Sunday, February 22, 2009

This Economist Is Anti-Bono (And Much Better Looking, Too!)

The story was in today's New York Times magazine called The Anti-Bono. Her name is Dambisa Moyo and she has a book coming out this year. The Times interviewed her. Here is an exerpt:

"You argue in your book that Western aid to Africa has not only perpetuated poverty but also worsened it, and you are perhaps the first African to request in book form that all development aid be halted within five years.

Think about it this way — China has 1.3 billion people, only 300 million of whom live like us, if you will, with Western living standards. There are a billion Chinese who are living in substandard conditions. Do you know anybody who feels sorry for China? Nobody.

Maybe that’s because they have so much money that we here in the U.S. are begging the Chinese for loans.

Forty years ago, China was poorer than many African countries. Yes, they have money today, but where did that money come from? They built that, they worked very hard to create a situation where they are not dependent on aid."

She thinks that foreign aid to Africa is taken by corrupt leaders and stifles entrepreneurship. Her recommendation for people who want to help Africa is microfinance. There is an organization called Kiva which allows you to lend money directly to entreprneurs in third world or developing countries that need very small loans for their businesses.


Patrick said...

I had seen something about this about a year ago and was really impressed. I even went to the website and looked into making a loan. I believe I should revisit that possibility because I think it's such a fantastic way to help people as an alternative to welfare give-aways. I cant think of a better way to revitalize a nation than to encourage the entrepeneurial spirit and mind. Kudos to the people who set this up!

Cyril Morong said...

I certainly agree that entrepreneurship is very important. This seems like a great program. Thanks for commenting.