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BS: How to aid Africa?

06 Jul 05 - 02:21 PM (#1516347)
Subject: BS: How to aid Africa?
From: GUEST,Wolfgang

The reaction in Africa to Geldof's activity (live 8) has been very mixed. Moeletsi Mbeki, brother of the South African president, has written an open letter to Geldof harshly criticising this activity.

Here is another interesting voice from Africa.

For God's Sake, Please Stop the Aid!


06 Jul 05 - 02:31 PM (#1516353)
Subject: RE: BS: How to aid Africa?
From: TheBigPinkLad

Bit of faulty logic in this gentleman's argument. He both revealed and missed the real problem in his explanatory statement that aid money is being thieved by corrupt Africans, so it's not the aid per se that's causing the problems.

06 Jul 05 - 02:43 PM (#1516363)
Subject: RE: BS: How to aid Africa?
From: John Hardly

But that was indeed his point -- that monetary aid was stolen and material aid unfairly competed with homegrown and homemanufactured goods, furthering the spiral of poverty, and offering no possibility of the Africans lifting themselves from their predicament -- in fact sealing their fate.

Very interesting read. Thanks for the link.

06 Jul 05 - 02:46 PM (#1516365)
Subject: RE: BS: How to aid Africa?
From: Bunnahabhain

How to aid Africa:

Remove trade restrictions.
Let Africa compete with China to make stuff.

Remove Agricultural subsides.
African farmers should be able to grow food more cheaply that rich world farmers can export it to Africa.

Stop interfering.


06 Jul 05 - 03:31 PM (#1516396)
Subject: RE: BS: How to aid Africa?
From: JohnInKansas

WHO FAQ Africa gives a more balanced view of African problems with respect to children's deaths than much of what is seen in media releases.

Similarly "variant" figures are given for the more general populations by the AUF White Paper.

Neither of these suggests how best to help; but both support the notion that existing massive aid is being misdirected.


06 Jul 05 - 03:35 PM (#1516401)
Subject: RE: BS: How to aid Africa?
From: gnu

It's not just goods. "Aid money" often purchases services, say, just for instance, from large companies who do exploration and engineering work for development of natural resources by other large companies... none of which are local. Of course, with Canadian aid dollars, this could never happen.

Anyone up for a round of golf, on the Ivory Coast?

06 Jul 05 - 05:48 PM (#1516485)
Subject: RE: BS: How to aid Africa?
From: akenaton

Bunnahabhain's suggestion that Africa should follow China and India into industrial slavery,does not square well with the environmental platitudes being espoused by the G8 leaders.

When are we going to understand that continued "development" spells disaster for this already polluted planet.
We need to realise that our unsustainable lifestyle is the product of our economic system, and if we attempt to replicate it worldwide,our grand-children and great grand-children will curse our greed and stupidity...Ake

06 Jul 05 - 07:59 PM (#1516573)
Subject: RE: BS: How to aid Africa?
From: CarolC

I like the idea of the micro-loans that are being used to help individual (very) small entrepreneurs in third world countries become more financially independent. One of the things I like about it is that it keeps the local economy mostly local. I think we could use a bit more of that in the "developed" countries.

These links have some information on this subject...

Here's a small excerpt...

"Power of Enterprise"

"The third program looks at how social entrepreneurs are working to break the cycle of poverty by empowering people to earn a living. Among the foremost of these is Muhammad Yunus, a.k.a. "the banker to the poor," whose Grameen Bank provided 3.8 billion dollars in loans to 2.4 million families in Bangladesh and inspired similar credit operations in a hundred countries. The episode also travels to the jungle city of Pucallpa, Peru, where Albina Ruiz Rios has been forming micro-enterprises to clean up garbage that is ruining the environment, contaminating water and causing disease in poor neighborhoods. And it ventures into the violence-plagued slums of Rio de Janeiro, where Maria Teresa "Tete" Leal leads the Coopa-Roca sewing cooperative, a fair labor shop that creates clothes seen on the runways of the high-fashion world."

06 Jul 05 - 08:12 PM (#1516579)
Subject: RE: BS: How to aid Africa?
From: beardedbruce


100% in agreement with your last post. A far better way to improve people's lives than the waste of giving a corrupt government money to buy status.

06 Jul 05 - 08:29 PM (#1516592)
Subject: RE: BS: How to aid Africa?
From: dianavan

Fair trade

Forgive debt

Clean water




07 Jul 05 - 04:24 PM (#1517310)
Subject: RE: BS: How to aid Africa?
From: JohnInKansas

One of the problems with giving useful aid to those who need it most is the purely commercial problem that developing and undeveloped countries don't need the same things that are profitable in developed countries. Diseases that could be controlled with vaccines and/or treatments, that kill many people in poorer nations, simply are not common enough in developed countries (where there is a profitable market) to induce pharmaceutical companies to work on treatments and/or vaccines.

From a Technology Review recent article:

… the vaccine story usually went like this:

A drug company would develop a vaccine for a European country or the United States. It would charge a relatively high price for about 15 years. then, once it had made a profit, and the medicine had gone off patent. it would introduce the vaccine at a lower price to poor countries.
The trouble with this model is not just that 15 years is a long time to wait; it's also that certain diseases are much more dangerous in poor countries than in rich ones.

getting vaccines where they are needed most requires giving companies … financial incentives. The emergence ofwhat can be thought. of as a superbuyer for vaccines—the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immuluzation (GAVI)—may help create those incentives.

GAVI, which was founded five years ago, thanks largely to $750 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Founiation. In 2005, GAVI named rotavirus a top priority, and this January, the Gates Foundation pledged another $750 million to it over the next 10 years. GAVI's Vaccine Fund serves countries whose per-capita gross national income is less than $1,000. Though the fund will not directly benefit Mexico, whose average income levels are too high. it is poised to help fund vaccination in scores of countries. GAVI's buying power helped convince [GlaxoSmithKline] GSK to forgo the traditional road to vaccine development.

The GSK effort cited above is the development of a vaccine for rotavirus that was introduced in Mexico in January. The vaccine, Rotarix, "was the first vaccine from a major pharmaceutical firm to debut not in the United States or Europe but in a poor country."

Rotavirus, which induces diarrhea, is one such disease. Although almost every child is exposed to it by the age of five, its horror is not universal. In the United States. it kills between 20 and 40 children per year; in the rest of the world, it. kills an estimated half-million children (about 1,000 in Mexico alone).

Quite a bit of the information on how the GAVI is set up was given in sidebars and summary bits that don't seem to get posted, but the main article can be seen at The Vaccine That Almost Wasn't By Jim Kling Technology Review June 2005

It sounds like a sensible approach to me…