Friday, July 11, 2008

Controversial piece on Ethiopia

In the Irish Indpendent here. Thanks Olly for the link.


anonymaus,  3:28 am  

It is not only Ethiopia and Zimbabwe that are at fault. In fact many of the ruling class in Africa are lousy.

The fact that starvation is knocking at the door in those countries and is on it's way to others, points to a wholesale neglect of domestic food production in most African countries. Failure to feed oneself, is to leave yourself open to all sorts of volatility on a key requirement of life. What could be more important than having enough food in your belly?

Many African governments, sought to neglect that and use the money for schemes such as armies (eg Ethiopia and Eritrea) or just plain embezzlement. Meanwhile neglecting the domestic farmers and failing to provide adequate infrastructure to boost production.

Now in the age of global warming, and unpredictable weather patterns, Africa is one of the more vulnerable continents. But what have the governments done about this? Apart from appealing for aid (yet again - going to Japan with their respective begging bowls). Or saying that high world prices are crippling them, have done next to nothing. They have abundant agricultural land and manpower yet, the result is the same, importing food that could be grown locally. They have officials that fail to plan and implement properly, who adopt inappropriate farming techniques and the wasting of millions of dollars (pounds, euros etc).

Is it not common sense that if the rains are not predictable to store enough food for more than one year, so when drought does rear it's unwelcome head. The respective governments won't need to wheel out the innocent face of starving children or mothers unable to feed their infants eg Niger last in 2007, Ethiopia 2008.

The article though bordering on the extreme, can not be dismissed out of hand because African heads of state (and civil societies) are at fault for allowing such unnecessary events repeat themselves. The disrespectful and humiliating tone of the nature can be laid at the foot of the ministries of agriculture throughout the continent.

Anonymous,  3:38 am  

Jeremy, that is not a piece on Ethiopia. It's a collective indictment of all African nations for the actions of a handful of nations. Racism is firmly anchored in such a collective indictment.

Anonymous,  9:27 am  

My only thought? Kevin Myers must suffer from a sexual disfunction.

Waffarian 12:39 am  

Daaaaaaaaaaaammmmmmmn. He took it there. I sense anger and frustration...something we all feel when it comes to this dear continent of ours...however he cannot be more frustrated than those living in the stench...

In a way, I respect him for being honest about his frustration, everything he said was true...yet...what do we do? Do we allow the innocent suffer because they just might carry a Kalashnikov in 15 years time? or do we hope that we save them and maybe, just maybe, another Mandela would turn up? I am reminded of the "war child", Emmanuel Jal's song on Mandelas did it go? "I am here today because you rescued me"...something like that...

While he has every right to be angry, hell, I am sick of our leaders too, he has no right to doom the innocent...are we all to pay for the crimes committed by big bellied arrogant greedy devil like creatures?

The answer ia no. Every child deserves a chance for a better tomorrow...and no, we do not all need to come to your country...but I will if I am forced aint your fucking world...hisssssssss.

Anonymous,  10:18 pm  

I think the guy has some good points but his good points are clouded by his extremism or frustration.
If he had focused on Ethiopia, Eritrea, or just the horn of Africa , I believe most of his points are on the mark. But what the hell, by titling his article " Africa has not... but Aids", why attack or demonize the whole continent. What does Ghana or Botswana etc have to do with this?
It is like taking events in Afghanistan or middle east to generalize about the whole Asia?
I am originally from horn of Africa and his points about leaders in the horn are on the mark. Those countries are not starving or poor because of climate change but bad leadership. I wish some of those European leaders would talk to Horn leaders with such honesty.
I am not a big fan of eritrean leadership- it has a lot of issues but I appreciate some its agenda in terms of reliance..

It is better if the rest of the world encourages self-reliance or food self-sufficiency instead of band aid solutions... I mean the people in Africa have survived without Western assistance for Millions of years..

Overall, some of article's comments are on the mark but I think the author's frustration and generalizing hurts the author's main aim- some African countries are in the predicament they are in because the leadership is bad and no aid will them.

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