To encourage reform, Collier recommends that the G8 nations agree to accept these measures as voluntary guidelines for multinationals doing business in Africa—companies, for instance, would only enter new contracts through auctions monitored by an international verification group. Such an agreement would follow the examples of the so-called Kimberley Process, which has effectively undercut the trade in blood diamonds, and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, in which a government must report to its citizens the revenues it receives from sales of natural resources.
These measures, he says, are more important than elevating aid levels, an approach emphasized by economist Jeffrey D. Sachs of Columbia University and celebrity activists such as Bono. Collier notes that Angola receives tens of billions of dollars in oil revenue. “Whether it gets a few hundred million more or less in aid is really second-order,” he insists. Ultimately, hard-nosed prescriptions are likely to achieve more than the peregrinations to Darfur or Davos of Bono or Angelina Jolie.
This article was originally published with the title Volatility Kills.