Dambisa Moyo

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Dambisa Moyo
Dambisa Moyo 2014.JPG
Born (1969-02-02) 2 February 1969 (age 46)
Lusaka, Zambia
Field Macroeconomics, International development, Global affairs
Alma mater American University (B.S., M.B.A.)
Harvard University (M.P.A.)
St Antony's College, Oxford (D.Phil.)

Dambisa Felicia Moyo (born (1969-02-02)2 February 1969)[1] is a Zambian-born author and international economist who analyses the macroeconomy, foreign aid impact, and global affairs.[2] She is the author of Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way For Africa (2009),[3] How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly – And the Stark Choices that Lie Ahead (2011)[4] and Winner Take All: China's Race for Resources and What It Means for the World (June 2012).[5]


Early life[edit]

Moyo was born in 1969[6] and raised in Lusaka, Zambia.[7] She was not issued a birth certificate due to Zambian law at the time of her birth. She used this as an illustration of development in a lecture in 2013, saying that "In 40 years I've gone from not being recognized as a human being, to standing in front of the illustrious TED crowd today to talk to you about my views."[1]

Education and career[edit]

Moyo holds a Doctorate (D.Phil.) in Economics from St Antony's College, Oxford; her 2002 dissertation is titled "Essays on the determinants of the components of savings in developing countries".[8] In 1997, she earned a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.[9] She also earned a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) in Finance and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Chemistry from American University in Washington D.C.

Moyo worked for the World Bank as a Consultant and at Goldman Sachs where she worked in the debt capital markets and as an economist in the global macroeconomics team.

Awards and memberships[edit]

In 2013, Moyo was awarded the Hayek Lifetime Achievement Award, named for the Nobel Prize winner and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Friedrich Hayek. Moyo was also a participant at the Bilderberg Conference[10] and was named by TIME Magazine as one of the world's 100 most influential people in 2009.[11] In the same year, Moyo was also honoured by the World Economic Forum as one of its Young Global Leaders.[12] In September 2009 Moyo was featured in Oprah Winfrey's power list of 20 remarkable visionaries.[13] The Daily Beast selected Moyo as one of "150 Extraordinary Women Who Shake The World".[14]

Moyo serves on the board of Barclays Bank,[15] SABMiller,[16] and Barrick Gold.[17] She has done numerous speaking engagements at organisations including: OECD, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Council on Foreign Relations, American Enterprise Institute and the 2009 Munk Debates as well as most of the G7 countries, and has travelled to nearly 60 countries over the last decade.[18] She was a speaker at the 2013 TEDGlobal conference[19] and spoke at TEDxBrussels in 2009 and 2010.[20]

Moyo is a regular contributor to financial journals such as the Financial Times[21] and the Wall Street Journal.[22] She is a contributing editor to CNBC and has appeared as a guest on other networks such as CNN,[23][24] Bloomberg,[25] BBC[26] and Fox Business.[27] She was a Patron of Absolute Return for Kids (ARK),[28] a hedge fund-supported children's charity.


Winner Take All[edit]

Moyo's third book Winner Take All: China's Race for Resources and What It Means for the World was published in June 2012. The book examines the commodity dynamics that the world will face over the next several decades. In particular, the implications of China's rush for resources across all regions of the world. With the scale of China’s resource campaign for hard commodities (metals and minerals) and soft commodities (timber and food) being one of the largest in history, Moyo presents her research of the financial and geopolitical implications of this in a world of diminishing resources and argues that we are in the middle of unprecedented times.[29]

Winner Take All became a New York Times best-seller debuting at No. 13[30] as well as entering The Wall Street Journal's business best sellers at No. 4[31] and the Publishers Weekly best-seller list at No. 11.[32]

A review in The Financial Times states that "If Dambisa Moyo is right, the demands of the world's most populous state are bad news for the rest of us...One cannot accuse Moyo of failing to do her homework. So much has been packed into it that her book is impossible to read without learning something."[33] Kirkus Reviews states "Written to clarify important global questions, this book deserves a wide audience."[34] The Telegraph commented "Perhaps she is right, but the grounds for doubting whether the future will be a straight line from the past deserve a hearing."[35]

How The West Was Lost[edit]

Moyo's second book, entitled How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly – And the Stark Choices that Lie Ahead, offers an account of the decline of the economic supremacy of the West over the past 50 years. In particular, Moyo examines how America’s flawed decisions and blinkered policies choices around Capital, Labour and Technology – key ingredients for economic growth and success – have resulted in an economic and geo-political seesaw that is now poised to tip in favour of the emerging world.

It became a New York Times best-seller, debuting at No. 6 in its first week.[36] It also debuted at No. 4 in the Washington Post[37] and No. 2 in the Wall Street Journal.[38] The book also had success in Canada, peaking at No. 4 and remaining on the best-seller list for 6 weeks.[39]

In a review, Paul Collier states that "her diagnosis of the recent disasters in financial markets is succinct and sophisticated"[40] and continues "I applaud her brave alarum against our economic and social complacency: her core concerns are sufficiently close to painful truths to warrant our attention."[40] Dominic Lawson writes in The Times "This argument...can rarely have been made more concisely...Moyo is a very serious lady indeed."[41] The Independent says "the sad saga of the recession gives legs to Dambisa Moyo's provocatively-entitled book, for it goes to the heart of the great economic issue of our times: how swiftly will power shift over this century?".[42] The Guardian says "How the West Was Lost is more interesting, wider in scale and more important than Dead Aid".[43]

Bloomberg summarises "[The book] offers up a well-reasoned look at how the world's most-advanced nations are squandering their economic lead – and how they might survive by fighting Chinese fire with fire….The book offers Western politicians a prescription for stopping the rot."[44] Bloomberg named it one of their top business books of 2011.[45]

In contrast, Alan Beattie of the Financial Times says "The challenges it identifies are for the most part real, if not original. But the huge flaws of the emerging economies are ignored."[46] The Economist says "these arguments need much better supporting material than the book provides".[47]

Ireland's Sunday Business Post says "Moyo's analysis of the fundamental underpinnings of the credit crunch, especially the role of leveraging, is ... nuanced and insightful".[48]

Dead Aid[edit]

Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There is Another Way for Africa argues that foreign aid has harmed Africa and that it should be phased out.[49] It became a New York Times best-seller. It is published in Chinese, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese and Dutch.

The book offers proposals for developing countries to finance development, instead of relying on foreign aid. Moyo has stated that her arguments are based on those made by pro-market economists like Peter Bauer (to whom the book is dedicated)[50] and, later, William Easterly.[51] The Financial Times summarised the book's argument: "Limitless development assistance to African governments, she argues, has fostered dependency, encouraged corruption and ultimately perpetuated poor governance and poverty."[52] She argues that foreign aid helps perpetuate the cycle of poverty and hinders economic growth in Africa.

Harvard professor and historian Niall Ferguson wrote the foreword to Dead Aid. Quotes by the chairman and CEO of Forbes, Steve Forbes, appear on the book jacket as well as by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan who says "Dambisa Moyo makes a compelling case for a new approach to Africa".

Moyo's ideas are similar to those held by the Rwandan Government and President Paul Kagame. He says that "Dead Aid has given us an accurate evaluation of the aid culture today".[53] Kagame also invited Moyo to Rwanda to discuss her thesis and bought copies of the book for his entire cabinet.[51][54] The former President of Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade has also expressed similar views on aid.[51]

The thesis has also been noted by the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. Speaking at a China-Africa Cooperation summit in Egypt, he said "I have read a book titled Dead Aid written by Dambisa Moyo. The author talks about her personal experiences and draws the conclusion that China's assistance to Africa is sincere, credible, practical and efficient and is welcomed by the African people. I am confident that time will prove that friendship and cooperation between the Chinese and African people has a bright future."[55]

In a book review, economist Paul Collier states that "Aid is not a very potent instrument for enhancing either security or accountability. Our obsession with it has detracted from the more important ways in which we can promote development: peacekeeping, security guarantees, trade privileges, and governance." [56]

The pro-aid organisation ONE disagreed with the book, stating that it calls to "cut-off all aid".[57] Moyo points out in a number of interviews that this is a misrepresentation of her ideas[58] and the Financial Times notes that ONE's campaign "at least partially backfired".[52] The economist Jeffrey Sachs has said more foreign aid is needed to improve conditions for Africa[59] but Moyo points out that when Sachs was her lecturer at Harvard it was he himself who taught that "the path to long-term development would only be achieved through private sector involvement and free market solutions".[60] The Financial Times suggests that the book "ignores evidence of development assistance working" but notes that "she has energised many fellow Africans to join in the debate".[52]

