So after I wrote my previous blog this morning, Kristoffer and I talked about the article. He is pretty strongly opposed to the opinions expressed by Dambisa Moyo, the author of the book "Dead Aid", particularly to her argument about China. He asks the question about what kind of infrastructure would exist in Africa at all without foreign aid. He is totally right there and, again, I do not entirely agree with her. But I do think that she has a point and think that the truth lies somewhere inbetween her extreme opinion and his. It is obviously a complicated issue with a complicated history, but I like that it is being openly addressed in mainstream media at the very least.
Actually, the part of the Times piece that I liked the most, which I forgot to even write about because I got so caught up in Ida and Brian's saga, is the part about micro-financing or micro-lending.
She mentioned the website www.kiva.org, which is a fantastic way to give loans to small business owners in Africa. Kristoffer has been lending to several women in Kenya through a generous Christmas gift from my parents for the last two years. When they pay back the loan he gave them, he asks my parents to reinvest the money in someone else. We believe strongly that this is one non-corrupt way that Western money can really help and empower people in developing countries and we would encourage others - if they feel they want to give towards development in some way - to go through this or a similar website.
OK, I'll be done for today now.