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Easterly vs. Bono

Posted By Don Boudreaux On July 6, 2007 @ 1:15 pm In Foreign Aid | Comments Disabled

Bill Easterly is always worth reading.  Here are a couple of paragraphs from his op-ed [1]that appears in today’s edition of the Los Angeles Times:

In truth, Africans are and will be escaping poverty the same way everybody else did: through the efforts of resourceful entrepreneurs, democratic reformers and ordinary citizens at home, not through PR extravaganzas of ill-informed outsiders.

The real Africa needs increased trade from the West more than it needs more aid handouts. A respected Ugandan journalist, Andrew Mwenda, made this point at a recent African conference despite the fact that the world’s most famous celebrity activist — Bono — was attempting to shout him down. Mwenda was suffering from too much reality for Bono’s taste: “What man or nation has ever become rich by holding out a begging bowl?” asked Mwenda.

By the way, my wife’s work in Africa [2] supports Easterly’s thesis.

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[1] his op-ed : http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-easterly6jul06,0,6188154.story?coll=la-opinion-rightrail

[2] my wife’s work in Africa: http://www.enterpriseafrica.org/

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