Pourquoi la solution de célébrité de Madonna pour une nation africaine a échoué.
By Madison J. Gray on Mar 31st 2011 12:35PM
Celebrities often like to open their big hearts and big wallets to poor countries to share the good fortune that fame has allowed them. Marquee names like Bono, Sean Penn and Angelina Jolie spend lots of time donating and raising money to give to impoverished countries full of emaciated black people. They raise millions, the money gets there and somehow the people stay poor and destitute.
In the case of Madonna, her attempts at building a school in Malawi to improve the educational future of girls at a cost of $15 million have apparently failed badly. The New York Times reports that the board of directors of her organization, Raising Malawi, has been put out and replaced by a caretaker board and plans to build the school are officially abandoned.
The Material Girl's good-hearted effort to change the fortunes of young girls who need an education echo the difficulties met by Oprah Winfrey's school in Johannesburg, which has been plagued with allegations of sexual improprieties, and most recently, the discovery of a dead baby on the property.
Something about the so-called third world seems to bring out the best intentions of celebrities, but results in their worst failures. Madonna is a millionaire many times over, and there's no question that she's gone to extravagant lengths to help those less fortunate in our society. She's even adopted two Malawian children. The idea, though, that simply forking over cash to poor nations will solve the intricate foundational problems and the pervasive poverty of poor nations like Malawi, Haiti and others is severely misguided.
What I mean is: charity helps a nation's people eat temporarily, but it is no substitute for a gross domestic product.
I'm a big fan of economist Dambisa Moyo. She's the Zambian-born best-selling author of "Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa." In the book, she argues that since World War II, $1 trillion has been spent on giving to the impoverished nations of the continent and the result has been more destitution, war, disease and death in the millions.
She goes on to say that what African nations need is not another Live Aid concert, and not another "We Are The World" rock star lineup, but a chance to create their own wealth with the raw materials they have.
Moyo says Chinese companies coming in to places like Nigeria and creating jobs can do more to stave off poverty than people like Bono, who never even actually talk to Africans about what is best for them.
The Africa of antiquity was no utopia and it should not be romanticized the way a lot of pseudo-intellectual would-be "Afro-Centrists" do today; however, prior to colonization, there was much wealth on the continent because people created their own fortunes and passed them down to their own children, generation by generation.
Madonna's attempt to educate thousands of girls amounted to allegations of mismanagement of the project to begin with and has ended with the workers suing her for unpaid salary and benefits.
In the big picture, she might have been better off supporting organizations that 1) know how to educate children in that nation because her partner in the project, Kabbalah Center International, knows about Jewish mysticism and not about schooling African kids, and 2) can bring industry and jobs to the country so that productivity can increase and poverty can decrease.
Source: BV Black Spin.
Madonna's Malawi school project abandoned?
Madonna's plans to build a girls school in Malawi have come to an end after the singer decided to abort the project.