General budget support in Africa:
Is the end in sight?
The past ten years has seen a growing readiness by international donors to disburse aid through official institutions in partner countries, with General Budget Support (GBS) as the preferred mechanism.
This deal between donors and recipients has been heralded as a win-win situation. Recipient governments in Africa make political gains and donor governments reap administrative benefits.
In reality, however, GBS has caused as many problems as it has solved. It has become politicized to the point that many African governments now have second thoughts about the mechanism.
Their frustration is often exacerbated by the donors acting as one, sometimes under EU auspices, at other times as GBS providers. Rwanda and Tanzania are two current cases in point.