From Wembley Stadium to Africa: Bob Geldof

He made history when he united all major international artists on the stage of the Wembley Stadium in 1985. The event was called “Live Aid” and became legend.

Today he is still making music and only recently released his new album. At the same time he never stopped giving Africa, the mistakenly forgotten continent, a voice. Including provocative statements as at the Alpensymposium in Interlaken a few weeks ago.

Mr. Geldof says, Europe and the US are considering Africa to be a case for continuous help and support; media are establishing the image of an infantile foster child who needs help. Why is Europe not noticing the economic opportunities?

Bob Geldof

Europa is noticing Africa. More than that. The trade volume is extremely high but the terms of trade are not at the favors of Africa.

Now, China is setting footprints in Africa, exploiting and controlling commodities from copper to diamonds. Africa could have and should have the opportunity to do it by itself or – at least – with the support of democracies such as European countries or the US, says Geldof. An he is right. But we should not forget that nowhere is the corruption rate as high as in Africa, scaring off potential investors.

That is leading to the inconvenient question whether the continent is capable of doing so. Personally I think they lack the know-how and the capital basis. This is not particularly their mistake. The society was devastated after decades or centuries of colonization, often followed by decades of devastating civil wars – under the eyes of Europe and America, the self-styled gate keepers of democracy.

Provocative add of a development aid organization

That is what Bob Geldof is mainly accusing the European and American hypocrites of: that they are investing money in China and in the Middle East. Regions far away from being democratic. At the same time, they worry about investments in Africa for the continent is not democratic, say corrupt.

What is wrong with European and American investors? Investments lead to economic growth and to a better infrastructure. Africa does not primarily need help. Says Bob Geldof and I think he’s right. Africa needs investments. But especially from my point of view as a business academic, Africa needs also education. According to Bob Geldof, the African elites are not only graduating from international universities, they have also the highest scores in math and science in the world. I realize that the world is ignoring these facts, leaving Africa as a victim instead of looking at it as an economic giant.

Unfortunately, I have to conclude that it takes more than high volumes of traded goods, enormous natural resources and the highest final scores at universities to overcome that long-standing depression of great parts of the African economies. Especially the criticized European countries with their well structured civil societies are not only an example, they are a model for a possible future of the continent.

Peter Lorange


3 thoughts on “From Wembley Stadium to Africa: Bob Geldof

  1. Thank you Peter for this article that has remembered Africa and her need to be supported through business investment and not only by aide. I happen to be an African graduate from such top educational institute as London School of Hygiene and Tropical and University of Aberdeen, Scotland. It would be excellent to invest in Africa, especially in products to support the nutrition of children. This is one reason why I researched in soya protein using a United Nations recommended health impacting fermentation. This process pre-digests otherwise not wholly safe soya beans so babies can feed on them and grow safe from malnutrition. I travelled to a centre in Nigeria where I used the products to treat children suffering from malnutrition. I have replicated the products and they are ready to be invested into. Might the Lorange Institute and yourself help direct my products and investment needs to interested parties. My company is registered; Viva Nutrition Ltd. Business plan is available for assessment by interested parties, products information is available and the business investment and profit forecast. Could I ask if my business objectives can reach Bob Geldof and others keen on African children’s health.
    Thank you for an interesting writing and your anticipated assistance.

  2. Dear Vivian

    thank you for your comment and for sharing with us this remarkable project. Let me come back to you via e-mail, but please note that I’ll be on the road and will be on vacation till the beginning of August, seeing my familiy in Norway.

    Best regards,

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