“The best way to aid poor Africans is to educate rich western Liberals”

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The Article

Yesterday I welcomed Anthony Oluwatoyin as a new “Guest Writer” here and posted his column, “SFU versus the Public Interest”, in the Columnists section

But he pointed out a Province newspaper op-ed written by him that had just been published yesterday as well, and I liked it so much I asked if he would send us the text too—which of course he did. 

It was prominently published in the Province as “The best way to aid poor Africans is to educate rich western Liberals”, Thursday, June 23, but they’d edited it and changed his title from “Making African Charity Work”.  And of course he was restricted by their word-limit as well unfortunately.

It’s in the Columnists section along with yesterday’s feature-length column.

Here’s a snippet:

The Live Aid gang is back. In 1985, Bob Geldof rallied fellow musicians across Britain and the US in one great live by satellite concert, raising millions for famine relief in Ethiopia, Africa.

This summer, comes the sequel. Live 8. As in the G-8 group of rich 8 countries, including the US and Canada. This time they want to “Make Poverty History”.

But before you rush to book your ticket for the recently added stop in Ontario, wouldn’t you just like to know where all the money goes? The 1985 show alone, some sources say, raised as much as $250 million. And this for a part of the world where people average $1 a day.

I worked for the Ministry of Economic Planning at Ibadan in the former Western province of my native Nigeria. My fellow low-level staffers had a favourite joke:“How many “bs” are there in the word “tribe”? Answer: two; as in “bribe”. We’re talking some serious grease palming here.

While we’re at it, our friend Steve Milloy weighs in on it—on a VERY similar vein, in “Rock Stars’ Activism Could Be Put to Better Use”.  Here’s a snippet of his column from our Columnists section:

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What Africa needs is genuine economic development that can be sustained over time, a goal that has been continually thwarted by the environmental policies forced upon developing nations by groups such as Greenpeace — an organization publicly supported by many of the Live 8 performers.

One necessary step toward economic growth in Africa, for example, is eradicating the continent’s crippling famine and perpetual epidemics of disease. Yet, Greenpeace’s successful campaign against the use of pesticides such as DDT has resulted in millions of deaths from diseases like malaria that pesticides could have prevented.

If Geldof and the other Live 8 performers really wanted to help Africans, they would rock-and-rail at their Greenpeace friends rather than at the G8 leaders.

Joel Johannesen
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