Since its creation, the Marshall Plan has been widely hailed as a triumph, an example of foreign aid as an enabler of economic revitalization on a grand scale. During the past few years, some leaders have proposed it as a model for helping an entirely different region. A call has gone out for a Marshall Plan for Africa. Extreme poverty, civil wars, and disease have ravaged much of the continent, leaving it poorer today than it was 20 years ago. Sub-Saharan Africa in particular, home to two-thirds of the world's least developed countries, is the focus of greatest concern.
Indeed, a true Marshall Plan for Africa could ignite growth and reduce poverty, but only through a set of institutions that are different from those the current aid system is using. A broader understanding of the history of the Marshall Plan in Europe could lead to much more effective international investments and political initiatives, not just in Africa but throughout the world.
Reprinted with permission from strategy+business, published by Booz & Company. http://www.strategy-business.com.
Hubbard, R. Glenn, and William Duggan. "The Forgotten Lessons of the Marshall Plan." strategy+business, Summer 2008.
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