As far as Bob Geldof is concerned, his Live 8 concerts were a smashing success.
On Friday, the leaders of the world’s eight largest nations made a global commitment to increase aid to Africa from $25 billion to $50 billion (see “G8 Leaders Double African Aid To $50 Billion” ), as well as forgive the debts of 18 of the continent’s poorest countries. Hours after the 31st annual gathering of the G8 culminated with this agreement in Gleneagles, Scotland, Bono and the Live 8 mastermind both lauded the move, saying it would, in due course, save hundreds of thousands of people from grave indigence and disease, according to The Associated Press.
“A mountain has been climbed here,” Bono said. “But it’s worth just stopping for a second and looking back down the valley at where we’ve all come. Doubling aid for Africa has not been easy, and it’s been a very hard sell for us salesmen. And I’m very proud to report that these figures are very meaningful.”
Both rockers applauded the work of the G8 members (see “What Is The G8, Anyway?” ), but were quick to credit both the Live 8 concerts and the subsequent pro-Africa protest marches in Edinburgh, Scotland, as being persuasive engines that helped drive the leaders of the world’s wealthiest nations to step up and adopt the mission of ending endemic poverty in Africa (see “Over 50,000 Turn Out For Music, Mandela At Live 8 Finale” ).
“We’ve pulled this off,” Bono told reporters. “The world spoke, and the politicians listened.”
Geldof — who heralded the outcome in Gleneagles as “a qualified triumph” and declared “a great justice has been done” — and Bono both cautioned the G8 leaders to make good on the promises they’ve outlined: “If these people let us down … they will feel it when they go to the ballot,” Bono stated, according to the AP.
“Now we must make sure it happens,” added Geldof. “Three billion people will be watching.”
Get involved: Learn about the poverty crisis in Africa, the proposed solutions, and how you can help. Plus find all of our coverage of the international Live 8 concerts and more at our thinkMTV Live 8 hub.