The Plague of Good Intentions

By Thomas Epley



– “Tom Epley has done a brilliant job… This seminal piece will become part of our curriculum at the African Leadership Academy. …it will stimulate the future leaders of Africa to look at development issues in a refreshing new manner." —Fred Swaniker, Founder and CEO, African Leadership Academy


Author Tom Epley is a myth-busting thinker and planner with a lifetime career of getting results from dysfunctional organizations as a highly successful turnaround CEO. [Tom Epley has done more hands-on turnarounds than just about anyone.”—David Bonderman, General Partner TPG]


THE TRUTH WE ALL KNOW – Despite the billions of dollars in funds for aid and development that have been poured into Africa, it remains a crucible of failed attempts at improving the dismal economy, life expectancy, food supply, and spread of AIDS and other diseases: in fact continuing decline persists on most of these issues.


THE LIE WE ALL BELIEVE – Pouring more money into Africa and sending more well intentioned world aid and NGO advisors, with new programs or technology or other schemes, will be helpful.


THE TRUTH WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND – The “fixes” promulgated by the outside world have not only been wasteful, but have significantly contributed to the five-decades-long decline of Africa. Radically different approaches are critically necessary.


Hundreds of economists, journalists, philanthropists, academicians and bureaucrats continuously present their points of view, but Epley is the first to apply a lifetime of actually getting results from large complex organizations to Africa’s problems. In The Plague of Good Intentions, he offers common-sense, workable, and proven albeit controversial [Epley’s iconoclasm stands out…medicine of clear but tough thinking…help address the pathologies that ail this tragic continent –Geoffrey Garrett, Past President Pacific Council on International Policy] prescriptive remedies to create substantive and lasting change for the people of Africa .


“Epley draws on the rich experience he's had over the past three decades in successfully 'turning around' more than a dozen failing companies to derive lessons for reversing the deteriorating conditions of failing countries. …severe changes from what has been standard practice in the conduct of foreign aid programs…[an] insightful, and illuminating book.” —Charles Wolf Jr., Ph.D, Founder of the Pardee RAND Graduate School of Public Policy


Epley warns: Do not give another penny to African causes until you read The Plague of Good Intentions – unless you want to contribute to the further devastation of Africa!



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