DEVELOPMENT DEBATE: Dambisa Moyo vs. Jeffrey Sachs

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Back in February, we wrote about economist and author Dambisa Moyo, whose new book Dead Aid offers a scathing critique of the conventional international aid model.

Three months on, it appears as if Moyo’s global vision — one in which poor African nations are lifted out of poverty via investment, trade and micro-finance — is making her the literal bete noir of more established development icons.

Chief among the is Columbia’s Jeffrey Sachs, who calls Moyo’s world-view not just dangerous, but potentially calamitous. Her ideas, Sachs has said, are “absolutely pernicious, and could lead to the deaths of millions of people”.

Problem is that Moyo — who recently ascended to Time magazine’s lofty 100 most influential people list — is African, female and sexy to boot. She’s a problematic target for Western White dudes like Sachs and threatens to steal the thunder from his powerful cohorts.

This battle, we suspect, has only just begun.

Let’s hope that millions, as Sach fears, are not caught in the crossfire.

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