Source: Nii Amu Darko - People like Carlos Lopes are part of Africa’s problem. They bestow on us a sense of entitlement when what we desperately need is a sense of responsibility. How can a UN top official compare State controlled or inspired movement of its citizens to ‘’conquer’’ and control the world with movement of poor and desperate people from grossly mismanaged countries to seek refuge in rich and better managed economies?
An African migrant infant is handed off by a member of the Red Cross to a member of the Spanish coast guard in the port of Tarifa. (AFP/Getty)
As if that was not enough, Carlos said it might be pay-back time? Utterly ridiculous. At the centre of what is happening now is the interplay between push and pull factors. We have citizens of failed African and Arab states being pushed from their countries to seek greener pastures in Europe. Yesterday, I wrote about Europeans coming to write our languages for us. Is that what the refugees are going to do in Europe? Switzerland did not colonize Africa and the ME so should they refuse the refugees?
Key to the current problem is how to minimize the push factors. In other words, how do we resuscitate the failed states? Like Obama said in Accra, development depends on good governance and that is the single thing that is missing in Africa for such a long time. There is no magic anywhere. Let us go back to basic common sense, no complicated theories and we will be fine.
We complain about everything. We complain about prices paid for our exports as if they will pay US or UK higher (if they produce cocoa) than Ghana. Iron Ore prices have dropped from $120/ton in 2008/9 to $50/ton now. Iron Ore is 26% of Australian’s export. They are not crying of sabotage or unfair produce price. They know China is not buying Iron as it used to do. There is less demand, so the price has fallen. This basic economics doesn’t apply in Africa.
We need help but we are not entitled to it. Nobody owes us a living. Whatever the Europeans do is on humanitarian grounds and I hope they offer help but we have no right to criticize any government which refuses to help. Because we don't know what governments are for, we quickly jump and criticize governments which are discharging their primary responsibility - security and health of their people. We think every government is like our governments. We cannot misgovern ourselves and think it is everybody’s business to fix it for us. IMF and WB have not forced anyone to come to them for loans. If you don’t like their terms, please manage your economy well.
We must just grow up. Nobody will stop us from growing up.Take it from me, if you are weak and disorganized, you will be exploited. That is the reality we try to use all sorts of excuses to evade. You may argue all you want, but that is the human situation. That is why Jesus said the poor would be with us till the end of the world. The only way out of exploitation is harnessing our collective energies for productive work. This requires 2 things: Good political organization and exemplary and insightful leadership. The 2 form good governance, the single thing Africa is most deficient in. That is the cause of all our problems. But there is hope for Africa.
We are in a different world from that of our fathers. Then poverty was a state of material nothingness and the code name for Africa. Today, poverty means something different. It is a harbinger for terror.
A hungry man is an angry man. Poverty has become a major risk factor for global stability. The West is beginning to understand this frightening reality and they will do something about it. I know that.
Eradication of poverty is now a security issue, no more economic or even humanitarian. It now needs global response. Not because we deserve it but the response is necessary for the peace of those who have the means to change the situation – the wealthy West. But nobody can change a people who do not want to change. Change must start from within and be helped from without. The West is waiting for an internal response from Africa and they will step in. This is where ARM comes in with ‘’Bridging the Gap’’ message and policies. 2016 will begin Africa’s Jubilee Year. Our shackles will fall off permanently.
Tswa omanye aba!