There is a tendency in the West to see Africa as merely a place of poverty, a place that needs Western donations. This view is stereotypical and harmful for a variety of reasons and does not do justice to the many positive things happening in Africa.
In particular, when Westerners view Africa as a place of need, they can overlook the assets that Africans themselves possess. Moreover, such a view overlooks the differences in distribution of economic assets within African societies.
To get a better sense of the assets that Africans have, how those assets are distributed, and how Africans are using their own assets to help other Africans, read the following UMNS stories about African charity to other Africans. This is not an endorsement of all of the charity models followed. These stories are offered instead as counterexamples to the "Western donor-African recipient" stories that we hear all too often.
Liberia UMC schools help Ebola survivors
Urban Congolese congregation helps rural congregation
Zimbabwe UMW donates to orphanage
Women's entrepreneurship project of East Congo UMC
Liberia UMW give scholarship to rural students
Women's entrepreneurship project of Zimbabwe UMC
Zimbabwe UMC schools give access to computers
Liberia UMW gives out personal transportation devices to disabled persons
Liberia UMC clinic cares for persons with leprosy
Liberia UMC provides medical help for seniors
Zimbabwe UMC helps prisoners learn to grow food
Zimbabwe UMC donates food to prisoners
Nigeria UMC schools conduct adult education program
This list in not comprehensive. Moreover, it doesn't even include the extensive evangelistic, peacemaking, or women's rights work that African United Methodists undertake on their own initiative and with their own assets. Nor does it include any of the work wherein African United Methodists are active, contributing partners with United Methodists from elsewhere in the world.
Clearly, United Methodists everywhere need to take seriously African United Methodists' assets and abilities for impacting their societies.