This is what I get for reading the LA Times.
President Bush last week brazenly brushed aside British Prime Minister Tony Blair's call for a doubling of aid to Africa. Blair and other European leaders have taken on the task of fighting extreme poverty — and Bush watches from the sidelines. To justify its dereliction, the Bush administration perpetuates a mythology that contributes to the premature deaths of millions of people each year.That’s from Jeffrey Sachs,
Columbia University economist and special advisor to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.Well, that explains a lot.
Funny, according to my biological father, an honest-to-goodness African like Mr. Annan--and one of the vaunted journalist/Marxist class, not just some guy running around chucking a spear and boiling white people like Mr. Sachs for dinner--Europeans and Americans have done enough to foul his continent up and need to butt out and let Africa grow up. (Pops is not of the Mugabe mindset, however.)
There are lots of silly assertions in this editorial. Here’s one:
Malaria will kill up to 3 million children this year, overwhelming Africa's meager hospitals. Yet five measures could end this: long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets (cost: $7 per net); effective medications freely available to the poor; community health workers trained in malaria control; medical diagnostic capacity at the local level; and indoor insecticide spraying where appropriate. The cost: $3 billion a year for the industrialized countries, $1 billion for the U.S. — about 10 times what's currently spent on malaria control.What about the one sure-fire, cheap eradicator of malarial mosquitoes, DDT? Eh, forget it. Your type doesn’t want real solutions that actually save lives. That’s why the stuff was banned in the first place.
But when $20 billion is needed to keep the poorest of the poor in Africa alive and put the continent's economies on a path toward long-term growth, there's no money available.One wonders how Africans survived for thousands of years before slavery and colonialism without other folks all up in their business handing out “aid” in order to ease their guilt.
My father may be a Marxist, but even he understands that handouts have infantilized many natives of his continent and, at the same time, enriched the crooked. He doesn’t deny what’s been right in front of his face for the last forty years.
Philip Ochieng thinks Africans are adults and Jeffrey Sachs thinks Africans are children, victims of that dreaded Bush who, apparently, can foul up a…well, you get the idea.
UPDATE: The European Union tries to "help" Africa.