Bush has made it clear that he is willing to increase aid to Africa; but only to a point.
He said that he wanted to speed up the flow of African aid money passing through Congress but made it clear that US donations depended on African leaders spending money on health and education projects, while tackling corruption.
He took issue with Mr Blair’s aim of doubling global aid to Africa to $50 billion (£28 billion) and disagreed with campaigners who say that the 0.16 per cent of US GDP that Washington spends on overseas aid is too low.
It's nice to think that simply giving money to Africa will solve all the problems there, after all, it doesn't require much of us. We could simply, er, go to a concert. Whoo Hoo!
But the fact of the matter is, who would the money really got to? Because the fundamental question really is, what is the cause of poverty in Africa?
If we look at Zimbabwe, for instance, how did it go from the bread basket of Africa to an impoverished state?
The simple, and accurate, answer is dedicated Marxist Robert Mugabe.
After he ran all the experienced farmers out of Zimbabwe under the guise of "land redistribution" (i.e. the farmers were white), things just went to hell. But since it is ostensibly a Democracy, how does he keep getting elected?
Easy, just withhold food from people until they vote for him.
Ms. Kasambala also echoed concerns aired by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo, whom the government has condemned as a mad liar because of his allegations that food is being used as a political weapon in rural Matebeleland, an opposition stronghold. The archbishop says government supporters are threatening to withhold food from areas that do not vote for ZANU-PF.
Ms. Kasambala and Human Rights Watch says those threats are real.
Or we could look at Sudan. Whats the cause of poverty there?
And when I say "the usual" I'm not being facetious. The most common cause for poverty and privation in the world is lack of political and economic freedom. As R.J. Rummel, Professor Emeritus of Political Science clearly shows here
Political and Economic freedom not only go together, but also they are an engine of a people’s wealth and welfare. Add this to the fact the democratically free countries never have had a famine, virtually never murder their own people, have the least internal violence, and never any wars between them, and you have freedom as the closest thing to a general solution to humanity’s ills.
Now take a look at the index of Economic Freedom here and notice where the African countries are placed on the list. None are in the "Free" category and the ones that are in the "Mostly Free" category are not suffering from poverty and war.
And here is a table of Political Freedom and notice how much better off countries who are free are when compared to countries that are not free. Notice where the African countries that are worse off fall. Here, maybe this map of freedom will help you visualize it. (click for a larger image)
It is clear, economic and political freedom go hand and hand with prosperity.
You want to fix Africa?
Figure out a way to make their governments less repressive and their economies freer.
Don't be fooled into thinking the answer is simply "forgiving debt" because those you are helping by doing that are the governments of people like Robert Mugabe not the people who suffer under his boot.
And don't be fooled into thinking that just giving money is the answer because for the most part the money never sees its way to the people who need it. Case in Point: the Oil for Food program run by the UN.
To fix Africa you've got to do the hard work.
And make the hard choices:
Wanna go to war?
Didn't think so...