Our newly produced series ‘Aid or Trade?’ shows that aid is no longer about transferring money or shipping goods. It’s rather about setting up sustainable companies, while taking local constraints and the environment into account. An article in the Economist recently stated ‘Western governments should open up to trade rather than just dish out aid … Autocracy, corruption and strife will not disappear overnight. But at a dark time for the world economy, Africa’s progress is a reminder of the transformative promise of growth.’
This 5 episode-series ‘Aid or Trade?’ (5 x 14 minutes) shows an optimistic and nuanced perspective and portrays successful combinations and collaborations. The program highlights high-potential or successful initiatives: often collaboration between NGO’s, private, and public sector organizations. We show that commercial initiatives can be more social and aid can be more sustainable by using a business approach.
In the first episode we see inspiring initiatives in Liberia, Malawi, Ghana and Kenya. We visited Chid Liberty who set up his social enterprise Liberty and Justice. His garment factory in Liberia’s capital Monrovia is committed to a future in which farmers, manufacturers, transporters, distributors, retailers, and consumers are completely aligned in making choices that result in the eradication of poverty, the responsible stewardship of the environment, and the empowerment of workers.
In Malawi we visited communities around the Majete Wildlife Park, where the organization African Parks is making efforts to assist the communities around the park by training them and finding markets for their products.
The third item is about Ghana’s growing tech-scene, partly thanks to the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in Accra. We spoke to one of the start-ups, Nandi Mobile, who’s founders are trained by MEST.
The fourth and last item of the first episode is about Honey Care Africa, an innovative, rapidly expanding Kenyan social enterprise established explicitly to increase the income of rural farmers.
The four other episodes are highlighting similar initiatives in Zambia, Egypt, South Africa, Benin, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria and Ethiopia. All items of ‘Aid or Trade?’ are produced by African media professionals (researchers/journalists, presenters, camera men/women) in cooperation with and on behalf of producer Africa Interactive.
The 5 episode-series Aid or Trade? is available for broadcasting and can be ordered through our distribution partner FCCE.