Thursday, October 8, 2015

Billy the Bully?

Bill Gates' harsh response to a thoughtful, ethically valid question reveals how out of touch he is with data-driven evidence on African aid (despite a fishy claim of reading Dr. Dambisa Moyo's book, Dead Aid).

Dr. Moyo obviously is not against vaccinations and saving children’s lives. Framing it that way is Bill's intimidation tactic that unjustly attacks Moyo and overlooks a compelling message about the downside of aid that she points out with very well-spoken scholarship (surprising for an economist) with credible documentation.

With all due respect, Bill might be more judicious than to allege her book 'promotes evil' (whatever evil means to him or anyone). It is not only off the mark, it smacks of colonial self-righteousness, doesn't it?

Bill is a foreigner trying to effect change in faraway lands while relying on biased people with vested interests (i.e., people keen on his payouts). He does not come anywhere close to Moyo's expertise and experience. Dr. Moyo is Zambian and backs up what she is doing with first-hand experience living in the African continent, prima-facie observation and reliable research full of hard-hitting facts.

Moyo's scholarship is not devaluing all of  Bill's campaigns -- read the book, Bill, listen to Dr. Moyo; you are doing good work, too. It is not  you versus her…again, read the book and consider the fact-filled evidence before commenting about it-- if not, then continue to be blind to her revelations and the reality on the ground -- a deathly reality for those in dire situations facing the pox of chronic poverty that aid often abets, especially by endowing dysfunctional elements of the status quo.

Moyo is a solo voice of reason opposing many others including players with deep pockets and moneyed interests. Countervailing the overbearing power and leverage that money infuses those players with takes moxie. She is championing long-oppressed people and is ringing the alarms about what has been happening for decades in her homeland continent of Africa.

Over a trillion dollars of aid has not proven to increase economic growth and reduce poverty. On the other hand, aid funds have, in large measure, helped to entrench dysfunctional systems that dis-empower the very people they are meant to uplift. "Let my people go!" she cries out. 

She is clear and lucid for an economist, and Bill will understand her if he tries. I expect more of this intelligent, talented and kind-hearted guy. He is uninformed about the soul-crushing downside of aid that kills development and growth with profound, lethal repercussions in the lives of the local people. He would do well to get beyond a do-no-wrong bubble and consider Dr. Moyo's wise views and abundance of evidence if he truly wants to serve the people of Africa.

Isn't it time to start giving priority to commerce over indefinite aid that debilitates rather than inspires? Let the local people chase their own dreams and ambitions with their own talents.

Moyo heroically connects development issues directly to aid using real evidence -- not easy to do with a swarm of outside interests and well-paid bullies tearing her down.

She is totally brilliant and the ad hominem attacks are shameful.

#BillGates, #AidBully, #DeadAid, #GatesFoundation, #DonorDarlings, #GroundOnDown, #HowtToRobAfrica,  #LetMyPeopleGo, #DambisaMoyo


  1. The above blogpost about ‘Bill (Gates) the Bully?’ relates to the untidy aid scene in Nepal, a country overrun with ‘donor darlings’. The close-mindedness of the aid entrepreneurs to the effects and damage of their activities in Nepal is puzzling. Do they truly appreciate and admire the enchanting country in which they operate and attempt to effect change?

    If so, can these aid agencies and aid agents then please allow themselves the proper oversight and consideration of cultural and societal values and issues, at least enough to skirt treacherous complications including dysfunctional elements of the status quo?

    Conversely, do they realize (despite the best of intentions, which are not in doubt) that they are often abetting dysfunction and thereby prolonging the lethal suffering of the honest people of Nepal? If so, then with all due respect, how do they justify their continued presence here and the deathly ramifications suffered by the population?

    May the misguided of the aid workers, donors and I/NGO staff who've traveled overseas to change Nepal please give renewed consideration to the trekker's maxim, "The Himalaya might change you, please don't change the Himalaya."

  2. Africa has tons of natural resources and so does Latin America. The world has poured trillions into African countries, Mexico, and Latin America, but the continents/countries are still violent, corrupt, uneducated, poor, etc. In Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson built schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan from the donations given by Americans. Currently, schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan are being blown up or burned down and these countries continue to be ruled by violence and corruption. We need to listen to people like Dambisa and Alonzo, who have lived for many years in some of the countries receiving extensive aid. If Bill Gates really wants to help then he should stop fueling the corruption with money and start listening to Dambisa and others who have better and proven ideas and solutions.

    1. Cheers for the comment. Ironically, while the western model is to provide aid (indefinite aid in the African continent's case), often with ittle oversight, communist China seems to have found the right formula in Africa by supporting business and commerce. The capitalists are getting aid wrong whereas the communists are getting capitalism right. Dambisa Moyo discusses this and much more in depth in her scholarly works, How the West was Lost
      and Winner Take All