Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Gives us Free - The time is now.

I had posted about the MEND in Nigeria here not too long ago. Today, has this as their lead story. As far as the Niger Delta goes, I guess I have to declare myself a terrorist sympathiser. I am on the side of these people. The way I see it, just because one is not in jail does not mean one is free. Au contraire. We as a society are living in a status quo that has the rich getting richer, their kins guaranteed wealth and means while the poor get poorer and their kins are almost inadvertently guaranteed to inherit problems, unless they fight through huge obstacles, then make it to not so poor, on the other end. The poor in an attempt to not be so poor, take all the crap meanwhile. The insecure neighborhoods, the dirty sanitary environments, no electricity and other necessities once inside Africa and in the case of Niger Delta, worsening economic conditions as their livelihoods (fish) can no longer exist in the current environment. Don't forget that this environment has changed for the worse, so that the rich keep getting richer.

Globalization has made this situation worse. The tycoons of the world, run the oil wells of Africa and other 3rd world countries, keep a few "influential" African pockets greased so that they may have easy accessibility to their investments and go about destroying livelihoods and leaving tons of people with no other recourse but utter destitution. And then they donate say $50000 to some African course and pacify their hearts. Please! I think as a society, there comes a time when you can keep taking crap and life goes on, or you can say enough is enough, and make some changes. This is the same argument for civil strife in places where dictatorships run for too long. And as far as the Delta goes, the time is now. They need to start benefiting from these so called investments. they as the villagers, they as the citizens and they as a continent, more than the foreign investors. Without their land, this investment would not exist. If you ask me, they have the controlling factor. They need to force people to meet their obligations to society and to treat all people as worthy of life, love and happiness.

And the Chinese President is touring Africa. The message is "equality, mutual trust". I say, about time.

"China's charm offensive in Africa is second to none," said Philip Alves,
an economist with the South African Institute of International Affairs."They do
a lot of stuff in Africa. They don't see Africa as a burden. They see it as an
opportunity. They don't see African leaders as hopeless and corrupt. They see
them as equals worthy of respect. They've tried very hard, and I think that's
why they're winning friends in Africa."

Here is how globalization plays in favor of Africa. Choices. Now the Africans have the choice to make investment partners with Asia or with the West. The difference, quite interestingly, is cultural. The Asian culture is a very respectful one, where all people are treated with a certain amount of respect. And everyone is allowed to be their own person. This versus the West, which views Africa as a playing ground. A game of chess perhaps, where they can make a move so that they may influence the other's next decision. Well, as far as cultures go, Asia will fit in Africa much more comfortably. And Africa now is mostly being operated by Africans who have never been colonized, are educated and are therefore don't view the White Man as anything other than a man. No remnants of colonial trauma. Save for South Africa, Apartheid will be leaving streaks there for a few more generations. It's about time Africa was able to benefit from Africa. Africa needs to start manipulating its own destiny, not being the leather in the football games other people play. This should free Africa from the jaws of "do this, or else" as has been the norm.

So as Djimon Hounsou said in Amistad, "Gives us Free." I'm just saying, if they can't give it to us, let's take it. Opportunity has availed itself.


coldtusker said...

The Chinese are using charm to make the corrupt & inept "leaders" feel good about themselves!

At the end of the day, these "leaders" get support from China to maintain their grip on power as China sucks Africa dry.

There are some enlightened leaders e.g. Kagame of Rwanda...

I like Mbeki, IMHO he is a rare breed of the not-corrupt African politician, but his views on HIV & AIDS has done more harm than good.

I think Mwanawasa (Zambia) & Mutharika (Malawi) are also enlightened...

Unfortunately, we have Sudan, Zimbabwe Kenya & Nigeria... among others... They will sell their countrymen to the Chinese as long as they remain in power.

Just as we threw off the yoke of colonialism to embrace the West's neo-colonialism, we are walking, nay, running, into an era of Chinese colonialism!

Ssembonge said...

I totally disagree with you. You definitely fell for it.

Wake up and smell the coffee!