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The captured state

Elites in the Asian tiger countries run the state in the public interest. In most of Africa, elites run the state in their own interests. Matthew Lockwood has written the best Africa book this year

By Richard Dowden   August 2005

The State They’re In by Matthew Lockwood (ITDG Publishing, £12.95)

Of the many books that have crossed my desk in this year of Africa—Geldof on Africa, Sachs on poverty, the Commission for Africa report—at last here is one that hits the bullseye.

Matthew Lockwood worked in the development aid business for 20 years and wants to know why it is not working in Africa. For decades, aid donors have tried carrots, sticks and a host of measures in between to try to get development moving in Africa. They failed. Have aid donors done something wrong? Is there something that works…

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