In the light of the G8 meeting and some seriously concerning international ‘aid’ policy in Africa, there have been few vocal voices of criticism, and as so often, it has been good to see (well actually pretty sickening to read, but it needs to be said) George Monbiot’s eloquent and well-argued polemic throwing light on some of the duplicitous trade negotiations recently made between G8 countries and African countries.
However, while I agree with the point he is making in his latest article criticising Bono ‘and others like him’ for dominating the conversation about Africa in international discourse, it does seem a little hypocritical.
I have heard the same complaint again and again: that Bono and others like him have seized the political space which might otherwise have been occupied by the Africans about whom they are talking. Because Bono is seen by world leaders as the representative of the poor, the poor are not invited to speak. This works very well for everyone – except them.
Says a white British man.
There is a well-known if dubious story that claims that at a concert in Glasgow Bono began a slow hand-clap. He is supposed to have announced: “Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies.” Whereupon someon in the audience shouted: “Well fucking stop doing it then.” It’s good advice, and I wish he’d take it.
George – I applaud your thesis, and thank you for bringing attention to these issues, so please keep it up – but – could you perhaps use your privileged platform to give a louder voice to some of the African activists who you have been listening to, and direct your readers’ attention to some of this African commentary to which you are privy?
I for one would like to hear what they have to say.