Patrick Bond: Popcorn Protests, not Petro Dollars, are Africa’s Hope
Bond is the author of Politics of Climate Justice: Paralysis Above, Movement Below.
1) Africa owes its takeoff to a variety of accelerators, nearly all of them external and occurring in the past 10 years:
• billions of dollars in aid, especially to fight HIV/AIDS and malaria;
• tens of billions of dollars in foreign-debt cancellations;
• a concurrent interest in Africa’s natural resources, led by China; and
• the rapid spread of mobile phones, from a few million in 2000 to more than 750 million today.
Business increasingly dominates foreign interest in Africa. Investment first outpaced aid in 2006 and now doubles it.