In a 2013 interview Bill Gates was asked for his views on Dead Aid's illustration that aid "keeps the economy crippled....[with] the money not being used to make businesses sustainable in Africa". He claimed to have read the book and stated "books like that – they're promoting evil".[61][62] Responding on her website, Moyo stated "To cast aside the arguments I raised in Dead Aid at a time when we have witnessed the transformative economic success of countries like China, Brazil and India, belittles my experiences, and those of hundreds of millions of Africans, and others around the world who suffer the consequences of the aid system every day."[63]


  • Moyo, Dambisa (2012). Winner Take All: China's Race for Resources and What It Means for the World. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-02828-4. 
  • Moyo, Dambisa (2011). How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly – And the Stark Choices that Lie Ahead. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 0-374-17325-7. 
  • Moyo, Dambisa (2009). Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There is Another Way for Africa. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 0-374-13956-3. 
  • Project Syndicate (13 March 2013) : "Commodities on the Rise"[64]
  • Financial Times (13 March 2013) : "Hunt for alpha leads to Africa"[65]
  • Quartz (12 March 2013) : "Forget the BRICs; Zambia, Estonia and Pakistan are the place for alpha investors"[66]
  • Guernica Magazine (1 August 2012) : "Closing the China Gap"[67]
  • The New York Times (28 June 2012) : "Beijing, a Boon for Africa"[68]
  • Época Magazine (15 July 2012) : "The China's voracity is the better for Africa"[69]
  • New Statesman (21 June 2012) : "Does aid work?"[70]
  • Prospect (20 June 2012) : "If I ruled the world"[71]
  • TIME (8 June 2012) : "The Resource Shortage Is Real"[72]
  • Financial Times (6 February 2012) : "Capitalism for Africa"[73]
  • Change This Manifesto (10 March 2011) : "A Call Against Complacency"[74]
  • The New York Times (1 March 2011) : "How to Get America Back on Track"[75]
  • The Times (17 January 2011) : "The country faces a dramatic choice: sink or swim"[76]
  • Barron's (28 November 2010) : "Holding Housing's Head Above Water"[77]
  • Aberdeen Asset Management (Nov 2010) : "America's Hobson's Choice"[78]
  • Financial Times (30 January 2010): "The Diary: Dambisa Moyo"[79]
  • The Economist (13 November 2009): "The lure of Africa: Bond markets will discover its attractions"
  • Financial Times (1 June 2009): "Little appetite to question the aid-based status quo"[80]
  • Foreign Policy (21 April 2009): "The Next Big Thing: Africa"[81]
  • Wall Street Journal (21 March 2009): "Why Foreign Aid Is Hurting Africa"[22]
  • Financial Times (28 February 2009): "The Diary: Dambisa Moyo"[82]
  • The Guardian (26 February 2009): "Capitalism for Africa"[83]


