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More on the aid problem…

Rombo has just posted a very thoughtful piece commenting (among other things) on the wisdom of having Bono as an expert on aid for Africa…

she compared it to “having an International musician like Amy Winehouse commenting on the US debt crisis rather than Obama. It makes no sense.”

On the one hand, I really feel badly for Bono and Blair and their ilk. They see a problem and they’re compelled to do something. It’s hard to fault them on that ground. There are too many people all over the place doing nothing when they should be doing something.

On the other hand, it’s clear that AID has not worked/is not working as it’s supposed to, unless of course, it had the subversive objective all along of perpetuating dependence, in which case, it’s truly a work of genius. As Moyo says, “giving aid to Africa remains one of the biggest ideas of our time,” which is puzzling no end because all the evidence suggests is that it’s an idea that has failed miserably. (read more)

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5 replies on “More on the aid problem…”

I will paraphrase an African Anglican Bishop who said at a major missions conference of that church: “Don’t send us missionaries. Send us brothers and sisters and friends.” Substitute “money” for “missionaries”.

I don’t think the issue is that some of the aid has helped, but rather whether or not the same resources could have been used more effectively. I’d also add a Christian caveat that we need to be looking at how we can give and support others in a way which reflects the actions of God.

Rombo quotes Hamm paraphrasing Moyo criticising Bono – about *who* is advocating aid. That might have been fair when he started, 20+ years ago, but I reckon that by now he has more practical experience of ‘big money development’ than most people.

Rombo’s main point (and perhaps Moyo’s) isn’t about who advocates it – Gordon Brown, Bono or Kofi Anan, but whether it’s the right approach.

If the new Prime Minister of Zimbabwe said “give us your f*** money”, would it be more right to give?

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