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Daniel Johnson: Dambisa, your book Dead Aid seems to echo the controversial views of Lord Bauer, who famously said that the point about aid was that it was taking money from poor people in rich countries and giving it to rich people in poor countries. Why do you feel it is necessary to stir up debate about Africa?

Dambisa Moyo: The book is actually dedicated to Peter Bauer because, unfortunately, he was ahead of his time. He saw that the world was then so obsessed with the notion of aid on the back of the success of the Marshall Plan that nobody really paid attention to what he had to say. The timing of publication is quite fortuitous. I hadn't anticipated that we would be in the middle of a credit crisis, but I am actually quite happy that it's coming out now, because I do think there is an opportunity for African governments to start thinking about innovating away from aid and all its ills towards other sources of development financing.

We can talk a lot about what the problems with aid are but the more important message that I hope people are left with is the idea that there are other ways that have worked across the world in delivering economic growth.

Richard Dowden: Did you look anywhere to see if aid has worked? You're absolutely right about the Marshall Plan. That was about reconstruction - discipline, skills, everything. All they needed was the money to put the bricks back and then they could continue. But has it worked anywhere else, in Latin America or Asia?

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william reid
November 28th, 2009
12:11 PM
I have never heard so much common sense talked about Africa and the plight of the people of Africa. To give a lead towards a new dawn could Dambisa be persuaded to stand in the next Zambian presidential election in 2011? That would focus international attention on governance in Africa like never before. Dambisa - go for it.

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