This might be might be politically sensitive / incorrect or dubious idea for the purist. I write an ideas blog www.is2w.com and have discussed this with business colleagues over the last 10 years .If we look at the aid given by the UK / US/ EU to Africa (and the rest of the world), a percentage of that aid is tied to purchases by the aid recipient to the donor countries. But it’s usually business for the boys and usually badly managed. The question is that can that be changed taking the UK (just because I live there) for example will give approximately £100 million to Nigeria of west Africa (http://www.dfid.gov.uk/Where-we-work/Africa-West–Central/Nigeria/ ) not a lot you might say buy with jobs scarce in the UK, should aid also includes job aid. Secondly have we maximised private sector involvement in Job creation if we can give them some tax breaks for creating some jobs even if the jobs are not directly working for them? This brief looks at the creating of an aid corps valued at possibly £3 million in terms of salary and deployment but can lead to jobs creation and business opportunities worth hundreds of millions. Their initial remit is entrepreneurial programs, Train indigenous worker and create markets for goods and services. the money does not have to be 100% government get the private sector involved the selling point is that they might be able to get a pool of trained staff in the future with local knowledge and management experience which they might not get in the in the UK on return. Do not forget the Africans in Diaspora who might want to go back and contribute for some time (like 6 months they may have local knowledge and skills plus they are not beholden to the aid recipient. Examples of this are experts from the World Bank who have been seconded to countries like Nigeria even if for a short time can have an impact (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/aug/01/gender.uk or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ngozi_Okonjo-Iweala) especially as they are paid by the aid donor. I personally know that with jobs scarce British people are highly travelled and willing to work abroad The point is that there should be a paid aid corps (an example in the building and construction trade is suffering while aid funded construction projects could use the help of aid funded construction experts to not only execute but to train the local work force). This goes beyond selling equipment (I have horrendous stories of donated equipment which is never used) this forces the equipment to be setup and used. The alternative is to set up and African Venture capital fund and not based of the British Model ( British VCs do not really invest in start ups and early stage companies and the angel investor are quite weak ) this should be more in line with the VC in America that have a more rounded port folio ( there are Chinese Indian and African returnee who have created their own funds in India china Nigeria Ghana but not enough) . This should not be limited to goods and services. Africans send their kids to be educated abroad spending £1 billion (12000 students a year) for a population of 150mill that’s a pittance compared to the potential of British secondary and universities extending their brands abroad. The question is that will it damage the education trade? The answer is no, when education was really good in Nigeria people still sent their children abroad and china and the middle east are opening branches of universities abroad . In certain universities the first two years are carried out abroad and the final year in the US or UK tech also means that they are in constant contact with satellite universities. For Britain and America to prosper they may actually have to invest abroad to create markets for their goods and services. To people without insight all of china investments in other countries are about obtaining strategic natural resources. But the probable mix is: strategic natural resources 40% political influence 40% creating future markets for their goods and services 20% any way back to the main point. I have written in more detail at www.is2w.com because of limitations of this site its difficult to save .The scenarios and options are varied and I will write a full policy paper on it in the future
Why is this idea important?
UK as a Hub for other services beyond financial services .