Questions for Dambisa Moyo The Anti-Bono
Interview by DEBORAH SOLOMON for the NY Times Magazine
Q: As a native of Zambia with advanced degrees in public policy and economics from Harvard and Oxford, you are about to publish an attack on Western aid to Africa and its recent glamorization by celebrities. ‘‘Dead Aid,’’ as your book is called, is particularly hard on rock stars. Have you met Bono?
A: I have, yes, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last year. It was at a party to raise money for Africans, and there were no Africans in the room, except for me.
Q: What do you think of him?
A: I’ll make a general comment about this whole dependence on “celebrities.” I object to this situation as it is right now where they have inadvertently or manipulatively become the spokespeople for the African continent.
You can read the rest of it here.
My take on the interview is that she really has a problem with government aid the way it has been given out. She highlights kiva.org as a way to aid Africans through microfinance. I agree there!
But, without Bono and others highlighting the need, where else would we hear about it? Who would get our attention? Who would actually fight to help those in need? Like Bono and others...
It is the old saying: give a man a fish and he has one meal, but teach a man to fish and he can do it everyday for himself and family. But if the water is polluted and he can't fish in the desert what good is the skill? I think aid given in the right way (or the lessening of debts) can help.
The Nets for Life program and others through Episcopal Relief & Development is a good way to help those in need through the proper local programs.