  1. ^ a b Moyo showed a copy of an official document with her date and place of birth as part of a lecture she gave at TEDGlobal 2013, Edinburgh, Scotland. Moyo, Dambisa (June 2013). "Is China the new idol for emerging economies?". TED. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "A worthy winner". austriancenter.com. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "Dambisa Moyo – Penguin Books Authors". Penguin. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  4. ^ "How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly-and the Stark Choices Ahead (9780374173258): Dambisa Moyo: Books: Reviews, Prices & more". Amazon.com. 9 September 2009. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  5. ^ Dambisa Moyo (28 February 2012). Winner Take All: China's Push for Resources and What It Means for the World. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-02828-3. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "The NS Interview: Dambisa Moyo, economist". NewStatesman. 5 March 2010. Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "The 2009 Time 100". Time. 30 April 2009. Retrieved 30 April 2010. 
  8. ^ St Antony's College in the Media. Sant.ox.ac.uk. Retrieved on 12 August 2012.
  9. ^ Hodges, Lindsay. (1 April 2009) Harvard Kennedy School – Alumna Argues Aid in Africa is Failing, Needs to be Reassessed. Hks.harvard.edu. Retrieved on 12 August 2012.
  10. ^ Cave, Andrew (8 January 2011). "Dambisa Moyo: without change US will almost certainly become a socialist nation". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  11. ^ "The 2009 Time 100". time.com. 30 April 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
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  13. ^ "O's First-Ever Power List". Oprah.com. 11 August 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  14. ^ "Women in the World in Association with The New York Times – WITW". Women in the World in Association with The New York Times - WITW. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  15. ^ "Barclays Media Centre". Newsroom.barclays.com. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  16. ^ "Directorate Change". London Stock Exchange. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  17. ^ Barrick Gold Corp (USA) Quote Page (ABX). Dailyfinance.com. Retrieved on 12 August 2012.
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  19. ^ "TEDGlobal 2013: Speakers A-Z". ted.com. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  20. ^ "Speakers at TEDxBrussels 2009". TED.com. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  21. ^ Is aid working? FT.com Arena (1 June 2009).
  22. ^ a b Moyo, Dambisa. (21 March 2009) Why Foreign Aid Is Hurting Africa – WSJ.com. Online.wsj.com. Retrieved on 12 August 2012.
  23. ^ CNN Inside Africa CNN (6 May 2009).
  24. ^ CNN Fareed Zakaria GPS CNN (6 May 2009).
  25. ^ Bloomberg Inside Look – "Dambisa Moyo – Aid Has Worsened Africa". youtube.com (26 March 2009).
  26. ^ BBC Daily Politics – Dambisa Moyo discusses better solutions to African aid . youtube.com (14 April 2009).
  27. ^ FOX Business – Dambisa Moyo says Aid to Africa isn't working. youtube.com (6 March 2009).
  28. ^ "Absolute Return for Kids" (PDF). Arkonline.org. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  29. ^ Moyo, Dambisa. Winner Take All. dambisamoyo.com. Retrieved on 12 August 2012.
  30. ^ 2012-06-14_NYTBestsellers. Dambisa Moyo. Retrieved on 12 August 2012.
  31. ^ WSJ Best-Selling Books. Online.wsj.com (15 June 2012). Retrieved on 12 August 2012.
  32. ^ Sfgate.com[dead link]
  33. ^ China crunch. FT.com (23 June 2012). Retrieved on 12 August 2012.
  34. ^ WINNER TAKE ALL by Dambisa Moyo | Kirkus Book Reviews. Kirkusreviews.com. Retrieved on 12 August 2012.
  35. ^ Blair, David (19 June 2012). "Winner Take All". Telegraph.co.uk (London). Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  36. ^ Print Hardcover Best Sellers. The New York Times Books Review (6 March 2011). dambisamoyo.com
  37. ^ "BOOK WORLD – February 27, 2011". The Washington Post. 
  38. ^ "Best-Selling Books – Week Ended Feb. 20". The Wall Street Journal. 26 February 2011. 
  39. ^ Vancouversun.com[dead link]
  40. ^ a b Collier, Paul (16 January 2011). "How the West Was Lost by Dambisa Moyo – review". The Guardian (London). 
  41. ^ The Sunday Times.[dead link].
  42. ^ Dambisamoyo.com[dead link]
  43. ^ Vidal, John (26 February 2011). "How the West Was Lost by Dambisa Moyo and Consumptionomics by Chandran Nair – review". The Guardian (London). 
