One morning on the outskirts of Nairobi, a Kenyan policeman stops a driver and orders him to the side of the road. “Sir, you have committed a crime.” “What crime, officer?” “You crossed the white line in the centre of the road. I must give you a fine.” “But there is no white line on this road… it is a single carriageway with potholes and no markings at all.” “When the road was constructed there was a white line” came the reply.
The poorly paid policemen would receive wages at the end of the month, if lucky. But they would need extra money just to keep going, and shaking down motorists was a good way of making ends meet. The motorist should have known better than to cross an invisible white line as the month was coming to a close. This was just one example of “Little Corruption.” “Big Corruption” was another story…
As a relief to the sombre academic literature on issues related to developing countries in Africa and Asia, this book takes a critical but light-hearted look at the international aid industry. It follows the author’s career from a youthful “do-gooder” in the Philippines to Director General of the Kenya based African Medical & Research Foundation (AMREF) and its renowned Flying Doctor Service.
Topics covered include the Peace Corps, debt relief, the aid business, health, food and cultural practices, among many other subjects. Tales from Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Philippines, India and additional countries form the backdrop to this entertaining, critical and eye-opening book.