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March 23rd, 2005

Not necessarily directly related to U2, but slightly... @ 05:56 pm

meineuphorie:
I'm currently feelin: contemplative contemplative
I'm currently hearin: dresden dolls - good day

I'm taking a seminar at school called "The Role of Africa in the Contemporary World." It's been an absolutely incredible class, taught by the American Ambassador to Ethiopia. We watched a video today - the BBC's coverage of the 20 year anniversary of the 1984-85 Ethiopian famine. It was an intense film, they showed images and footage from the camps and clinics...it was difficult. Bob Geldof was featured quite a bit, and they started talked about Band Aid and Live Aid. I'd seen clips of Live Aid on I Love the 80s, but I'd never really learned much about it. I got the chills when I saw how many people were at the Live Aid concert. Geldof organized/helped organize a wonderful thing, and it brought in so much money to help the people in Ethiopia. They also showed some clips of recording the Band Aid cd, and of course there was Bono. The Ambassador actually showed Bono around the country when he visited a few years ago...I need to ask him what he thought of Bono.
I think one of the hardest things about the film was seeing the video they showed at the concert, and then seeing that, 20 years later, Ethiopia is heading towards the same fate all over again. But lord...Geldof did something incredible with that concert.
 
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From:sabneraznik
Date:March 24th, 2005 04:48 am (UTC)
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When you ask the ambassador, share his thoughts on the man, please? Curious!
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From:typewriterking
Date:March 24th, 2005 07:03 am (UTC)
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've been told the Ethiopian government confiscated the aid shipments raised by
Live Aid, using the food to feed the army. The Ethiopian government is Marxist in that they own all the land, and distribute it to families as they see fit.

I've been told the Ethiopian government confiscated the aid shipments raised by Live Aid, using the food to feed the army.
The Ethiopian government is Marxist in that they own all the land, and distribute it to families as they see fit. Being an agrarian Marxist state, they parcel out the goods shipped in by NGOs as they see fit.

Shortly after the UN failure in Somalia, Eritrea (the state that broke from Ethiopia after that civil war) when back to war with Ethiopia. The fighting ended in 2001.

Because Marxist governments hand out land equally, 60% of the people live on about a hectare of farming land.

In 1981, according to the World Bank (which Bono will operate soon!) the per capita GDP was US$190. After Live Aid (2004), that figure is 100 American dollars.

They could use a branching out of the Bono Burger franchises Springsteen was talking about :-)
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From:meineuphorie
Date:March 24th, 2005 03:37 pm (UTC)
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From what I understood in the film, the government at the time was Communist, which is why no western power did anything immediately. The food that the money raised by Live Aid bought did get to the people, but it was just too late. The current governnment is sort of a neo-Marxist system, and the way the video described it is that the administration wants the poor to have better lives and to have food, but it wants the poor to stay poor. The current Prime Minister though is trying to fix things, it sounds like. Tha Ambassador knows him and says he's a good man and is really trying...
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From:messynessy
Date:March 25th, 2005 05:25 pm (UTC)
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Hello! Anytime I see anyone talking about Africa, I like to jump in, hope you don't mind. My undergraduate and M Phil are in African cultural anthropology and international development. And I have to say, out of all the countries on the continent hurtling towards catastrophe, Ethiopia may well be in the best position to cope, considering what it learned during the famine of the 80s. They now have a relatively stable government and equal access to health care and land. Famine is a man made situation and they seem to be doing their beest to curtail the horror.

Live Aid did do a lot to raise awareness about the issues of hunger and famine in Africa, even if the $ for food raised did go slightly awry.

Your class sounds very interesting.

And yes, Bono is indeed a fantastic human being. Bless him for caring so passionately about something most people don't know about or don't care to know about.
From:hot_coffee
Date:March 25th, 2005 12:24 am (UTC)
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I think that the concert made people very aware of the cause. It was an extremely excellent idea.

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