What’s the difference between aid and development?
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This week, we were fortunate to have with us in Calgary one of Africa’s most influential leaders in the fight against avoidable blindness. Daniel Etya’ale, MD, is executive director of the African region of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. As such, he is at the leading force for the development of eye care throughout the African continent.

Daniel is originally from Cameroon and now lives in Cape Town, South Africa. He is an eye surgeon by profession, but has spent much of his career coordinating eye care programs, and also spent several years in Geneva with the World Health Organization. In his current position, Daniel’s leadership and influence will be absolutely essential to the resolution of avoidable blindness throughout the African continent.

While in Calgary, he spoke to about 80 people at our Annual General Meeting on June 22, as well as to Operation Eyesight staff and a number of donor groups. We were impressed by Daniel’s knowledge, diplomacy and his deep concern for the people of Africa.

Working with him makes us confident that the day will come when the people of Africa are no longer threatened by avoidable blindness. But many issues remain, such as the differences between aid and development.

This is a topic that Daniel is passionate about, and we asked him to share some thoughts following the AGM on Wednesday. This brief 3.5 minute video is the result – enjoy.