What’s So Great about Gates?

This article was recently pointed out to me by a friend who knows of my distaste for the Gates Foundation and all of the “good work” they are doing. I once looked through a long list of all the projects they were funding in ‘developing’ countries and was quite disturbed. One example of something they funded which I think is entirely redundant was mosquito nets drenched in mosquito repellent. I feel very concerned for the kids sleeping in these pesticide tents every night. In some ways giving out these ‘gifts’ of mosquito nets is rather like the gift of small-pox blankets given to the native Americans so many years ago. This article shows other ways in which the Gates Foundation is working with some very money hungry corporations.

You can read the full article here: Market-led Development Aid for Africa. Good For Business, Bad for Farmers. by Richard Jonasse. July 13, 2010.

The mixture of quasi-religious faith in free markets, and their conflation with democracy, perfectly encapsulates current US (World Bank, IMF, USAID …) development philosophy. USAID no longer provides aid through local governments as it did during the Cold War era. In the post-1980 neoliberal era, its primary activity has been farming out aid via contracts to private corporations.