Bono, U2's lead singer, may have fallen off his bike when he
tried cycling in Central Park in November, but he has proved to
be a lot better at raising awareness about the help the world's
poorest countries need to develop their economies. The Irishman
co-founded the ONE campaign, the international campaigning and
advocacy organisation, and has used it this year to exert
pressure on politicians and administrators through what the
organisation describes as "private lobbying and targeted public
|Bono is a new
entry this year
ONE has directed its work in 2014 at the G20, looking for
action in four areas: public registers of beneficial ownerships
of companies and trusts; transparency in the extractives
industries, tax information exchange and open data.
"Given ONE's focus on Africa, the principal reason for our
work on these issues is to mobilise domestic resources,
primarily tax revenues from citizens and private companies,"
says the ONE Campaign. "Because of the importance of natural
resource revenues in many developing countries, we have been
campaigning for increased transparency in the extractives
sector for many years."
Bono has availed of opportunities such as a speech to the
European People's Party conference in Dublin earlier this year
to build pressure on policy makers to act. ONE also ran a
campaign called the Trillion Dollar Scandal leading up to the
G20 heads of government meeting in Brisbane, in which it argued
secrecy costs the world's poorest countries at least $1
trillion every year.
Like any wealthy figure who is vocal about anyone less
fortunate than themselves, the Dubliner gets his fair share of
"Who does he think is?" commentary, but he has put himself
forward as someone who wants to help and believes he has to.
Not everyone in his position has done the same.