Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Anti-Bono

MAYBE IT"S THE SHADES THE DUDE PERSISTS IN INFLICTING UPON US, but the concept of the "Anti-Bono" has a certain appeal. That's the title of this Sunday New York Times interview of Dambisa Moyo by Deborah Solomon, and even if she is Bono-shades deficient, Dambisa seems to have a clear POV.

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?

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: You argue in your book that Western aid to Africa has not only perpetuated poverty but also worsened it, and you are perhaps the first African to request in book form that all development aid be halted within five years.

Think about it this way — China has 1.3 billion people, only 300 million of whom live like us, if you will, with Western living standards. There are a billion Chinese who are living in substandard conditions. Do you know anybody who feels sorry for China? Nobody.

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