Desmond Tutu on development

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I’m of the attitude that, like in politics, development is local. You can have the grand view but if you don’t infuse the people at a grass roots level you’re playing marbles. I think what this shows is you’ve got the people, and if you just have enough confidence in them people are almost always amazing. And they’re amazing also in their resilience.

That’s Nobel peace prize-winning Archbishop Desmond Tutu on development assistance to Africa. He continues, discussing how large donors and private companies can, and can't, help:

The massive things are good if they are bringing resources. But those resources will mean nothing if the people you are seeking to influence can’t use the resources, or if you turn them into paupers. You pauperize them. I don’t think that is what they intend. But I would say it is important to have both. Not an either or. We need those huge injections of funds…

I would say they must find out what the people want and not just always the people who attend conferences or are in government, if they have a way to talk to ordinary people. What is the want? Sometimes they can tell you we think this works, we don’t think this works. Of course, we want those huge injections of lucre.

Read the whole FT interview and the related article.

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Robert Nanders
June 08, 2006

Beautiful notes from a wiser man than I. I think we can all learn something by paying attention.

JPK
June 08, 2006

'I’m of the attitude that, like in politics, development is local.' - what a great line!