Bono later told Ayittey that he liked his speech but did not agree with that foreign aid is not effective in ending poverty.
Ayittey gave Bono a copy of his book, Africa Unchained: The Blueprint for Development.”
Bono is the lead singer of one of the most successful rock groups in history. He has also been a major advocate of foreign aid and other government programs to alleviate the suffering of poor nations.
Recently, Bono has been singing a new tune, and it appears he has been influenced by Ayittey’s book.
At a recent Georgetown University speech, Bono declared that only capitalism can end poverty.
Not the sort of thing we are accustomed to hearing from pandering rock stars. Even Bono said he was shocked to hear himself.
Bono and Ayittey encourage students to think of what they can do to support those in Africa that are in need of improved living standards, by creating businesses and increasing trade – not with handouts.
“That’s what I’m hoping happens here at Georgetown with you,” he said.
“Because when you truly accept that those children in some far off place in the global village have the same value as you in God’s eyes or even in just your eyes, then your life is forever changed, you see something that you can’t un-see.”
The same is true when one investigates history. When you see the overwhelming evidence that no system has raised more people out of poverty than free-market capitalism – you can’t un-see it.
This understanding is beginning to pop up in the most unlikely of places.
A recent statement out of the Obama White House stated, “Economic growth is the only sustainable way to accelerate development and eradicate poverty.”
Hey, if it’s the solution for Africa, shouldn’t we be focusing on the same thing here?