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Theroux, Paul

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Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 21/12/2005

Bono and Bill Gates men of the year

To honour their commitment to humanitarian causes, "Time" magazine has nominated rock star Bono and Melinda and Bill Gates as three of its "People of the Year 2005". American author Paul Theroux is appalled. In his opinion, this honours a brand of naivety which often does more harm than good. "When Malawi's minister of education was accused of stealing millions of dollars from the education budget in 2000, and the Zambian president was charged with stealing from the treasury, and Nigeria squandered its oil wealth, what happened? The simplifiers of Africa's problems kept calling for debt relief and more aid... Mr. Gates wants to send computers to Africa - an unproductive not to say insane idea. I would offer pencils and paper, mops and brooms.

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