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Sidelsky, Robert


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Times of Malta - Malta | 22/06/2009

Robert Sidelsky on poverty in Africa

The British politician and economist Robert Sidelsky writes in The Times of Malta that the conditions for creating wealth in Africa are a matter of responsible government: "Frameworks for how governments should make public spending transparent or how foreign resource-extracting companies should report their profits would make yardstick comparisons easier for local political activists, as well as providing a source of legitimacy for the government. The much-discussed Kimberly Process is a pilot project. Diamond companies volunteer not to buy from conflict areas in an attempt to prevent diamonds from funding warlords. This would be good for business, as affluent Western customers are now put off by the thought of buying blood-soaked jewelry. It is a sign of the poverty of development economics that proposals such as these are regarded as cutting edge. With refugees spilling over borders, pirates hijacking ships, and terrorists finding shelter, it is clear that, although Africa's solutions are its own, its problems are not. The rest of the world can no longer afford Africa's poverty."

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