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July 2005

In a recent speech on South Africa to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, De Beers chairman Nicky Oppenheimer said “Africa needs a hand-up, not a hand-out.”

Noting he is a third generation African — and “proud to be so” — Oppenheimer noted that many African countries have received, over the years, $1 trillion in aid, but are poorer now than they were 50 years ago.

“When it comes to Africa, Western governments have only one answer: aid, and aid in monstrously vast amounts,” he said. “But aid is not the only answer.”

“Money by itself is only part of any solution,” he says. “Long term involvement is much more important.”

“A better future for Africa lies in the benign partnership between enabling government and constructive and committed long-term investors. Together they can ensure that the benefits of Africa’s natural resources will not only lift this generation out of poverty, but could expand and cascade through the generations,” he concluded.

 

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