(BLOG.INDEPENDENT.ORG) — Our Research Fellow George Ayittey met the Irish rock star Bono in July 2007 during a TED conference. Professor Ayittey was speaking and in knowing that Bono would be in the audience, he explains that “I made a special effort to rip into the foreign aid establishment. . . . Later, Bono said he liked my speech but did not agree with me that foreign aid is not effective in ending poverty. So I gave him a copy of my book, Africa Unchained: The Blueprint for Development.”
Bono (nee Paul David Hewson) is the lead singer in the rock group U2, one of the most successful rock groups in history. Bono also became a major proponent of greatly expanded U.S. foreign aid and other government programs (including debt cancellation) to alleviate the dire plight in the world of HIV/AIDS, malaria, abject poverty, and other issues.
Bono has further been Co-Founder and Managing Director with the venture capital firm, Elevation Partners, and he may well be the world’s wealthiest musician after his investment in the Facebook IPO, which made over $1.5 billion for the firm.
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Bono is also a Christian (see here, here, and here). He is an admirer of the work of C.S. Lewis and used Lewis’s book The Screwtape Letters in a music video for the song “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me,” the theme song for the film, Batman Forever. More recently, he has indicated in an interview with Jim Daly at Focus on the Family that Lewis might inspire the next U2 album: