Relief or Not Relief, That is the Question

Powerline has a good post on aid to Africa, along with a link to a good NYT story published Friday. They both quote a leader from Cameroon as saying (regarding Live8):
Neither debt relief nor huge amounts of food aid nor an invasion of experts will change anything. Those will merely prop up the continent's dictators. It's up to each nation to liberate itself and to help itself. When there is a problem in the United States, in Britain, in France, the citizens vote to change their leaders. And those times when it wasn't possible to freely vote to change those leaders, the people revolted. In Africa, our leaders have led us into misery, and we need to rid ourselves of these cancers. We would have preferred for the musicians in Philadelphia and London to have marched and sung for political revolution. Instead, they mourned a corpse while forgetting to denounce the murderer.
This squares with what the bishop of Lagos said the other day (scroll down for the link). Coincidentally, this morning we asked our Nigerian priest friend about the Bishop of Lagos' statement regarding debt relief (he's agin' it). He agreed, basically, but added an interesting twist. He said in addition to the problem of dictators being corrupt, he believes that many aid agencies also deal in bad faith. For example, he said, many Western aid agencies routinely gave aid to Uganda in the days of Idi Amin. But it was widely known that he was lining his own pockets. So to give aid to him was to burden the Ugandan people with a debt they would have to pay once he was out of office. I take him to mean that he thinks much of Western aid is not merely patronizing but actually malicious --and that he favors debt relief after the Bush model, i.e, tied to reform.
(Incidentally, besides being the kind of priest who radiates Christ in everything, our Nigerian friend is fantastically interesting to talk to about the world. He brings not only his deeply Christian perspective, but also the perspective of someone whose family is Catholic on one side and Muslim on the other, and whose home village has been peaceful for decades. . . .until recently, when Wahabist Islam, spreading by force from outposts in Somalia and Sudan, has started to spread persecution and unrest.)