Financing for Development: How to Ask for Money

As you prepare for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in mid-July, please remember that as an African Minister of Finance or Foreign Affairs and Development your country expects you and your advisers to get as much money as you can from the donors.

Africa has large financing gaps in areas crucial for sustainable development, so we need the cash and wish you luck.

Going into the meetings, please remember the Swahili saying 'nguo ya kuazima huwezi kuiringa' — "you cannot swagger in borrowed clothing". Africa has great needs and it is right to ask for help. But too often this devolves into outright begging. Here is a strategy on how you can ask without looking desperate and keep your own and your country's dignity intact. You may even walk out with a check.