Thought and Practice: A Journal of the Philosophical Association of Kenya

Volume 5, Issue 2, December 2013

Oyekan Adeolu Oluwaseyi
Pages 19-37

Poverty and the Philosophy of Aid in Africa: Beyond Odera Oruka’s Theory of the Right to a Human Minimum

Poverty in Africa has gained the attention of social activists, Non-Governmental Organizations, scholars from diverse fields, as well as governments. The contemporary reality of poverty, as revealed by various indices, shows that this problem has resisted the interventions so far. In view of the failures of earlier and current approaches to alleviating poverty in Africa, this paper explores the ethical and prudential approaches to setting anew, viable trajectory for poverty alleviation in twenty-first century Africa. It raises the fundamental question of whether or not the affluent individuals in African societies on the one hand, and the wealthy Western nations on the other have any obligation towards the poor in Africa. On the basis of a critical consideration of some ethical theories in relation to the question of poverty, the paper contends that for the sake of stability and progress in the continent, it is necessary to develop programmes for the effective assistance of the poor on altruistic and prudential grounds.