Thanks for saying it first (and eloquently), Studio. I too am pro Santa and pro food, but this concert stuff just don't get the job done.
You're 100% right about the problem of corruption in many African governments. I'm no expert, but here's my postcard summary of the African experience of the last 100 years.
1) Some European dopes colonize the continent, drawing up country borders that make about as much sense as the lyrics to a Scorpions song. In addition to subjugating the locals and imposing their own version of civilization on the inhabitants, they do some good stuff, such as creating an infrastructure of roads, schools, medical facilities, etc.
2) The locals, usually after a couple decades of slow-burn struggle, kick out the Euros. The leaders of the insurgency take the reins of power.
3) The leaders of the insurgency turn out to be dictatorial sickos who do all the stuff that StudioDave described. At the same time, all the money from Europe dries up, and the infrastructure goes to poop.
4) After more decades of really really crappy rulership (homegrown this time), the people rise up and get a shambling democracy going. Problem is, there still ain't no money coming in, and the tryants have wrecked the country's finances worse than Ken Lay down at Enron.
That's pretty much where the most "advanced" (politically) countries in sub-Saharan Africa are right now (Malawi, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, etc.). They're struggling to right the ship, but there's just so danged many problems.
Canceling debts would be a great thing, but it's not enough. As Studio said, throwing money at the problem ain't gonna fix it. My opinion is that they need boots on the ground, but in those boots should be Peace Corps-type folks rather than UN or US soldiers. As my fame throughout the blog world grows, perhaps I will see fit to expand upon this idea, but now I have to go tell 8 people that Sally Strothers is running low on moonpies, or something.