Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Criticizing Bono

A friend of mine has a daughter who is living in Kigali, Rwanda currently. She wrote a really thoughtful piece about the west's relationship to the problems in Africa. Here's a tid-bit:

To give Bono credit, he has done a wonderful job of putting this issue on the policy agenda and educating Americans about a lot of the problems in Africa. But the realization I've had since being here (a year ago I never would have said this) is that 'fixing' Africa is not up to us. We have been pouring foreign aid into the countries here for the last 50 years. And things have not gotten better. They have gotten worse. So that is obviously not the answer. I just really disliked how Bono kept talking about how it's our responsbility to 'fix' things here and help these people. It just assumes this sense of superiority as well as an assumption that we should be the ones to tell people here how to live. That's the wrong way to look at it. (A year ago, I would have screamed at someone who said this!)

I spent a summer in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) under Mobutu. Her comments are not exaggerated.

Thought you'd like getting a first-hand glimpse of some of these issues. We can discuss here or you can comment on her blog.

My Global Footprints