I wrote this to be a very professional intro for the site. Then I decided I didn’t like it.

Everything you asked in the pub about African poverty, but nobody knew the answer

In July 2005 the world came together in a rare display of consensus and brotherhood.

Politicians, rock stars, activists and economists stood up together and promised an end to the crushing poverty affecting one billion of the world’s people. Some things even got done as a result.

Bono & Geldof

But underneath the apparent consensus of Make Poverty History lies a seething mire of dissent and disagreements. It’s a world where economists accuse each other of selling out the poor and of voodoo economics; where senior World Bank economists tell their predecessors, “your ideas are at best dangerous and at worst, snake oil.” And where no issue – even the extent of the problem itself- isn’t met with disagreement.

African mother 1And the media doesn’t make it any easier. Even when it decides to worry about Africa, as it periodically does, it rarely gives a detailed or balanced discussion of the issues, preferring a lazy mixture of platitudes and cynicism, with dissenting opinions thrown at each other without explanation or qualification.

Well, we’re sick of it.

This is too important an issue to allow confusion to reign. Millions of people around the world have made it clear they want action taken to alleviate the suffering of Africa. But to make up their minds, they need a full, fair account of the facts, the disagreements, the plans, the budgets. In plain English. This, in short, is what we have set out to do.

You can track our progress at the blog.