Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Africa , G20

Geldof and 2 African bloggers

I went to my first press conference ever, with the Minister for International Development, Douglas Alexander. Figures were flying around like bees on honey with millions being allocated to protecting emerging markets such as Brazil and India. More billions to be given to the poorest countries through the usual international finance institutions to stimulate trade. A Rapid Response Social Fund with the aim of accessing very poor, the old and destitute at short notice. The UK is of course on target with it’s millennium goals (unlike other Western countries who are falling back on their commitments.)

Presented as glossy and sparkling but in reality all of these proposals are dull, staid more of the same old regurgitated polices. Daudi and I were just interviewed together with Bob Geldof on why Africa despite the conversation on development and aid to the continent is so under represented at the G20 and similar forums. Bob was quite frank in saying it was the usual dominance and failure to take a more inclusive approach to the global discussion. I believe it goes further than this. It is ironic when you think of the lack of African representation considering the West’s dependency on Africa and not the other way around. This has been from slavery through colonialism to the present. Resources such as oil, copper, gold, silver, chromium, coffee, cocoa and more recently cash crops for feeding the West. Unfair trade policies, low commodity prices, failure to adequately tax companies operating in Africa and the complicity of Western governments and banking institutions in providing tax havens for money stolen by African politicians. If aid is not in itself a business would it not be preferable for example to pay fair prices for Africa’s resources?

Asked if anything positive will come out of this Summit – Not if one is thinking in terms of a major shift in policy towards Africa and Africans taking the initiative to come up with new strategies for development as I mentioned in my previous post. But I do agree with Bob one possible positive outcome may come from changes in Tax Haven laws whereby monies stolen by corrupt politicians is returned to the countries and access to tax havens is shut down. would be one positive outcome.

3 Comments

  1. Suzanne Spittal

    I would love to enlighten Bob Geldof and all the other folk who think they are doing the Africans of Africa a big favour by giving aid. This aid never, ever reaches the people who really need it. Africa is full of slums, peopled by Aids ridden populations that cannot afford to feed themselves. Malnutrition causes problems from birth,
    and giving money to greedy so-called aid agencies in Africa does nothing except give these agencies enough money to go on overseas trips to attend meetings to decide what to do next; where to rent impressive offices with plenty of staff; to buy that new Mercedes Benz car that will so impress everyone; to move into the upper bracket of Big Earners and to become the envy of all their friends;
    We see it every day; THE MONEY NEVER EVER REACHES THE PEOPLE WHO NEED IT.

  2. Why Africa despite the conversation on development and aid to the continent is so under represented at the G20 and similar forums. Who wants to be seen with that corruption ridden lot? Send more cash and it ends up in ghana-must-go bags. But then the giver of bribes are also to blame and as such, its bad business all round.

    Africa is not poor. That is all the branding required as you have already mentioned that we feed the world. Where do the world´s fishing fleet end up after depleting their stocks? Never mind the raw materials that help make mobile phones a successful technology.

    We can raise $1Tn in one day if those African leaders woke up and smelled the coffee. The problem is not in the stars but down here with our own people. They continue to sell us into slavery yet people blamed the other side. A corruption, fake goods, bribes and pollution levy to all multintionals for $1Tn is a lot of cash. Only show me how the same amount has been spent in the past.

  3. Comment by post author

    Sokari

    Suzanne @ I agree with you on the NGOs and that in the majority of cases the money does not reach the people. But I dont agree with you that Africa is “is full of slums, peopled by Aids ridden populations that cannot afford to feed themselves” and I dont like your choice of language.

    Geldof is just a sideshow in all of this nonetheless my conversaton with him tells me he is at least aware of the issues around the politics and economics of aid and I certainly dont think he is the one to attack in this instance. HOWEVER the issues of aid is NOT just that it never reaches the people but it is unsustainable, increases poverty due to the conditions attached to it and doesnt work.

    Beauty@ I totally agree with you.