Amna Elnour


Foreign aid is an essential policy instrument used to transform post-conflict countries. The purpose of this study is to measure the effectiveness of foreign aid in two post-conflict countries, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. The research seeks to deepen the knowledge of foreign aid and the structures of dependency and neoliberal policies. The study employed secondary sources of data to assess various variables such as poverty reduction, governance, education, and economic development to evaluate the effectiveness of aid. The issue of aid in post-conflict reconstruction is a complex; the management of the aid is contingent on both the donors and receipt, hence foreign aid does not automatically equate to economic growth and development. The findings of the study suggest political stability, foreign assistance, and investor-friendly policies have contributed to Rwanda’s reconstruction and economic growth. Nevertheless, Rwanda’s dependency on foreign aid remains a challenge. In contrast, Sierra Leone’s post-conflict reconstruction experience has been less successful, on one hand, foreign aid has played a positive role in the peacebuilding process, on the other hand, it has economically crippled the country and created a relationship of dependency. Foreign aid has failed to promote long-term sustainable development, and instead, has induced corruption and created a dependency syndrome. Political instability and years of prolonged war, ineffective economic policies, the mismanagement and exploitation of resources and funds, aid and the inefficiency of diversifying the economy have impaired economic growth and development. Keywords: Rwanda, Sierra Leone, foreign aid, development, exploitation


Political Science Department

Degree Name

MA in Political Science

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2018

First Advisor

Elnur, Ibrahim

Committee Member 1

Sunday, James

Committee Member 2

Sika, Nadine


135 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item


First and foremost, I offer my utmost gratitude to the Almighty for giving me this incredible opportunity and for everything that I have in my life. I am forever thankful and humbled. I would like to express my profound and sincere gratitude to Dr. Ibrahim Elnur for his tutelage, guidance, boundless patience, intellectual stimulation, invaluable feedback and resources, during the course of my research and throughout the course of the program. I am most indebted to Dr. James Sunday for providing we with invaluable sources, and his meticulous guidance, words of encouragement and enthusiasm, and for constantly asking for updates and telling me to stay true to my research. I am deeply appreciative for the constructive feedback I received from Dr. Nadine Sika. I am grateful for her mentorship and for inspiring me to think creatively. I am pleased and honored to have her on my committee. I would like to offer a special thank you to Roxanne Brook Vigil for the laborious editing of this thesis and for being a wonderful friend. Your strength and independence, support and love for books, enthuse me. I am very grateful for my parents and their unwavering support and love throughout the course of my studies. I am immensely indebted and thankful to my lovely mother Eglal, whose unconditional love, patience and prayers gave me the strength and motivation to keep on pushing forward. To my only brother, Omer thank you for your encouragement, and constant support. I am sincerely grateful for your stimulating intellectual conversations and for teaching me to question everything and to think outside of the box. Your passion for history and politics, and your wisdom and intelligence continue to inspire me. I would like to express my utmost gratitude to my Uncle Mohamed Bashir; I wish I could find a perfect way to thank you for your endless love and support. Kindness is such a part of your nature that I am sure you are unaware of how much of a difference you have made in my life. Thank you for always being there for me. To Representative Bass, Dr. Yarwood, Zach Seidl, I am unbelievably grateful for the opportunity that you have all given me. I am honored to have worked with such dedicated, intelligent, remarkable, individuals. To my colleagues, friends and family members across the world, who supported me and provided words of encouragement and advice throughout my life. You have my humble gratitude, and I do not know where I would have been without you all. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.