As others have noted Joe Trippi and John Hinderaker organized a conference call with Live8 organizer, Sir Bob Geldof this afternoon. Rather that attempt to make sense of my scribbled notes from the call, I’ll direct you to Captain’s Quarters and Indepundit for recaps of the call.
I’ll echo the general impressions I’ve read elsewhere as to the forthrightness and honesty with which Geldof spoke. While I (like others) have my skepticisms, not all of which have been allayed, the impression I get is that the concerts are a hook to the more serious business at hand. Live8 isn’t looking to raise money to funnel to corrupt leaders, in fact they’re not looking for private donations at all. They’re simply talking about steps the G8 nations (and the UN and IMF) can take to address the pressing issues in Africa. Steps, by the way, the G8 nations agreed to take 5 years ago.
I’ve been following the work of Bill & Melinda Gates’ World Vision organization and have noted the success they’ve had in Africa, and am heartened to find a broad coalition of technical, political, and religious voices joining their cause. It’s a new, more intelligent kind of aid that recognizes the failures of past money dumps and demands accountability and results on all parties. This March 1, 2005 editorial by Bill Gate and Bono summarizes the challenges and opportunity.
While Geldof, et. all may not have all the answers, they’re at least highlighting the right question, “What should the industrialized world do about Africa?”