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"Fashion photography is . . . boring. There's no discovery there, it's just a bunch of beautiful people. Our job as artists is to find beauty in the unexpected places." — Bono

Editorial: Bono for the World Bank

Los Angeles Times
Bono, the U2 rock star, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and he is a credible candidate. But we have a better idea on how best to recognize his effective lobbying on behalf of African development -- Bono should be named the next president of the World Bank.

Don't be fooled by the wraparound sunglasses and the excess hipness. Bono is deeply versed in the issues afflicting the least-developed nations of the world, as former Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill learned when he traveled the continent with the musician.

O'Neill, an uber-wonk, came back singing Bono's praises. Bono even brought ultra-conservative Sen. Jesse Helms to tears by relating poverty in Africa to passages in the Bible.

Bono may not have a PhD in economics, but he'd have plenty of real economists around the bank to consult. Bono is the most eloquent and passionate spokesman for African aid in the Western world. And given that both ex-President Bill Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have in recent years made Africa one of their focuses, that's saying something.

Bono led the Drop the Debt campaign in 2000, seeking to forgive billions in loans to the Third World, and in 2002 he co-founded Debt, AIDS and Trade in Africa, a serious group that seeks to raise awareness of Africa's problems and lobby governments to help solve them. It could hardly ask for a better spokesman than its founder, whose fame has helped open doors that other lobbyists spend decades trying to crack.

Bono could enhance the World Bank's image and sell its poverty-reduction mission far more effectively than the other deserving candidates being mentioned for the job, which traditionally goes to an American