Last month the Guardian launched a competiton to spot delegates at the Bilderberg Conference, for those who believe in conspiracy the Bilderberg Group is a meeting of the people who really control the world. The powerful and the great, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and even Barack Obama are all rumoured to have addressed this group.
Whilst looking through the pictures I spotted a face I knew very well, a Black woman!! What in the world is a black woman doing at the Bilderberg group meeting? She wasn’t a head of state or Princess, was she the wife of some powerful man? No…she was Dambisa Moyo,
I like Dambisa Moyo, not because she is an attractive African woman or because of her bestselling book “Dead Aid” but because she has managed to rile and anger the Aid Industry, and for that alone she deserves the admiration of all Africans.
I haven’t even read her book but have read enough reviews, critiques and summaries to understand why she has caused such fury.
Ms. Moyo has done something which was reserved for mainly white right-wing economists; how dare she, a black African woman dare to criticize the “Aid industry”. In the past those who criticized aid and its crippling dependency where characterised as racists and written off by the left wing press and their cheer leaders.
The likes of Jefferey Sachs who had a public spat with Dambisa Moyo on the Huffington post blog have been calling for more Aid, even though 60 years down the line most African countries are still poor, despite a huge influx of Aid.
Dambisa simply says in her book that Aid has failed and she explains why, i.e Corruption of ruling elites, Aid Dependency, Civil wars and so on. She goes on to say that Government to Government aid should be stopped all together but rather African countries should look to the bond markets for funding, she has no problems with NGO’s and humanitarian aid, indeed she is happy for that to continue.
Whilst I think some her solutions might be a tad bit simplistic and Idealistic, she brilliantly analyses the problem and offers pragmatic solutions, Dambisa Moyo has started or pushed to the forefront something which many Africans in the Diaspora and back in the continent were already speaking about..
Many Africans are questioning the purpose of billions of dollars of Aid that only seems to be making the situation worse, employing thousands of NGO and charity workers and chronically failing the the very people they are meant to help (see Haiti).
In Dambisa Moyo these Africans have found an articulate and powerful supporter.
I sincerely hope that Dambisa will use her new found fame and power to lobby Western Governments to change the way view development in Africa, lets concentrate on Trade, Governance, Corruption, Property Rights , Contract Law and so on.
If Africa gets these little things right, growth and development will follow.