More than a billion people on this planet still live in absolute poverty. For us as an international community, this means that development policy needs to be even more successful, even more efficient. We must increase its effectiveness if we are to reach the Millennium Development Goals and provide the people in our partner countries with opportunities.
I don’t believe that more money truly always helps more. What we need is increased effort to help people help themselves. As the First President of Tanzania, Julius Nyerere, put it in 1977: “We have come to realise that the whole concept of aid is wrong. It is a useful palliative. But it will not solve the world’s poverty problem. It is fundamentally wrong because it gives poor countries the status of beggars.” Development aid has led to dependence in our partner countries. Only real development cooperation will allow for real future opportunities.
This is why we view cooperation with business and strengthening our dedication to education as important priorities. We want to help reduce structural deficits. To this end developing countries need good governance, direct responsibility and the power for self-help. After all, the best development policy is one that no one needs in the end.
In this issue, Digital Development Debates addresses the central challenges facing current international development policy – in dealing corruption and fragile states, demonstrating exemplary projects from individual countries. Our particular focus is on highlighting critical and weak points, issues we need to address as an international community.
I am very pleased that we have two international magazines in Germany which are driving the debate on research into development policy and supplying new impulses and ideas. In addition to Digital Development Debates, Development+Cooperation (D+C) Magazine is well worth a read. After all, developing links between international science, business and civil society is also an absolute must if we are to reach our goals.