'Western Aid, Celebs Are Hurting Africa'

'Anti-Bono' author rips help for sapping continent's strength
By Amelia Atlas,  Newser User
Posted Feb 22, 2009 5:39 AM CST
Dambisa Moyo is a former banker at Goldman Sachs.   (http://www.dambisamoyo.org)
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(Newser) – Dependence on celebrities as spokesmen and Western aid are bad for Africa, argues Deborah Solomon's latest interview subject, Dambisa Moyo. The Ivy-educated former investment banker argues in her new book that the culture of aid for Africa discourages entrepreneurship. "You also disenfranchise African citizens, because the government is beholden to foreign donors and not accountable to its people," Moyo tells Solomon in the New York Times.

With figureheads like Bono spearheading fundraising for Africa, celebrities "have inadvertently or manipulatively become the spokespeople for the African continent," she added. Unlike China, which used to be comparably poor but has thrived on its own dime, Africa is expected to depend on foreign aid for growth. The best solution, Moyo believes, isn't traditional aid but microfinance. "Give people jobs," she urges.