My friend and colleague Ethan Zuckerman, reports Rebecca MacKinnon, has written a beautiful post in response to criticism of his recent posts about Live8.
Excerpt from Ethan:
Africa’s not an issue. It’s not a cause or a problem. It’s a continent – a complicated,
confusing, beautiful continent, with wealth and poverty, peace and
strife, success and tragedy. When Africa becomes a cause, we tend to
see only one side of the continent – a helpless, dependent, starving
side that ‘needs our help’.
To actually accomplish the goal
of Live 8 – the elimination of poverty in Africa – Americans and
Europeans have to get a great deal smarter about this other Africa.
This Africa needs investment and trade, rather than just aid and debt
forgiveness. This Africa is open for business. This Africa is as important and as real as the Africa that needs help.
Aid dollars don’t eliminate poverty – integration into a global economy
Well said, though I don’t agree that integration into a global economy is the only way. Locally focused, self-reliant development – a la Grameeen – is an equally important piece of the puzzle.