Columnist John Waters give his personal take on the complex problems facing Africa during his journey to Zambia - a country of fabulous resources but that as yet has not realized that potential.
Many years ago, John challenged Bob Geldof on the whole question of aid and relief for Africa, questioning does the value of relationships established on charity, does this foster dependency and are we not merely feeding corruption. His answer was;
"Give me a pound.Your useless, meandering philosophizing achieves nothing."
In spite of the millions that have been spent on aid relief to Africa, what has changed? What are we achieving? Have we taken the right approach?
John Water's trip to Zambia explores these issues. Faced with the stark reality of children as young as six living rough on the streets, ever increasing numbers of children orphaned by AIDS, and an average life expectancy of just 35, one wonders what has changed. John poses the idea that
"What we have done is completely wrong and things have only got worse".
The Zambian economy is showing some encouraging signs of growth but do the emerging industries such as copper mining really serve to improve the state of the nation or do they basically amount to legalised asset stripping?
John's controversial analysis and conclusions challenge us all to consider how we are dealing with all developing counties.
"The 'Give us a pound' mentality can only be a small part of the picture".