Aid vs. trade, alias "Bono vs. Mwenda"

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It seems that William Easterly might have found a brother in arms in the person of Andrew Rugasira, chairman of Good African Coffee. Mr. Rugasira writes in FT:

Has any nation ever developed by way of handouts? The British industrial revolution for example, was fuelled by home grown technological breakthroughs that defined Britain as a truly modern society.

Pro-aid campaigners argue that providing aid to accountable governments is a means of stimulating their economies. This is nonsense. Giving aid to poor countries and working exclusively through their government agencies makes accountability worse rather than better.

Africa's only viable and sustainable strategy for economic growth is one based on trade and not aid.

The article also describes an outburst of the Irish rock star and aid protagonist Bono toward a fervent aid-critic Andrew Mwenda at the recent Technology, Entertainment and Design conference. For an even better recount of Bono vs. Mwenda exchange read Ethan Zuckerman.

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