Richard Dowden Weighs in on Jeffrey Sachs and Paul Collier
Richard worked for the Times until 1986 when he became Africa Editor of the Independent and in 1995 took the post of Africa Editor at The Economist. He also made three television documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4 on Africa.
Question: What do you think of Jeff Sach’s development recommendations for Africa?
Richard Dowden: I just feel the idea that by putting vast amounts of money into Africa to develop it is not going to work. So in that sense, I disagree with Jeff Sachs on those things. You just have to be there for awhile, almost anywhere. And you know that the problem is not money.
The problems are political or the question of attitude. There are all sorts of local issues that prevent Africa developing. If it was going to develop as we want, it would’ve done it by now. They’ve been engaged with Western countries and aid agencies for what do we; decades, decades. And in a trillion dollars as being spent and there’s very little to show for it.
The trigger has to be something else. And the trigger has to be within Africa. So in that sense, I think that this huge push for masses amounts of aid, regardless of the politics as being disastrous and the tragedy is people will become dissolution with aid. And aid used in the right way at the right time with people who really do want their countries to develop, I think, is great and I support it. But way you got countries which are; where the leadership is, maybe not committed to development at all. Why should they? They live very comfortably. They’re doing very nicely. They own what they want to own. They don’t want an educated population. Why throw money at them? It seems to me that would be really, really stupid.
But in that sense, the other way on which I do agree with Paul Collier is that Africa’s future is going to be in agriculture. They’re not going to get into the manufacturing stuff for at least another generation. So the best thing they can do is to grow lots of food, and that, they can do well. And it’s the duty of the rest of the world to allow that food to be exported from Africa and imported into their countries to allow Africa to earn its living in the world. ‘Cause that’s the one thing Africa could do. It’s got hundreds of square miles of very fertile land.
Recorded: March 16, 2009
The journalist does not have faith in a massive financial aid package for Africa.
It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
A groundbreaking new study shows that octopuses seemed to exhibit uncharacteristically social behavior when given MDMA, the psychedelic drug commonly known as ecstasy.
- Octopuses, like humans, have genes that seem to code for serotonin transporters.
- Scientists gave MDMA to octopuses to see whether those genes translated into a binding site for serotonin, which regulates emotions and behavior in humans
- Octopuses, which are typically asocial creatures, seem to get friendlier while on MDMA, suggesting humans have more in common with the strange invertebrates than previously thought
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.