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Does Africa need Bono and Geldof?


“Ireland,” I answered the taxi-driver’s question when I first went to Ethiopia in 2006.

“You know … Bob Geldof, Bono?”, I continued, confident he would recognise me as a countryman of the two rockers who many Westerners think fed the world during the 1980s.

“Bondof?” came the puzzled reply. “Oh, Ireland! … You mean Roy Keane! Gerry Adams! IRA!”

And so began a pattern of national identifiers that has lasted for my three years in this country the Dublin singers first introduced me to as a child during its ruinous famines.