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« Sealed Post Office Has Ruined Customers’ Business | Main | Hannah Ntoh Mukete's Last Journey »

Friday, 08 July 2005


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Madame or Lawyer Alice,
Africans have always show interest in thing that will bring about change in Africa.Blair commission is nothing new.It is just one of them.What we/i doubt is whether this commission will bring anything this time.Youmade a good point about returning pilfered monies back to africa.But the commission you exhort people to follow is not going toward this direction.They preferred this loan things passing as aid or i will call it hedge funds with terrible strings on it for the raping of has been successful!Tell them to stop keeping looted wealth in their banks from African Blithering Dictators like the one in your country and not exhorting Africans to show interest in Blairs commission as if the interest has never been ther.Giving the so called aid to these dictators and coconut heads will be nothing but a sheer sustainability of these ruthless toerags.Do something much better.


Africans are noted for being lazy, dishonest and above all corrupt. However a $50 billion aid has been approved for Africa by the G8 nations between now and 2010. Though the question as to how this money will be raised by the donor nations to give to Africa is still a riddle, African leaders should seized upon probably this very last chance to initiate and realized economic strategies that will put the money into continuous productive means. Africans should henceforth bear in mind that they will never receive an aid package like this because there is already compassion fatigue within donor nations. so my advice to the African people is NEVER YOU AGAIN vote into power leaders whom will go to beg money from developed nations to come to give you, leaders that have no realistic vision.



Denis Tambe

"Let us tell the people of Africa that in the eyes of all the world, their
own leaders are insulting the name and honour of their race."

Opinion - Matthew Parris

July 02, 2005

We must all sneer and scoff at the corrupt, cruel jackasses of Africa
Matthew Parris

GOD SPARE AFRICA from mercy. God deliver Africa from The Guardian. God
protect Africa from the Synod of the Church of England. God send Africa a
little less of our charity and understanding, and a little more of our anger
and disdain.

Pity poisons the continent when it stifles criticism. As leaders of the G8
gather to discuss aid, they should be pitiless in their resolve to make
pariahs of black Africa’s cruel and rotten governments. A ruling class of
greedy men, sheltered by a popular culture of gawping passivity in the face
of political swagger, is suffocating the people of Africa and neither tears
nor money nor rock music should be our first response. Rage, not rock, is
called for.

This is no counsel of despair. If Africa were hopeless, why even write about
it? If the leaders in Africa were all wicked and the led all feeble, then we
might as well write off their debts, drop food on them from aeroplanes and
turn away.

But the truth is otherwise. Everywhere on the continent there are people
making a go of things. Everywhere there is a struggle between energetic
self-improvement and an enervating corruption. There are good people and
good ideas in African politics, fighting for survival. Across much of the
continent the structures of administration are still in place and
leaderships know how to work them — too often to line their own pockets.
Chains of command and supply, the collection and exchange of information,
the imposition of order and taxation may be shaky but they exist. It is not
all like Congo where anarchy rules. Most of Africa is not anarchy; it is

But tyranny is not a bad place to start. Tyranny can be mended. Kleptocracy
can be disinfected. The nuts and bolts of State are there and fitfully the
machine can be made to work. “Governance” does not need to be created, but
reformed, and there are men and women there capable of doing it.

We should be unequivocally on their side. Yet the invading army of spanking
new, top-of-the-range, white, air-conditioned Toyota Land Cruisers and their
palefaced, safari-suited occupants sent in by aid agencies and
non-governmental organisations, are not on the reformers’ side. NGOs and
relief workers’ instructions are to keep out of politics and engage
constructively with the political elite.

Their talents lie far from the world of trade, commerce and industry. They
talk more to civil servants than to slaughtermen and metal-beaters. Their
thickness on the ground, I notice, is in inverse proportion to their
distance from an international airport, European-style supermarket and
decent sewage system. Heaven only knows what these well-paid and fashionably
sunglassed recruits to “a career in Development” are in Africa for but it is
not to bother the political elites. If you work in development in Africa and
are not bothering a political elite you have some serious questions to
answer about meaning and direction in your life.

