Commentary & Opinion
Wall Street Journal Essays Examine Differing Views on African Development
November 30, 2010
In a Wall Street Journal essay exploring various ideas presented in the book, "The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves," by science writer Matt Ridley, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, writes: "Development in Africa is difficult to achieve, but I am optimistic that it will accelerate. Science will come up with vaccines for AIDS and malaria, and the 'top-down' approach to aid criticized by Mr. Ridley (and by the economist William Easterly) will fund the delivery of these life-saving drugs. What Mr. Ridley fails to see is that worrying about the worst case -- being pessimistic, to a degree -- can actually help to drive a solution" (11/27).
In a response to Gates also published in the Wall Street Journal, Ridley writes: "I think that we agree on the most important point, namely, that Africa can have a good future. ... Far from saying that aid 'doesn't work, hasn't worked and won't work,' I actually say this in my book: 'Some of the most urgent needs of Africa can surely be met by increased aid from the rich world. Aid can save lives, reduce hunger, deliver a medicine, a mosquito net, a meal or a metalled road.'" Ridley goes on to write: "Now here I admit that Mr. Gates does have a point. Unintentionally, I have given him and perhaps other readers the impression that, in my view, combating malaria or AIDS does not pay economic dividends. It does. What I do take issue with is economic aid designed to stimulate economic growth" (11/27).
Number of People Living With HIV/AIDS in Africa to Outpace Treatment Resources by 2020, IOM Report Finds
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
Add Your Comment:
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read TheBody.com's Comment Policy.)