Hillary, Hillary, Let Done Your Hair

August 8, 2009
Kigali, Rwanda

So what were you up to on Wednesday? While I was picking flowers or braiding my hair (a joke for all those who don’t know me), our sister, Hillary Clinton, was picking up her pliers in the country next door. SOS Clinton gave a fierce speech addressing the Kenyan leadership, a leadership that is a result of an inflamed election and harrowing post-election violence killing 1,000 in 2007/2008. No one was rebuked. Clinton remarked, “this has not yet translated into the kind of political progress that the Kenyan people deserve,”

One symptom: corruption on all levels. Listen to this:

“According to Transparency International, a bribe is expected or solicited in nearly half of all transactions in Kenya, which is high even by New Jersey standards.” As a Jersey girl, I think she might be right.

The WSJ reports, “The ‘West’ has spent an estimated $2.3 trillion on foreign aid over the past five decades. Yet in a typical African country, one-third of the children under five still have stunted growth due to malnutrition.” Of course, this then begs the question, “What’s the point of international ‘aid’ so to speak and how can we change it?” Is this outrageous statistic a reflection of the political leadership? The international aid system in general? Or the capacity of the African nations and its people to take $$ and produce significant results?

What do you think? Rumors are that Hillary will be in Kigali tonight, perhaps she’ll kick back a few and expand.


Nora said...

Two things:
1) Of course, this then begs the question, “What’s the point of international ‘aid’ so to speak and how can we change it?” Nooooo!!!! Don't misuse the most often misused phrase. Say, "This leads to the question" or something like that, but don't use "beg the question" to mean the opposite of what the phrase actually means! [And now I will stop being an intellectual snob.]

2) If you aren't reading Our Turn to Eat yet, you should be. It's bang-on and a gripping read.

Founder; Chief Instigating Officer, Elizabeth Scharpf said...

We must all ask the question, "What's the point of international aid?" How's that? Good point.