I just saw this on Drudge, and on the Drudge page its accompanied by a pic of smiling Bono and Bob Geldof. The G8 Nations are promising a significant increase in aid to Africa:
With a last-minute pledge from Japan, Blair won a key victory - a promise to boost Africa aid to $50 billion annually by 2010, from the current $25 billion. The United States did not make any additional pledges. Bush announced last week that he would seek to double U.S. aid to Africa by 2010.
At Blair's behest, the G-8 nations also endorsed canceling the debt of 18 of the world's poorest nations and renewed their commitment to a peacekeeping force in Africa.
"All of this does not change the world tomorrow. It is a beginning, not an end," said Blair, the summit host, with summit leaders and the leaders of five African countries standing behind him on the steps of the Gleneagles Hotel.
In response, Bono says "a mountain has been climbed," and:
"We've pulled this off," he said. "The world spoke and the politicians listened."
So, in view of that, let me say that if this turns out to work and significant amounts of aid flow to Africa as a result of Live8 I'll be happy to retract some of my more negative comments in my prior post and eat humble pie.
But while the pie is still in the oven and I have yet to indulge I do want to point out what Gideon Strauss and others have said. The world may have spoken and the politicians of the G8 may have listened, but the politicians in the particular African countries where the aid is going also need to listen. It would be great if those who performed at Live8 can now do something similar to pressure those corrupt African governments that have withheld from their people the billions in aid that has already been sent. Can the rock stars turn up the pressure on those governments as well as the G8?
Still, if the goal of Live8 was to raise awareness of African Poverty, then let me commend them for that. Let me also say that this raised awareness is a good thing but that we shouldn't look exclusively to governments to be the channels of aid. As Catez at Allthings2All said in response to my prior post:
David also discusses the misappropriation of aid money by corrupt African governments. Agreed. But there are aid agencies one can donate to where the money goes directly to the people in need. So we do a bit of homework and can still give wisely.
Also, let me encourage you to read the blog of Keith at Under the Acacias. He is a missionary among the Fulani of Burkino Faso and has much more first hand knowledge of this stuff than I do. So, I am happy to defer to his corrections and commentary on these matters. You can check out his response to my prior post here and some further comments here. Keith disagrees with some of the assessments offered in my prior post so I think you ought to read him to help round out the picture.
I'll admit, I just have a very low view of celebrities and rock stars so I'm pretty skeptical about following anything their lead in anything. Hence, the negative tone of my last post.
So let me correct any misconceptions from that and say that I stand with Keith, Gideon Strauss, Andy Jackson and others in calling us to fulfill our biblical responsibilities to the poor and poor in spirit. I just think that folks like Keith and Gideon are more worth listening to than rock stars. OK, maybe Bono is an exception, he seems like a decent fellow.