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Africa Computing/Internet

Twitter, Celebreties and Aid to Africa

So why should anyone use Twitter? One reason is that it allows you to follow famous people and find out what they are thinking and doing. Lots of Brits like to follow television personalities like Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross. I can’t say that I’m much of a one for celebrity culture, though I do follow the Now Show’s Mitch Benn. However, for me one of the great things about Twitter is that you can follow the thoughts and ideas of some of the great thinkers of our time. From my point of view it is wonderful to be able to see what Dambisa Moyo is thinking and writing.

Dambisa Moyo was born and raised in Zambia, Southern Africa. She completed a PhD in Economics at Oxford University and holds a Masters from Harvard University. She completed a Bachelors degree in Chemistry and MBA in Finance at the American University in Washington D.C..

She worked at Goldman Sachs for 8 years in the debt capital markets, hedge fund coverage and in global macroeconomics teams. Previously she worked at the World Bank in Washington D.C.. Dambisa is a member of the Board of Lundin Petroleum. (read more)

Dambissa is the author of Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa which I am desperate to start reading, but want to keep it as a holiday treat. However, by following Dambisa on Twitter, I’ve been able to read a good number of newspaper articles and watch a few TV interviews that give a good insight into her thinking. Today she published a rather feisty piece in the Huffington Post which is a great read:

Development is not that hard. We now have over 300 years of evidence of what works (and what doesn’t) in increasing growth, alleviating poverty and suffering. For example, we know that countries that finance development and create jobs through trade and encouraging foreign (and domestic) investment thrive.

We also know that there is no country — anywhere in the world — that has meaningfully reduced poverty and spurred significant and sustainable levels of economic growth by relying on aid. If anything, history has shown us that by encouraging corruption, creating dependency, fueling inflation, creating debt burdens and disenfranchising Africans (to name a few), an aid-based strategy hurts more that it helps…

… There is a more fundamental point — what kind of African society are we building when virtually all public goods — education, healthcare, infrastructure and even security — are paid for by Western taxpayers? Under the all encompassing aid system too many places in Africa continue to flounder under inept, corrupt and despotic regimes, who spend their time courting and catering to the demands of the army of aid organizations.

Like everywhere else, Africans have the political leadership that we have paid for. Thanks to aid, a distressing number of African leaders care little about what their citizens want or need — after all it’s the reverse of the Boston tea-party — no representation without taxation. (Read More)

Thought provoking stuff and open to the whole world thanks to Twitter.

This post is more than a year old. It is quite possible that any links to other websites, pictures or media content will no longer be valid. Things change on the web and it is impossible for us to keep up to date with everything.