Friday, October 5, 2018

Postscript to African Aid vs Development #1 of 3. Bill Gates vs Kumi Naidoo vs Bono. Only one of these three actually gets it.

Bono: "Capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid."

2 MIN READ - The Cautious Optimism Correspondent for Economic Affairs and Other Egghead Stuff offers his series of quick read postcripts on the problems with Africa's economic development or lack thereof.

U2's Bono and Prof. George Ayittey

(This is the first in a series of three short postscripts to September's detailed interview with Dambisa Moyo expounding her critique of and alternative to the failed seventy-year African aid model. To read the original article visit the link at the end of this column.)

Zambian economist and Africa aid critic Dambisa Moyo has been dubbed the “anti-Bono” for criticizing glamour-seeking music celebrities who promote the expansion of what she considers a failed aid model that keeps Africa mired in poverty.

As we know most music celebrities are narcissistic economic illiterates. And U2’s Bono was at the epicenter of the so-called Glamour-Aid movement, making a second career out of public appeals for increased aid for over two decades.

But in a positive surprise Bono has proven to be one of the rare celebrities who is open to learning new ideas. On a 2007 Africa tour he met Ghanan economist and Independent Institute Fellow George Ayittey who discussed the real long-term solution to African poverty: global capital markets and foreign investment. Bono was skeptical at first (why not, the message contradicted the aid narrative he had preached for over 20 years) so Ayittey gave the rock superstar a copy of his book “Africa Unchained: The Blueprint for Development.”

It appears Bono was a devout student who took his assignment seriously:

“In a speech at Georgetown University, Bono altered his economic and political views and declared that only capitalism can end poverty.”

The details of Bono's interaction with Ayittey and change of heart are available at...

Although many of Bono’s political views remain center-left, he has exhibited a trait that few self-obsessed rock stars and Hollywood actors possess: teachability. And he had the wherewithal to embrace what works instead of what simply sounds good—even after espousing the feelgood celebrity soundbite for the better share of his adult life—and making a courageous u-turn towards free markets and commercial investment.

ps. The Cautious Optimism Correspondent for Economic Affairs highly recommends viewing the one minute YouTube of Bono embedded in the enclosed article.

pps. To read Dambisa Moyo's original Guernica interview on what's wrong with an aid model that she says keeps Africa trapped in poverty go to:

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