by Léonce Ndikumana and Lynda Pickbourn
The Global Development Network’s Paper Series, August 2016
While Africa is considered to have received comparatively high levels of aid since independence, the question still remains as to how such aid has contributed to economic development in the continent. In general the economics literature has failed to reach a consensus on the aid-development nexus. In the case of African economies, we still do not know to what extent the returns to aid to Africa have been positive; that is, how much aid has contributed to long-term social and economic development. Yet, at the micro level, there is growing empirical evidence showing that targeted aid to particular sectors and activities yields positive results. The future of research on aid effectiveness in Africa should, therefore, build on the comparative advantage of country-specific studies in exploring the linkages between aid allocation and development outcomes at the sectoral level.