Give Us The Money

Sunday 25 November



Give Us The Money takes an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at 30 years of Bob Geldof and Bono’s campaign against poverty.

Their work has made them icons of aid, and even garnered them Nobel Peace Prize nominations, but what impact has it really had on Africa? Through archive footage and candid new interviews with key players, including Bob Geldof, Bono and Bill Gates, the film re-examines three decades of unprecedented campaigns, and scrutinises the effectiveness of celebrity-led activism.

Nearly 30 years ago, two young pop singers set out to challenge the world. Their aim: to use their celebrity status to end poverty in Africa. After Bob Geldof instigated a chart-topping charity single and staged one of the biggest rock concerts ever seen, Bono and Geldof joined forces and went on to build a multi-million-dollar lobbying organisation. Along the way, they hijacked the Brits, enlisted IT billionaires, fashion models and academics, won over the wiliest of politicians, lobbied world leaders and put the politics of poverty firmly on the international agenda. They raised vast sums for charity and persuaded western powers to dramatically reduce third world debt.

But did they really help make poverty history in Africa? What impact has their work really had on economic growth and poverty reduction? And if they haven't made poverty history, has their campaign at least been responsible for a big step forward?

A BBC Storyville film, produced in partnership with The Open University, Give Us The Money will screen as part of Why Poverty? – when the BBC and the OU, in conjunction with more than 70 broadcasters around the world, will host a debate about contemporary poverty.