Tuesday, July 05, 2005

FOI: Africa - Oh! I dont see it on my world map anymore!

I'm sure I don't want to say that one fine day, but the current affairs in Africa are well pointing in that direction. What's happening to Africa ? We all know that it has been one of the most poverty-stricken continents, over the last few years especially. But now, the poverty levels are now turning to become incorrigible.

At one end we have the Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi publicly calling on the African nations to "stop begging" during the African summit in which more than 50 leaders from this crisis-wracked continent participated in the presence of Kofi Annan, the U.N Secretary General. He rightly said, "We need a cooperation between the big and small countries of the world. Begging would not make a future for Africa" .

At the other end, we have international protests and the Live-8 concert happening around the world for the "Make Poverty History " campaign for Africa. An record 26 million people sent text messages to the organizers in support of the campaign. This is in addition to the 5 billion people who watched it on TV, and the tens of millions who saw it live. I could only manage a glimpse on TV, though. U2, Paul McCartney, Bob Geldof and Madonna were the charismatic stars who participated and hailed the campaign as a proof of public support aimed at putting pressure on the richer nations to deliver their promises to eradicate poverty from Africa. Well, I have my own doubts though if so many people would have turned up had it not been for these so many stars at a single event.

And while I was speaking on this to Divine, my friend from Cameroon, this is how he described the cause for poverty in Africa. -- " Initially, the people who were ruling gave fish directly to the people, instead of teaching the people how to catch fish and cut it. So the people knew only how to eat fish. As time passed by, these rulers slowly started to bring in politics, and started eating a large portion of the fish themselves leaving out very little for the people. This is how Africa has reached this state now. The solution is not to beg other countries, but to start to take initiatives, however small they may be"

Well, well, well...Save Africa !



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