  44. ^ Pressley, James (22 February 2011). "Ex-Goldmanite Moyo Sees U.S. Default, Chimerica Suicide: Books". Bloomberg. 
  45. ^ Pressley, James (8 March 2011). "Favorite Business Books, From 'Invisible Hand' to 'Ugly Beauty'". Bloomberg. 
  46. ^ "New World Disorder". Financial Times. 25 February 2011. 
  47. ^ "How the reader was lost". The Economist. 20 January 2011. 
  48. ^ Is the US destined to end up as a welfare state? The Sunday Business Post (6 February 2011). Sbpost.ie. Retrieved on 12 August 2012.
  49. ^ "Overcoming Aid". The American Spectator (spectator.org). 16 March 2009. 
  50. ^ "Dialogue: Helping Africa Break Free", Standpoint, March 2009 (accessed 26 May 2009)
  51. ^ a b c "Aiding is Abetting: An interview with Dambisa Moyo", Guernica magazine, April 2009 (accessed 26 May 2009)
  52. ^ a b c "Foreign aid critic spreads theory far and fast" by William Wallis, Financial Times (23 May 2009).
  53. ^ Africa has to find its own road to prosperity ft.com (7 May 2009).
  54. ^ "Rwanda wants a life without aid", NRC Handelsblad in partnership with RNW (6 March 2009).
  55. ^ Forum on China-Africa Co-Operation. Forum on China-Africa Co-Operation (8 November 2009).
  56. ^ Collier, Paul (30 January 2009). "Dead Aid, By Dambisa Moyo: Time to turn off the aid tap?". The Independent (London: www.independent.co.uk). Retrieved 27 December 2009. 
  57. ^ ONE | Dead Aid is Dead Wrong ONE
  58. ^ Bono, Beware: Dambisa Moyo on Aid, Microfinance, and the Problem of Celebs in Africa Fast Company (1 April 2009).
  59. ^ Aid Ironies Huffington Post, 24 May 2009
  60. ^ "Dambisa Moyo: Aid Ironies: A Response to Jeffrey Sachs". Huffingtonpost.com. 26 June 2009. Retrieved 16 October 2010. 
  61. ^ "An Audience With Bill Gates". Q&A. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  62. ^ Mfonobong Nsehe (30 May 2013). "Bill Gates Criticizes Zambian Economist And She Responds With Fire". Forbes. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  63. ^ Dambisa Moyo. "Dambisa Moyo - Dr. Dambisa Moyo responds to Bill Gates’ personal attacks". dambisamoyo.com. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  64. ^ "Dambisa Moyo on Commodities on the Rise - Project Syndicate". Project Syndicate. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  65. ^ "Guest post: hunt for alpha leads to Africa". Financial Times. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  66. ^ "Forget the BRICs; Zambia, Estonia and Pakistan are the place for alpha investors". Quartz. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  67. ^ Moyo, Dambisa. (1 August 2012). Closing the China Gap by Dambisa Moyo – Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics. Guernicamag.com. Retrieved on 12 August 2012.
  68. ^ Moyo, Dambisa. (27 June 2012). Beijing, a Boon for Africa. New York Times.
  69. ^ Moyo, Dambisa. (15 July 2012). The China's voracity is the better for Africa (in Portuguese) Época Magazine.
  70. ^ In this week's New Statesman: Europe's most dangerous leader. New Statesman (June 2012). Retrieved on 12 August 2012.
  71. ^ Moyo, Dambisa. (20 June 2012). Dambisa Moyo: If I ruled the world. Prospectmagazine.co.uk. Retrieved on 12 August 2012.
  72. ^ Moyo, Dambisa. (8 June 2012) The Resource Shortage: Demand Far Exceeds Supply. Ideas.time.com. Retrieved on 12 August 2012.
  73. ^ Moyo, Dambisa. (6 February 2012) Africa can remind the world of the capitalist way. FT.com. Retrieved on 12 August 2012.
  74. ^ A Call Against Complacency. Change This (9 March 2011). Retrieved on 12 August 2012.
  75. ^ Moyo, Dambisa (1 March 2011). "How to Get America Back on Track". The New York Times. 
  76. ^ UK News, World News and Opinion. The Times (13 March 2012). Retrieved on 12 August 2012.
  77. ^ Moyo, Dambisa. (27 November 2010) Holding Housing's Head Above Water – Barrons.com. Online.barrons.com. Retrieved on 12 August 2012.
  78. ^ The Bulletin Issue 25 Autumn 2010
  79. ^ Moyo, Dambisa. (30 January 2010) The Diary: Dambisa Moyo. FT.com. Retrieved on 12 August 2012.
  80. ^ Is aid working? | Arena. Blogs.ft.com (1 June 2009). Retrieved on 12 August 2012.
  81. ^ The Next Big Thing: Africa – By Dambisa Moyo. Foreign Policy (15 April 2009). Retrieved on 12 August 2012.
  82. ^ Moyo, Dambisa. (28 February 2009) The Diary: Dambisa Moyo. FT.com. Retrieved on 12 August 2012.
  83. ^ Dambisa Moyo: When the markets recover, Africa must be ready | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk. Guardian (26 February 2009). Retrieved on 12 August 2012.

External links[edit]