Bono in TIME on Africa’s ‘resource miracle’

BONO

ONE is in full-gear on all fronts heading into the G8 meeting this weekend, including our co-founder Bono. In addition to participating in our ONE Street Tweet action (you can see his message in the photo above) and speaking at tomorrow’s Chicago Council Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security, he has written a piece in TIME magazine that calls on G8 and African leaders to work together to ensure that Africa’s immense natural resources — oil, gas, minerals and more — are used for the benefit of all in Africa, and not just the few.

He makes the case that effective, transparent management of Africa’s natural resources is the key to the continent’s future development and calls on world leaders to support tough legislation requiring transparency around payments between oil companies and countries rich in oil. Too often in developing countries, those deals are tainted by corruption — and what should be a resource “miracle” becomes a resource “curse.”

Bono also calls on the G8 to stick with and deliver on its commitments to fund smart, effective initiatives that are helping African farmers develop their most fundamental natural resource — their land — in ways that will not only lift countries out of poverty, but deal a blow to hunger and malnutrition, too.

Bono writes in TIME:

“Food and agriculture are the place to start. At Camp David, the G-8, led by President Obama, will work on an ambitious plan for global food security, centered on commitments made and costed by 30 nations in the developing world. By partnering with such leadership, there is a very real chance of lifting 50 million people out of extreme poverty over the coming decade and sparing 15 million children the cruelty of severe malnourishment. This isn’t about the G-8’s committing massive new aid increases. It’s about continuing present investment and making it smarter. Beyond food, Africa’s vast oil and mineral reserves can be a pipeline to investments in health, education and roads. Mineral extraction is an expensive enterprise, and those who invest in it deserve to make a profit. But they should pay what they owe to governments. Transparency is the vaccine to prevent the biggest disease of them all – corruption, which any African will tell you is killing more kids than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined …

“In hard times, we hear a lot about “resource management.” Resource mismanagement–whether food insecurity or corruption in oil and mineral development–is something the G-8 can reverse, and it can do it not by spending new money but by acting in partnership with the developing world.”

Read the rest of the article here.