'All other reforms will have limited impact':
If the solution to Africa's problems was a simple matter of foreign aid, Africa's problems would have been solved years and tens of billions of dollars ago. Fighting corruption in Africa
is far more important than boosting direct foreign aid. ... Alas, the battle against African corruption is an abstract, dirty, thankless task that doesn't appeal much to the feel-good sentiments expressed at rock concerts. ... Quick story: Hub Blog once chatted over lunch with an ex-government minister in Cameroon. He bemoaned the end of the Cold War. "Why?" I asked. The minister, who lived quite comfortably in semi-retirement, made it clear that the governing class loved the good old days of funding competition between the U.S. and Soviet Union. ...P.S.
-- Try out Alec Russell's 'Big Men, Little People'
and/or Robert Klitgaard's 'Tropical Gangsters'
if you're interested in learning more about the real Africa, not the fairy-tale Africa. Things have improved since both books were published. But not by much. ... Pay special attention to the comments by the ex-Peace Corps member on Amazon's 'Tropical Gangsters' page.Update
-- Reader No. 1 sends in links to two columns about Africa, one by Harvard's Niall Ferguson
and the other by James Glassman.
Ferguson asks a good question: "Will Live 8 put pressure on Robert Mugabe to step down?" ... I actually like some of Geldof's ideas. Not the doubling of aid. Gong! Done that. But I like the cancelling of debt (with debt being the legacy of past failed policies) and establishing more free-trade deals (with free trade pushing African countries toward Western/Asian economic models). ... BTW: I'm an optimist about Africa's future -- as long as it's not subjected to the same old '60s government aid policies.