The real Ethiopia (or what Bob Geldof does and does not tell you in concert)

This week is 25 years since a bunch of bouffant-haired pop stars staged the most ambitious concerts of all time to help millions of starving people who had never heard of them.

Thus begins a superb Reuters piece on all the wonderful things Bob Geldof never told you about Ethiopia. Hat tip to @owenbarder.

Yesterday, after a rather grueling run at Addis Ababa’s 3000m, Owen and I retreated to Castelli’s, the Italian restaurant that, according to Bono and Bob Geldof, is the best in Africa.

How do Bono and Geldof fare as food critics? Well, the antipasti bar is excellent and, in my continental experience so far, unique. One does miss braised greens, roasted tomatoes, and parma ham when abroad. The pasta, though, was merely ordinary. I’ve had its equal (or better) in Kampala, and surely Egypt or South Africa have a first class Italian spot. But you won’t get high-end foreign food in most African capitals for Castelli’s prices (about $8 for a main). So I lend cautious support to our musical advocates.

Their development policy, however, is another matter entirely…