We rightly protest at the cavalcades of Mercedes for black governments whose
national debts we must now forgive. But perhaps we should remind ourselves
that hard men at Toyota, too, have done well out of war and famine in
Africa: the development industry grows fat on Africa’s failure, and peasant
faces pressed to the windows of smart restaurants in Nairobi may make little
distinction between the black politicians and the white aid-executives
sipping imported Scotch.

I was in the Afar region of Ethiopia this New Year. It was seldom below 40C.
At a godforsaken, wind-whipped, rubble-strewn village with no water but a
dirty uncovered well where women walked with buckets and rope, I said to my
Ethiopian guide: “Why not cover the well, get a windmill and lay a pipe?”
“They are waiting for Unicef or an NGO,” he said. “But it is too far, too
hot for them.”

Three observations. First: if erecting a windmill in the Danakil Depression
really does require a European relief-worker, what were all those new white
Toyotas I saw in Addis Ababa doing there? Secondly: bush windmills are
mass-produced in South Africa. They are cheap. The technology is elementary.
Should we be flying development officers business class from Europe to do
this kind of thing?

Thirdly — and this in essence was what, in a brilliant speech to the
International Policy Network in London this week, Thabo Mbeki’s brother,
Moeletsi Mbeki, was saying — all the elements of a little windmill project
were in the village already. There was labour; there was money (the bar was
doing a roaring trade, and people were buying and selling livestock); and
there was knowledge: people were literate and numerate, there was a primary
school, and those who used engines had taught themselves mechanics.

Finally there was demand. Everybody wanted access to clean water. But
someone would have to come forward and borrow money; rights of ownership and
access would have to be settled; and a framework giving the investor
confidence in a return from customers or (more likely) the regional
authority was needed too. The windmill itself was secondary to all that: the
easiest part.

I am afraid the regional authority was more than a hundred miles away,
building itself (with aid money) a huge multistorey office in the middle of
a trackless desert.

The Prime Minister’s New Partnership for African Development “does not
address the fundamental problem”, said Mr Mbeki, which is “the enormous
power imbalance between the political elite and the key private-sector

Peasants must become freehold owners of their land, he said, and I agree.
This nascent class of producers must be empowered to make their work
worthwhile and their voices heard. But all across the continent, traditional
tribal values, Western-style collectivist ideologies and the greed of
political elites have joined in a murderous embrace to stop this.

Of course I am not denying that our shameful barriers to trade must come
down too. Nor am I saying (and nor is Mr Mbeki) that nobody working in
development in Africa recognises any of this; or that no projects exist to
help build an entrepreneurial culture from the ground up. They do; it is
commonplace to remark that Africa needs village banks, co-operative
societies, book-keeping courses, etc. But the great thrust of development
aid — not least the debt relief the G8 are discussing — misses that target
by a mile. It is almost the only target worth hitting.
Except this. Swaggering African tyrants stay in power because the small
people in Africa passively tolerate, even in some cases sneakingly admire,
their leader’s greed and rascality. The cult of the Big Man is the tap-root
of Africa’s suffering. That culture has to change. We can help it to change.

Africa’s leaders should be the laughing stock of the world, and ordinary
Africans should know it. Where is the satire, where the anger, where the
mockery and derision, that these brutal boobies deserve? How many f***s has
Bob Geldof directed at their heads rather than ours? Only Alan Coren of this
newspaper ever dared to subject an African leader, Idi Amin, to sustained
ridicule; and progressive-minded readers in Britain didn’t approve.

But it is patronising to think these criminals and crackpots can’t help it
because they are black. They should be exposed to universal hatred, contempt
and ridicule. We should sneer, rail and scoff, as we did at the leaders of
apartheid South Africa. The populaces before whom these jackasses puff
themselves up should know — as every South African used to know — that they
are led by outcasts.

Moeletsi Mbeki was brave this week to compare the struggle against
Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe with the struggle against apartheid. Let us tell
the people of Africa that in the eyes of all the world, their own leaders
are insulting the name and honour of their race.


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