Where African Aid Money Goes
“Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz,” prayed Janis Joplin, and the Lord obliged. …
Today, though, there is one man who is doing more than the Lord himself to buy a Mercedes-Benz for the leading creeps of the world. That man is, of course, Bob Geldof, the spur to our global conscience.
Africa’s leaders cannot wait for the G8 leaders — hectored by rock star Bob and his Live8 concerts into bracelet-wearing submission — to double aid and forgive the continent’s debts. They know that such acts of generosity will finance their future purchases of very swish, customised Mercedes-Benz cars, while 315 million poor Africans stay without shoes and Western taxpayers get by with Hondas. This is the way it goes with the WaBenzi, a Swahili term for the Big Men of Africa.
After joyriding their way through six Marshall Plans worth of aid, Africa is poorer today than 25 years ago; and now the WaBenzi want more.
I’ve never been a fan of foreign aid to any country or region of the world, and the money-pit that is Africa exemplifies why.