'Without the burden of G8 creditors, Africa could feed the hungry and lead the lost'

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Indy Politics

Bonnie Greer, Cultural commentator

Bonnie Greer, Cultural commentator

"Live Aid is not the solution. Obviously, Bob Geldof feels very strongly about it but there are very complicated issues. I think there's a small tinge of white man's burden about this. I think everybody should be a little cooler because we have all moved on."

Andrew Pendleton, Christian Aid, senior trade policy officer

"Bob Geldof is right to make Live8 about issues and not just money. Our actions on Africa in the last 20 years have been like throwing water into a leaky bucket. In return for the vital aid they receive from rich governments, African countries are supposed to open up their markets prematurely."

Vic Motune, Deputy editor of 'The Voice'

"The concert is good in one sense as an awareness-raising issue. But there is also cynicism on my part - these countries struggle with debt that has been created by the stringent conditions of the World Bank. We should scrutinise the decisions and policies of international governments."

Aminatta Forna, Sierra Leone-born British author

"We have a far greater recognition of the complexity of Africa's problems and the fact that it requires a more rigorous approach for the West to change it. We cannot talk about aid without talking about trade tariffs, we cannot talk about cheap goods without talking about exploitation of labour.''

John Weeks, Professor of developing economies and specialist on Africa at London University

"Per capita income in Africa is lower now than in 1985. The problem is exacerbated by heavy conditions put on African countries by lenders. TheWest should not act out of guilt but because it is in everybody's interests and through moral obligation."

Kanya King, Chief Executive, Mobo Awards

"The disease that ends the hopes, ambitions, livelihoods and lives of millions of African men, women, children, communities, villages, towns, cities and nations, is commonly known as G8. Without the burden of G8 creditors, Africa could feed the hungry, and lead the lost. Finance Aids research, Sod the cost!"

Mike Eboda, Editor, New Nation

"As well meaning as Bob Geldof no doubt is, I don't think he is going to change what's going on in Africa. I think Africa has many problems, many of which are a direct result of colonialism. What needs to be dealt with is the greed of not only some African leaders but also the people and the culture of corruption."

James Johnson, Chairman, British Medical Association

"One million extra health workers must be trained for sub-Saharan Africa by 2015. In large parts there is practically no healthcare at all. We must recognise it is counterproduc-tive to help with one hand if with the other hand we rob these countries of a precious skilled resource with the healthcare skills drain."

Chris Ofili, Artist and founder of Freeness, promoter of African, Asian, and Caribbean musicians

"Awareness about Africa comes and goes depending on how the news reports on it. It is as if we are fighting an image war of Africa. We still associate a certain type of imagery with Africa. There should be a lifelong recalibration of responsibility, and not something that comes in a 10-year cycle."

Tom Arnold, Executive director, Charity Concern

"This year three million people in Darfur will depend on food aid. If their needs are to be met there has to be progress on security and politics. For security the bill will be something close to £275m, for which the EU, the US and Nato will have a crucial role. The other dimension is the need to achieve a local political settlement."

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