programs lay claim to easing the suffering in that nation. [Source]
• Their infrastructure; our tax dollars
Exporting dollars to Africa goes beyond Nigeria. American taxpayers also send huge sums of cash to other African nations. In effect, Americans are building that continent's superstructure.
Other recent contributions include . . .
$30 million went for food for South Sudan [Source]
$120,000 went to a Rwanda military hospital [Source]
The Juba-Nimule Highway in South Sudan was funded by USAID [Source] as were scores of other infrastructure and humanitarian projects.
And that's the tip of the iceberg.
According to USAID.gov, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) listed the top twenty nations getting cash from its (our) benevolence in 2011. Ten of the twenty are in Africa:
$498,728,751 to Kenya
$348,995,068 to South Africa Republic
$336,053,916 to Nigeria
$265,018,524 to Democratic Republic of Congo
$264,407,305 to South Sudan
$229,272,026 to Zambia
$221,891,934 to Uganda
$182,143,079 to Ethiopia
$175,572,408 to Mozambique
$168,738,471 to Liberia
• Classic cronyism
• Classic cronyism
The question is: Why aren't the Africans taking care of themselves?
While it's nice to be nice, the billions of dollars American taxpayers forfeit to African nations pales in comparison to the amount of cash stolen by crooked African leaders.
In 2011 thefts of crude oil topped $7 billion in Nigeria alone. That's money that could be spent for roads, hospitals and health care. Instead, it's being squirreled away in private bank accounts. [Source]
An article in FXStreet.com laments, "The scale of corruption in Africa is in a class by itself, particularly in Nigeria."
"The scope of the thievery is staggering," writes Monoja Anthony Maring. "In October 2006 Nuhu Ribadu, head of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), stated that more than $380 billion has either been stolen or wasted by Nigerian governments since independence in 1960." [Source]
• Investing in . . . what?
Many Americans complain about the trade deficit with China.
For every dollar the Chinese spend on American goods and services, Americans spend $3.48 on Chinese goods and services. [Source] That doesn't seem fair to the average American. While a perfectly balanced trade deficit/surplus ratio is virtually impossible, losing $3.48 for every dollar gained can be construed as unreasonable.
But American taxpayers are losing 100 percent of dollars spent on aid to Africa. Unless I'm missing something, there is no African nation donating tax dollars to build roads in America, fund our military hospitals or underwrite our epidemics.
Some Americans also complain about the billions of dollars spent on defense in foreign countries, such as Afghanistan.
Oddly, USAID actually funds both enemies in international conflicts. Consider, for example, that $190,526,897 went to Israel and $245,378,605 went to West Bank/Gaza.
Most Americans are at least aware that trade deficits exist and, in some cases, are extremely off balance. We are also aware of the high cost of waging wars overseas.
Few Americans, however, know they are sending billions of dollars to Africa. Nor do they know African leaders are stealing more than we are sending.
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