Bono on Africa: ‘What excites me is thinking about its future’

Bono on Africa: ‘What excites me is thinking about its future’

John Mulholland, The Observer

We are all aware of our ancient pasts and this continent has a rich and extraordinary tradition. But the thing that excites me more is thinking about Africa’s future – as the continent of the 21st century. It’s one of the richest continents on Earth in terms of natural resources. If these resources are allowed to benefit the people above the ground, then they can pay for Africa’s future.

Africa is also rich in terms of its human resources, with such a young, vibrant population. We have this image of Africans being the poorest people on Earth, but Africa itself is so rich. That is what makes the affront of poverty all the more stark. And sometimes we do have to raise the alarm and call the fire brigade, like when Aids is ripping through parts of Africa, but it’s better if we can prevent the fire in the first place and build on the positives.

You listened to successive speakers talking about their ideas and the inspiration that was driving them. Then you said: “We have to change the story about Africa – or at least get out of the way of the real stories coming out of Africa.” What do you mean?

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