My name is Rav Casley Gera, and I know nothing about African development.
I don’t know what it means to take an aggregate 20-year PPP-adjusted poverty measure.
I don’t know what a Gini coefficient is.
And until a couple of weeks ago, I thought NEPAD was something skateboarders wore.
I spent the whole of 2005 wearing a white band. I even made one for my arm before the plastic ones came out! I went to a demonstration in Edinburgh when everyone else was watching Live8.
I think more aid to Africa is probably a good idea. I suspect debt relief is a good idea too. I’ve heard that the rules of international trade need to change for Africa’s benefit.
I’ve also heard that most aid is wasted, that debt relief only benefits dictators, and that it’s not the rules of trade that need to change, but the way African governments respond to them.
So what’s the real story? What are the real answers?
I haven’t a clue. But I’m going to find out.
I’m going to learn it all. The theories, the figures, the good-news stories as well as the bad. I’m going to read the books, study the charts, and interview the experts. I’m going to read and listen and think and think, and find out what really needs to happen to end Africa’s misery.
And you’re invited to join me.
– Rav Casley Gera, September 2006
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