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Old 06-22-2005, 05:18 AM   #1
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Wolfowitz Loves Africa

[Q]Africa's poor bring out the dove in hawkish Wolfowitz
By Bronwen Maddox



PAUL WOLFOWITZ has got the Africa bug. Returning from a flying trip to Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Rwanda and South Africa, the new President of the World Bank says: “I am more convinced than ever that it is appropriate that Africa is our first priority.”
Tony Blair’s decision to put Africa on the agenda at next month’s G8 summit in Gleneagles has been “a gift from heaven”. Wolfowitz, who is generous with compliments for Britain and its Commission for Africa, sounds closer to Blair or Bob Geldof than he does to the Bush Administration, where he was until this year such a central figure.



“I would like to see increased levels of US aid by whatever means,” he says. He adds that he would like the US to move towards the European target of spending 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product on aid, although he concedes the figure “can seem a little abstract to the people I talk to”.

This kind of talk hardly fits Wolfowitz’s image as the hawk, the architect of the Iraq war, and the neo-conservative who put the fire in the Bush Administration’s mission to export democracy around the world. But it does reflect the “softer” side of some Washington neo-conservatives, many of whom are committed to an energetic notion of development, inspired by the idealism of the 1960s and 1970s when they first became politically active.

Speaking yesterday at a featureless Heathrow hotel, a pitstop between the dusty African villages he had just seen and the gleaming glass of the bank’s headquarters back in Washington, he made light of the opposition to his appointment from continental Europe.

“Maybe the next World Bank president doesn’t have to be from America,” he agreed mildly, offering in a sentence to overturn the tradition which came under such attack when President Bush picked him for the post. But he also noted that “the board approved my nomination unanimously, and I take that as a sign that in development, you can get together to agree these things”.

Wolfowitz, who said his trip had left him optimistic, was brimming over with stories of Africans he had just met. In a village in Nigeria, he was “pulling out women at random from the crowd” to talk to, and handed out 21 cheques, in the name of transparency, demonstrating that the bank’s money would not get stolen on the way.

In Burkino Faso, in a “dirt dry area”, he met a boy whose father couldn’t pay for the final year of school. “I’m going to see if we can pay for it,” he said. In Rwanda, he met a flower farmer who said: “I came here to grow beautiful flowers on the ashes of genocide”. And in South Africa, in a home for abandoned children, many infected with HIV, he found “just beautiful kids, upbeat, well-disciplined . . . it breaks your heart to realise how many don’t have that opportunity.”

It is heady stuff. His commitment is moving and convincing, even if his litany of over-resonant encounters began to sound like the lyrics of Bob Dylan’s A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall, that sentimental collage of images of war and hope.

Wolfowitz was blunt about the bank’s past mistakes — not tough enough on corruption — and firm that it should give money only to well-governed countries. He will not be shy, he said, of taking the bank back into the kind of infrastructure projects — dams, power plants and roads — which brought it past criticism.

“The bank tended to get out of infrastructure in the 1990s,” he said. “The development community endorsed a lot of white elephants in the 1970s which were a magnet for corruption but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need infrastructure.”

Hanging over this optimism about his new role, however, must be the shadow of Iraq. “I’m not in this job to debate the Iraq war,” he said. “Maybe some time I’ll write a history about it.”

It is no surprise that he might find it more exhilarating to hand out cheques than to spiral down in a Black Hawk helicopter into a capital which loathes the US presence. But he will be judged not just by how he handles the bank but also by the fate of the war he would prefer to leave behind.


[/Q]

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...661306,00.html
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Old 06-22-2005, 05:23 AM   #2
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He talks the talk, now let's hope that he walks the walk.
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Old 06-22-2005, 05:28 AM   #3
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Originally posted by DrTeeth
He talks the talk, now let's hope that he walks the walk.
I agree!!!
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Old 06-22-2005, 05:29 AM   #4
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Bloody hell. If they can get Satan himself onside, they can do anything!
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Old 06-22-2005, 05:36 AM   #5
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Originally posted by Earnie Shavers
Bloody hell. If they can get Satan himself onside, they can do anything!
Don't U love tolerance?
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Old 06-22-2005, 05:39 AM   #6
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Hey, that's pretty cool. That's Wolfowitz? Geez, I barely recognize the guy............just goes to show that politics is pretty unpredictable stuff. It looks like Africa has a friend at the Bank.
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Old 06-22-2005, 05:47 AM   #7
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Like I said, I've been cautiously optimistic about him. While I think some parts of the world have too much capitalism, Africa doesn't have enough, and that's where modernist-leaning PNACers might come in handy. Let's see.

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Old 06-22-2005, 09:02 AM   #8
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Like I keep saying...people need to get out and see Africa for themselves. It will change the way you view things.
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Old 06-22-2005, 10:42 AM   #9
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Great, hope he does.

Another great article by Jeff Sachs.
Save Africa From America
Jeffrey D. Sachs
June 22, 2005

The G-8 Summit in Scotland in early July will bring together the political leaders of the richest countries to consider the plight of the poorest countries. So far, President George W. Bush has resisted Prime Minister Tony Blair’s call for a doubling of aid to Africa by 2010. This is a tragic mistake, one that results from a misunderstanding of the challenges facing Africa and of America’s responsibilities.

American policy is based overwhelmingly on the idea that Africa can lift itself out of extreme poverty through its own efforts, that aid is largely misused because of corruption, and that the United States already gives generous amounts. This is wrong on all counts: Africa is trapped in poverty, many countries are well poised to use aid effectively, and America’s contribution is tiny relative to Africa’s needs, America’s promises and America’s wealth.

Africa suffers simultaneously from three challenges that trap it in poverty. First, Africa does not grow enough food. Unlike Asia, Africa did not have a Green Revolution in food production. In 1965, India averaged 854 kilograms of grain per hectare in use, while sub-Saharan Africa averaged almost the same, 773 kilograms per hectare. But by 2000, India was producing 2,293 kilograms per hectare, while Africa was producing only 1,118.

Second, Africa suffers from disease unlike any other part of the world. Africa’s AIDS pandemic is well known; its malaria pandemic, which will claim three million lives and a billion illnesses this year, is not. India controlled malaria after the 1960’s, while Africa did not, one reason being that Africa’s malaria-bearing mosquitoes are particularly adept at transmitting the disease.

Third, Africa is economically isolated, owing to very poor infrastructure, large over-land distances and many landlocked countries. These geographical barriers keep much of Africa—especially rural Africa—out of the mainstream of international trade. Without the benefits of trade, much of rural Africa struggles at subsistence levels.

Bush might think that America is doing a lot to help overcome these problems, but the truth is that U.S. aid is minimal. Blair’s Africa Commission, as well as the U.N. Millennium Project, found that Africa needs about $50 billion per year in aid by 2010. America’s fair share of the total is about $15 billion per year. Yet official U.S. aid to Africa is only $3 billion per year, and much of that covers salaries for American consultants rather than investments in Africa’s needs.

This tragically small sum amounts to just three cents for every $100 of U.S. gross national product, which is less than two days of U.S. military spending.

Not only is U.S. aid a tiny fraction of what it should be, but American explanations for the lack of aid are wrong. Bush and others imply that Africa wastes the aid through corruption. But impoverished and slow-growing African countries like Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Benin and Malawi are ranked as having less corruption than fast-growing Asian countries like Vietnam, Bangladesh and Indonesia. Indeed, America’s own Millennium Challenge Account has already recognized such African countries for their strong governance. Good governance surely will help in Africa and elsewhere, but corruption should not be used as an excuse not to help Africa.

On hunger, the key is to help Africa achieve its own Green Revolution. Rich countries should help African farmers use improved seed varieties, more fertilizer and better water management, such as small-scale irrigation. The techniques are known, but Africa’s farmers are too poor to get started. With increased help to African farmers to grow more food (as opposed to shipping food aid from the United States), it would be possible to double or even triple crop yields.

On disease, malaria could be controlled by 2008 using proven, low-cost methods. But, again, Africa cannot afford them. The first goal should be to distribute long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets to all of Africa’s rural poor within four years. The best estimates show that Africa needs about 300 million bed nets, and that the cost per net (including shipping) is around $10, for a sum of $3 billion. This cost would be spread over several years. In addition, Africa needs help with anti-malaria medicines, diagnostic equipment and training of community health workers.

On economic isolation, Africa needs help with the basics—roads and ports—but there is also an opportunity to “leapfrog” technology. Cell phones and Internet connectivity could reach all of Africa at low cost, ending the economic isolation of hundreds of millions of people. Some reasonable estimates put the cost at around $1 billion for an Africa-wide fiber-optic network that could bring Internet connectivity and telephone service across the continent’s villages and cities.

Africa is ready to break out of poverty—if the United States and other rich countries help. Europe appears poised to do more, while the United States appears to be the main obstacle. The G-8 Summit provides an opportunity for America, which will spend $500 billion on its military this year, to make a lasting—and certainly more cost-effective —contribution to global security by saving millions of lives in Africa and helping its people escape extreme poverty.

Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2005.
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Old 06-22-2005, 11:42 AM   #10
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Did you know Wolfowitz is not mentioned once in this article?
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Old 04-12-2007, 04:10 PM   #11
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Old 04-13-2007, 12:37 AM   #12
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Why is this merged with my thread?
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Old 04-13-2007, 12:58 AM   #13
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First yours got bumped, then a second one on the same topic got created, then I got a request to merge them, and they both looked to be about Wolfowitz and the World Bank, so I did. You object to the bump and/or merge?
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Old 04-13-2007, 07:30 PM   #14
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Originally posted by yolland
First yours got bumped, then a second one on the same topic got created, then I got a request to merge them, and they both looked to be about Wolfowitz and the World Bank, so I did. You object to the bump and/or merge?
I just fail to see how a topic begun about africa and Wolfowitz, has turned into this. So yes, in a way, a positive thread about the World bank and Africa turns into affairs and wolfowitz bothers me.

I guess just having the same name in the titel justifys the merge.
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Old 04-13-2007, 08:01 PM   #15
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Hi Dread,


I was going to start a new thread

but I bumped this instead


any and all good things for Africa
If Wolf survives and does that, great.
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