UPDATE: For those who may have missed Bono’s remarks, you can check out the full video right here:
Amid a flurry of public officials, business and NGO leaders and African heads of state at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs‘ Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security, ONE had one of it’s own represented: our cofounder Bono.
Bono just finished up a speech which covered everything from global agriculture to foreign aid to transparency in the mining industry. In the context of the day’s events, his remarks were a call to action to everyone in the room, urging us to work together to help lift 50 million people out of poverty.
“The conversation has changed,” he said. “Aid is smarter. It’s finally dawning on most of us that the continent that contains the most poverty also contains the most wealth… Imagine a place bursting at the seams with gold, copper, oil… undeveloped arable land. Not to mention the human resources.”
Bono praised President Obama’s new alliance to promote agricultural growth in Africa, which was announced earlier today. “If the words of his speech are turned into bold action in partnership with the developing world and the private sector, then today was a real moment,” he said.
He did not shy away from acknowledging the harsh economic realities that many governments face today, bringing up the EU’s 0.7 percent ODA target, which is currently under threat. He also said that international development, like music, can be subject to the whims of fashion. “Hunger was boring, even unsexy, in some quarters,” he said. “But it’s not boring if you live in the Sahel right now.”
It was an inspiring speech overall, but I think he summed it up best with this quote: “The moment we’re all working for is when we make aid history.” We couldn’t agree more.