Just a few months ago, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a leading firebrand of the global AIDS movement, Stephen Lewis, said at a conference that the money given to Africa by the U.S. global AIDS initiative called PEPFAR and by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria amounted to “partial reparations” to the continent. Africa, he noted, was giving the world thousands of health-care workers whom it had educated, saving the West billions of dollars annually.
In his remarkable speech, Lewis, co-director of AIDS-Free World, said the payback was for multiple reasons: “From slavery to today’s extractive industries of minerals and oil, Africa is financing the world. The modern world’s economy was built on Africa’s human and natural resources, and it depends on them to this day. . . . We owe Africa what we give to Africa. And a hell of a lot more to boot.”