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Social transfers are sometimes perceived by policy makers in Africa as the latest (but not the last) in a long line of western-inspired solutions to the continent’s problems; in this case, poverty. For this reason, there is frequently scepticism regarding their appropriateness for, and effectiveness in, an African environment.  

While European countries do have a long history in the state provision of social transfers and other forms of social welfare, social transfers also enshrine many traditional African cultural values and principles, which pre-date colonisation  and which emphasise the vital role of supportive community and kinship systems through which scarce resources are shared and the better-off care for the less fortunate.   

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