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11 July 2005updated 24 Sep 2015 11:31am

Look who’s talking

G8 quiz - Some of these quotations about Africa are from Africans and some are not. Can you spot the

By Michela Wrong

1. “I look at the news. I see people starving. I am crying. I am a total mess.”

2. “Africa does not exist simply to make people in the UK or anywhere else in the developed world feel good about themselves . . . May I suggest that people in many African countries could be suffering from donation fatigue?”

3. “The G8 plan to save Africa comes with conditions attached that make it little more than an extortion racket. Yes, the G8 should cancel the debt. But they should cancel it unconditionally.”

4. “Debt relief and aid act as a subsidy for government incompetence. The solution for Africa does not lie there. Just support private enterprise and stop giving money to corrupt African leaders.”

5. “A new generation of political leaders is emerging, many of whom voice a new commitment to the common good of the people . . . Africa, at last, looks set to deliver.”

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6. “Aid to the non-west has never been an instrument of large-scale socio-economic transformation and Africa will be no exception . . . The African genocide-state lays waste its non-human resources, while massacring its people.”

7. “The generosity we are asking for can save millions of lives. We can do this, and if we do, it will be the best thing that humanity has ever done.”

8. “There is an underlying assumption in the Commission for Africa report that strengthening the state will lead to development. Throughout most of Africa, strengthening the state has led to more oppression, less accountability and greater underdevelopment.”

9. “Africa is not mired in corruption, it is mired in poverty. Corruption is a by-product of poverty, just like dying of famine or Aids.”

10. “I worry about aid junkiedom. Aid essentially rewards the people who have made their countries the worst on earth. It’s like taking a heroin addict who has let her child starve to death and saying: ‘Here, have some drugs.'”

11. “If we fail to act, as Africans or as the rest of the world, those who will come after us will ask how it was that people who were so aware of the suffering and so capable of responding chose to look away.”

12. “I do not know of any Africans who wake up in the morning saying: ‘Today I am going to engage in poverty reduction!’ This phrase, beloved by the international community, has no place in the vocabulary of the African citizen.”

13. “By the time this concert ends this evening, 30,000 Africans will have died because of extreme poverty . . . Let us be the ones to say we are not satisfied that your place of birth determines your right to life.”

14. “Africans are the only people doomed to be perpetual students of their own condition and to be perpetually taught by outsiders as experts, consultants, activists, defenders or spokespersons.”

15. “We come among them as members of a superior race and servants of a government that desires to elevate the more degraded parts of the human family . . . to become harbingers of peace to a hitherto . . . trodden-down race.”

Answers: All quotations in bold come from African citizens. All other quotations come from western citizens or institutions.

1. Bjork, pop star 2. Nicky Oppenheimer, chairman of De Beers 3. George Monbiot, British journalist 4. Andrew Mwenda, Ugandan journalist 5. Commission for Africa report 6. Professor Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, Nigerian political scientist 7. Bill Gates 8. Moeletsi Mbeki, deputy chairman of the South African Institute of International Affairs 9. Sir Bob Geldof 10. Leon Louw, executive director, Free Market Foundation, South Africa 11. Hilary Benn, aid minister 12. Andrew Rugasira, Ugandan economist and coffee trader 13. Brad Pitt 14. Dr Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem, Justice Africa 15. David Livingstone, Victorian explorer