Live aid was a prefect example of how well the westerners of the world live in their riches; all the stars that played or spoke (putting in their two pence) had make-up people, lots of booze and lots of publicity.
Personally I loved Madonna’s interview afterwards how she said she’d love to go and help out personally – something she said at the 1985 Live Aid concert also.
So a few stars played some music, some cared about Africa some sold CDs but what did it actually do for Africa?
The Live Aid concert was for the starving in Africa and did raise triple the £10m expected. The concert apparently forced the world to confront the Ethiopian famine.
Bob Geldof’s view of the concert was a profound social innovation that helped to shape the views of those western politicians who have shown real interest in addressing the crisis of development, above all in sub-Saharan Africa.
For many relief professionals, media coverage and celebrities have always been crucial. “Ethiopia would not have got the attention it did without Live Aid,” says Joanna Macrae, former coordinator of the humanitarian policy group at the Overseas Development Institute.
Further to the £50m raised this year’s G8 Summit, that took place at Gleneagles, Scotland, made it’s main topic of concern Africa meeting with African leaders from Algeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania to discuss the issues surrounding Africa.
The international community set itself the eight UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to achieve by 2015.
These included targets on eradicating extreme poverty, combating HIV and AIDS and malaria, and ensuring that every child receives primary education.
• A doubling of aid by 2010 – an extra $50 billion worldwide and $25 billion for Africa;
• Writing-off immediately the debts of 18 of the world’s poorest countries, most of which are in Africa. This is worth $40 billion now, and as much as $55 billion as more countries qualify;
• Writing off $17 billion of Nigeria’s debt, in the biggest single debt deal ever;
• A commitment to end all export subsidies. A date for this, probably 2010, should be agreed at the World Trade Organisation’s Ministerial in December. The G8 have also committed to reducing domestic subsidies, which distort trade;
• Developing countries will “decide, plan and sequence their economic policies to fit with their own development strategies, for which they should be accountable to their people”;
• As close to universal access to HIV/AIDS treatments as possible by 2010;
• Funding for treatment and bed nets to fight malaria, saving the lives of over 600,000 children every year;
• Full funding to totally eradicate Polio from the world;
• By 2015 all children will have access to good quality, free and compulsory education and to basic health care, free where a country chooses to provide it;
• Up to an extra 25,000 trained peacekeeping troops, helping the Africa Union to better respond to security challenges like Darfur.
The UK Prime Minister said of Gleneagles “It isn’t the end of poverty in Africa, but it is the hope that it can be ended.” Tens of millions of lives will be saved and with proper education and healthcare, the children of Africa have a future.
He added the urgency of making sure that what was agreed at Gleneagles is delivered in the time span set out, but just two months on and a recent UN report warns world leaders must take drastic action to keep their promise to end world poverty now.
It says 827 million people will suffer from extreme poverty by 2015 but G8s plan wont be completed and make an impact until 2045.
Eighteen southern African countries, which have been ignored in the live aid and g8 plans, have worsened in the past 15 years putting a further 10 million people in poverty will facing starvation if action isn’t taken now.
The UN Millennium Review Summit, starting next Wednesday in New York and the WTO Ministerial in December offer major opportunities to continue the work started at Gleneagles and the work of Live Aid and hopefully it will follow through their initial plans.