Our Research Fellow George Ayittey met the Irish rock star Bono in July 2007 during a TED conference. Professor Ayittey was speaking and in knowing that Bono would be in the audience, he explains that “I made a special effort to rip into the foreign aid establishment. . . . Later, Bono said he liked my speech but did not agree with me that foreign aid is not effective in ending poverty. So I gave him a copy of my book, Africa Unchained: The Blueprint for Development.”
Just recently drawing upon his Christian faith (and possibly the economics influence of Professor Ayittey?), in a speech at Georgetown University, Bono altered his economic and political views and declared that only capitalism can end poverty.
“Aid is just a stopgap,” he said. “Commerce [and] entrepreneurial capitalism take more people out of poverty than aid. We need Africa to become an economic powerhouse.”