Well-meaning activists like Bono have pressured the West into giving billions more to Africa. But will they hold the kleptocrats in charge of these nations accountable? Western generosity alone in my humble opinion will not be enough to save the continent.
The problem with Africa lies in its fractious politics, combined with large level of state control of the economy. Once you get politicians into the mix, corruption soon follows. Once the entire state has a say, there are winners and losers. And this is what Bono and et el need to focus a lot of energy on…making sure the people whose suffering they are trying to alleviate gets the benefits of the debt relief. Pressure the lootocrats to invest these money in education.
Until Africa makes a commitment to educate all of it’s citizens for free, most aid programs and democracy movements will fail. Education is critical to the growth of Africa, more than any other single factor. You can only feed the ignorant. You can teach the educated to feed themselves. Africa’s problems are less money than who gets the money. And in many cases, a corrupt elite controls the cash and manipulates the poor.
Aid without accountability will only end up in Zurich. It won’t make any difference in the life of a kid wrestling on the sandy streets of Badibu Saba.