Aid and Other Dirty Business, By Giles Bolton
Sunday 20 July 2008
Something is wrong with a world in which three hundred million Africans live on less than €1 a day, while every cow in the EU receives a daily subsidy of €2.50. Giles Bolton, a diplomat and aid worker, has written a compelling and accessible primer about the West's dealings and intentions towards Africa which lucidly explains what, and blows the whistle alerting us to bad practices and mismanagement within the multi-million-dollar aid business.
It contains interesting historical background, for example, on the practical problems caused by the straight-edged internal borders which were devised for Africa by its colonial rulers. It introduces us to individual Africans going about their daily lives, and shows how they're impacted on by the decisions we make in ours. It offers sensible advice to Western governments, aid agencies and individuals on how things can be improved. And, perhaps cleverest of all, it frames its arguments so that our doing so is not just a moral imperative but a matter of self-interest too.
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