Bono will make a trip to Africa for two weeks, and his traveling companion will be U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill.
O’Neill told reporters that the trip would help start reversing 50 years of poor performance in development aid.
“We need a change in performance realization from what’s gone before . . . we’ve got to produce results,” O’Neill said.
The pair will visit Ghana, South Africa, Uganda, and Ethiopia, focusing their attentions on facilities that have proven records of success after receiving overseas aid.
O’Neill stated openly that the history of overseas aid has been a poor one.
“Lots of well-intentioned things have been attempted over the last 50 years. Some of them have worked. Too many of them have not worked,” he said. “We don’t want to see false fronts; I have no interest in doing splashy things. . . . I want the facts and the circumstance to speak for themselves.”
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He stressed that advance planning for the trip was designed to avoid unrepresentative model sites, but instead place emphasis on typical conditions.
“It is very important for people who would make good policy to understand the real world,” he said.
The entourage will hope “to learn things that will help shape the distribution of funds that will be more aligned with the real world and will more likely produce real results than anything that’s gone before,” O’Neill said.
Bono’s inclusion in the trip will be a great help, O’Neill said, because of the attention that his popularity brings as a pop-star.
“He will help us to bring eyes to this subject,” he said, because young people listen to Bono.