Benny Dembitzer is an economist who has had a fascinating career working for a wide range of organizations, including several UN agencies, in the field of international development. He made a passionate argument for reform of the way rich countries provide assistance to the poorer countries of Africa. Based on his experience he has concluded that poverty in Africa is increasing because of population growth, climate change and ineffective governance and this is causing the migration of people towards Europe. He considers that many aid agencies are not applying their resources in the most constructive way. The main need is to encourage the development of agriculture at a grass roots level in a way that enables countries to feed their own populations first, before developing export crops. One of the best ways to do this is to encourage the education of women.
Mr Trevor Evans, UNA Harpenden