Today was definitely a Grade A day. It was packed, to be sure, but definitely eventful. After the paella-filled “last supper”with my family yesterday night, I had to say a tearful goodbye to them this morning. Since they departed early, I was up a bit earlier than usual and managed to hit the gym before my morning class. After a much-needed sweat session (did I mention the paella?), I sat through a couple of interesting classes and a seminar meeting before making it to the highlight of my day (or week, for that matter): Dambisa Moyo. Sadly, I somehow forgot my camera at home so I could only sneak a few shots with my iPhone. Thank God for the integration of cameras into phones — what would we ever do without them? (How would we ever tweet without them?!)
Dambisa, who inspired a lot of my critical thinking on the topic of aid, joined us on campus at the LSE today to give a lecture/book talk on Dead Aid: Why aid isn’t working and how there is another way for Africa. I found her book to be a great read, partly because it inspired some real challenges to the current aid system and also partially because her passion for the topic clearly comes through in her writing. Her passion was also apparent tonight in her lecture — her points were clear, concise and she was incredibly charming; she definitely kept the crowd interested from the first minute until the last. She is an inspiration of a woman: well-educated, beautiful, well-dressed and wonderfully articulate. I think it would be amazing (and quite a draw) if LSE (or any other nearby institution for that matter: Oxford or Cambridge, perhaps?) could set up a panel for a real discussion/debate on the topic to bring the competing ideologies to the forefront. Perhaps Dambisa Moyo & Bill Easterly vs. Paul Collier & Jeffrey Sachs? I feel as though I am a little biased as of now — I have digested Moyo’s material, am half-way through Easterly’s book and have only brushed through Sachs’ work (and an MTV Diary version of his travels). I’m familiar with Sachs’ point of views, but seeing as how I lean towards Team Easterly, I think I need to be a bit more receptive to hearing both sides of the argument so I can better pick my arguments.
Catch up with you all tomorrow. Tickets for Joseph Stiglitz’s ‘Freefall’ go on offer at 10A!