G8, aid and development

 

Madam, - If the G8 summit has, at long last, convinced Bono and Bob Geldof of the futility of their campaign it won't have been a total waste. I would not question their motives but they have been extremely naive not to realise that they were being used by con men.

If Bush and Blair were to put the same effort and resources into prosecuting the war on poverty and disease as into the so-called "war on terror", what could not be achieved? And, of course it would be the only effective way to fight terrorism.

The fact is that the rich nations have no interest in resolving the problems of Africa - rather, the reverse: exploitation is what they're interested in. If those problems are to be resolved, it will be done by Africans. They should realise theirs could be the most affluent continent on the planet. They have the people, the resources and some of the best agricultural land. The way to go is to form an African Union on the same principles as the European model. Set aside tribalism, religions, etc, as we have had to do and pool all resources. Then issue an order freezing all foreign debt. Inform the rich countries that the capital will be repaid when it can be afforded.

In the meantime, forget rich countries' "free market". Say to them: You will trade with us on a fair and equitable basis or you will not trade. Take it or leave it. The best that we Europeans can do is to make an ever greater success of the EU and prove to the people of Africa that it can be done. - Yours, etc,

JAMES MORAN, Knockanure, Bunclody, Co Wexford.