God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

The day of the U2 concert

The day of the U2 concert has arrived and in the days before the newspapers were full of allegations against Bono, the lead singer, accusing him of supporting Julius Malemas “kill the farmer” song. Even when Bono retracted from his statement yesterday during an interview – there is another question open:
Is this singer turned activist a blessing or a curse for Africa? The same question applies to Bob Geldorf, who seems to have found a new role amidst politicians on high-profile meeting of the G7 leadership. Looking into their claims how to help Africa, there is in my eyes only one answer: they are a curse. Asking again and again for more money is a spin, we have had for the last 50 years and indeed, never has Africa received more money than ever. And the result is also clear as the world bank defines it: The people of Africa are not getting more rich or reaching the standards of a decent living: Africa has grown poorer in all these years.
In pushing for more money as Bono and Geldorf do, they just prolong the suffering of Africa as more money does not mean more development, more education, more clean water, more decent lives to live. It is not the solution but makes a solution more difficult in the development sector.
So I guess they should stay with their music and we can discuss whether we like the music or not. But they should keep out of politics like so many music stars, who seems to get into politics when their musical career is declining or even coming to an end. We don’t need Madonnas adopting babies from Africa, Geldorfs and Bonos pushing for more dollars and euros,  we also by the way don’t need the usual “one to one” partnerships between countries which gives the giving hand so much influence (like Minister Niebler unfortunately pushes in the case of the Global AIDS Fund) – we need to see and experience the life of ordinary people out here in Africa, we need to listen and then to act in a way bringing Africa forward instead our own interests.

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HIV, Development and HOPE – thoughts of a Catholic priest

Being a Roman - Catholic priest and working in the fields of HIV and social development in Africa has its challenges. You will find stories and reflections about my work, about the church, South Africa and Africa, about politics and whatever triggers my interest. You are most welcome to leave a comment or to get in touch with me. Blogging means to initiate thoughts and discussions and for the writer to formulate what is loosely running around in the heart and mind in need of being sorted and spoken out.

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