NEWS 2004


West must act over Africa - Geldof

Oct 7, 2004

The West cannot continue doing nothing about poverty in Africa, Bob Geldof said. 

The former pop star, a member of the African Commission of Ethiopia, said we need to analyse why Africa is the sole continent in economic decline. 

"The Western and international agencies haven't a clue what's going on," he told the BBC. "We come in with our ideas of what works for us and we impose them on other people who have completely different structures and ideas and ways of doing things. Of course it's not going to work." 

Geldof said he believed the African Commission of Ethiopia had the resolve to make things work. 

"I think the resolve is there, whether it is deliverable or not is the main point. Part of my job I think is to try and stop it being the great and the good. That kind of makes this Commission different. 

"There are a lot of what I would call normal people on the Commission with no vested interests in the club class world of IMF and Royal Banks." 

He added that the two main differences with this Commission were that the majority of African people now understood their own continent and that the Commission was chaired by Prime Minister Tony Blair. 

"If the Commission finds an answer to this it can be proposed at the highest level," he said. "It is then up to them and the people of Britain." 

Geldof said that the electoral vote was declining in Africa because the people do not believe in their politicians any more. 

He said: "More people die of hunger on this continent than they do of HIV or Aids or polio anywhere else. It is intolerable that at the beginning of the 21st century when the planet is wealthy that anyone should have to live like that."