Mitchell Reports | May 18, 2012
>>> here at the global food summit, president obama has issued a call to action for world leaders to attack poverty in africa by expanding agriculture. the immediate goal is 0 lift 50 million people out of poverty over the next decade. participating in this big launch for the g-8 summit, singer/songwriter/co-founder of the one campaign. welcome. bono. you've spoken to the summit. what is the mission and why is it so urgent?
>> the mission i guess is obvious to -- no one wants to see children emaciated children. hunger is a ridiculous thing. we will know how to fix it. there's you know, there's whole new approaches to agriculture to increase productivity, et cetera , et cetera . what's key about today's announcement is that the president of the united states is supporting african ideas on how to fix their problem. their country-owned country devised plans in 30 african countries . that's what it will take to get to the 50 million people taken out of hunger over the next decade. so that's -- it's partnership. it's not the only paternalism. these are sort of horizontal relationships, not vertical ones.
>> and these countries have spent the last couple of years, 30 countries, submitting their plans and now this is the time for action for business leaders, for others to join in and invest. you wrote in "time" magazine this week that africa is so rich in resources that this is really the continent which can be like the american continent was in the last century. tell us what you see as the potential there.
>> we've got to the reboot our thinking on the continent. africa is -- the 21st century , people say it's about china. ask the chinese, they're all over africa . africa by 2050 will double the population of china. there will be more young people on the continent of africa than there is in china. they're rich. they've got all the minerals in the ground and the people are saying to us, the african people don't want aid as an ongoing basis. they need it now to help them get to a place of independent. but their future consumers for the united states . the president is talking business. this is good. it's a whole new kind of development paradigm i think today. it's the old sort of donor/recipient relationship, it's over.
>> i mean, the chinese as you point out, they're investing everywhere in africa . these businesses want to invest. what do we do about the fact there has been so much widespread corruption.
>> how do we tackle it. there are some demands up front.
>> exactly right. corruption is killing more kids than any of the killer diseases, aids or malaria. if you look at food as a resource that comes out of the ground, the same way if you look at oil, gas, the great mineral wealth of the continent of africa , what can you do to make sure that the wealth that's in the ground under the feet of the people who live there gets into the hands of the people who live there? well, there's one way. transparency, daylight. which is to say when private contracts are put out, given to explore for oil or for gas, that the people know how much was paid for that contract. so in this congress is a bill in the finance reform bill , the huge big dodd-frank bill. there's a cardin lugar amendment which actually makes it law that any company published on the united states stock exchange , the new york stock exchange , has to publish what it pays for those mining rights . this is huge, bigger than anything you can imagine. hosteling us that? africans are telling us that. they're saying bring some daylight, transparency and we won't be as dependent on.
>> you this is such a novel idea. the europeans are pushing back against this saying whoa, we don't have these same rules, we don't want these rules for our companies. this would really tell the people in africa exactly what money is being transferred and what their resources are going for.
>> then they can hold their own governments to account. now, the british are looking at this. there's some discussion about whether it should be project by project or country by country. it has to be project by project. i think we're meeting with david cameron later. i'm hopeful to convince him to do that. french are there on this. i spoke with the germans, with chancellor merkel 's people, not with her yet but i have before on then subject. and she is leaning in this direction. that's huge. german leadership will be great. i've actually spoken to 12 of the of g-20 heads of state on this matter. so brazil is looking to lead on this. ab-australia is. this is the way -- daylight is the way of the future. the direction of information technology , guess what, it's information. people want information about the big decisions that affect their lives.
>> now, speaking of information technology and you have been so innovative. you've been on the cutting edge of this, back in 2009 i think, you were first investing in facebook . it's gone public. you are reportedly going to conceivably have this huge payout. tell me about facebook , what you see in it, and what you think it's going to accrue to your own investment?
>> contrary to reports, i am not a -- this boy is not a billionaire or going to be richer than any beatle. not just in the sense of money, s are untouchable. that's just a joke.
>> i get it.
>> we investor people's money in pension funds. we doe get paid and that is a good thing. we'll get -- i'm blessed, but you know, i felt rich when i was 20 years old and my wife was paying my bills. you know, just being in a band, i've always felt like this. i mean, being so blessed. i got interested in technology because i'm an artist. i'm interested in the forces that shape the world. you know, politics, religion, the stuff we've been talking about today. technology is huge. i wanted to learn about it. and people say it's odd you're a musician. i think it's odd that artists are not more interested in the world around him. i'm always chasing that.
>> what do you see in facebook ? what is it about facebook that you think to those who say what is the business model here, what do you think is the future of facebook ?
>> they're an amazing team. they're a brilliant team. and they really care about this stuff. and you know, it's a technology that brings people together. people ho are traveling a lot, keep in touch with their families, with their friends. and you see the role it's played in north africa in the so-called arab spring. so it's the village square but it was the leadership of it that got me excited going back, but there's other companies out there, yelp, drop box. there's a lot of excitement in america in this area.
>> what do you say to people on wall street and others who say there is no real business model here that, people might go to google and you know, really look at the ads but not on facebook ? that special networking is a different kind of zeitgeist and that you don't really want advertising?
>> that's some intelligent criticism. i'm not even going to try to answer it. i'll let facebook do that. you know, i'm in a way the thing that i bring to elevation is i'm curious about people. you know, i asked warren buffett what was the most important thing in investing. he said judgment of character. and there's some pattern recognition and some sensing of what the future might look like. but i think facebook is only beginning. that's my own view.
>> we'll be back in a moment with the president of tanzania joining our conversation.
>> he's a very special plan worth meeting.
>> and we will meet him and talk more. our exclusive interview with bono coming up and tanzania's president jakay jakaykikwete.