A friend just shared this on Facebook.
I don't like that headline one bit, but I'm finding Bono's activity re: Africa increasingly complicated and difficult to understand so I don't know exactly what to think. I think he's well intentioned but sometimes I do feel he misreads signals (e.g., name checking of politicians at US concerts...some of whom were loudly boo'd yet he continued to do it...just saying!)
I'm also aware that this may not be an unbiased report. But when I see "Monsanto," I cringe.
Anything to do with Monsanto makes me cringe. I hope he does his research on them and understands what Monsanto does and the reprucussions of how they conduct their business.
I need more info and some type of way to judge the truth of it. I have a friend who does small business development in Ghana and he is wary of government programs and thinks that while Bono means well, his alliances are not for the best and he does not support Bono's positions. (He still likes his music, though.)
Farisfan, do you have any info we can read up on to know what's what?
Sorry mdmom, I've not been able to be around much of late and just saw this. I will have to think about this a bit. I think Velvet Dress's response is a very good one. Development is a difficult topic. Like all of life, you'll get the gamut of opinions (and disagreements). And anthropologists will usually disagree with many NGO administrators. However, I find myself reluctant to criticise often. This is not that there isn't room for improvement or even need for overhaul at times, nor even that "something is better than nothing" always but still I hesitate to lob rocks at people who are out there really trying to make a difference. In Ghana, the gov't programs are not any better run than our own here in America. However, if you listen to some of the things (Ghana's) President Atta-Mills said at the Chicago Symposium not but a couple weeks ago, there are a number of really good ideas floating around out there. And there have been incredible improvements in Ghana over the last 15 years, revolutionary really. It has been amazing to watch! (not sure how long your friend has been there, nor where he works or in what capacity... all those answers would affect his/ her views on things) I personally think much (most?) of Bono's work in Ghana is a good thing, and not just b/c I am part of the non-existent Bono-mafia
, and not because I necessarily think everything he does is right. However, he listens to people. He listens to people at the top (in government, heads of NGO's, heads of state, etc) but he also listens to the little people. This has been seen in Ghana numerous times. And when one truly listens, hears what are the heart-felt issues of the people on the ground, then allow the "think-tank" people to go at it, come back to the people on the ground and listen again, and then come back later to check the results and see where things have matched up (or not)... this is a process in which there is room to grow, learn, change and truly make a difference. As Bono said at the Chicago Symposium, the time for paternalism is past and now is the time for true partnership. Not partnership in name only but true partnership. And that will be a complicated affair, a dance of sorts.
On the "readings" idea-- I will really give that one some thought and try to come up with some things.