Monday, June 04, 2007

Africa: Aid vs. Investment

The session culminated with a healthy dose of controversy. Ugandan journalist Andrew Mwenda gave a fiery talk, articulating his well-honed arguments against foreign aid, which he views in no uncertain terms as Africa's problem, not its solution. Eloquent, funny and forceful, Mwemba sent a jolt through the divided audience. Many stood and cheered; others muttering audibly in disagreement. "Do any of you know someone who grew wealthy from receiving aid?" he asked, midway through his talk. The silence was broken by ... Bono. Who argued that yes, actually, government aid helped Ireland through the potato famine, for starters. (Bono would take the stage himself in Session 2).
From the TEDGlobal 2007 - "Africa: The Next Chapter" conference. Um... yes, that Bono...

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