Good investigative piece from Le Monde Diplomatique here.
Much ado about nothing...Virtually all former major political and public office holders in the US use their positions, political connections and influence domestically and/or abroad to make money. Such influence peddling is politely referred to as "lobbying" in the West (while less politely and more accurately referred to as corruption everywhere else). In fact, Jeb Bush was one of the biggest such influence peddlers in Nigeria (working with Bi-Water) before he became Governor of Florida.
Exploiting one's influence to push and strengthen certain values and interests is not new. Is it the fact that African-Americans are involved that is new? Surely, this is not the preserve of Europeans, Americans, Indians or the Chinese. Ok, so Andrew Young made some money working for African countries and doing deals with US firms, so bloody what? What is the point of the article? How does the Clinton Foundation raise funds? who are its benefactors? Does it mean that Bill Clintin is a bad chap? Absolutely not! And what of the "Office of Tony Blair" specialising in conflict afflicted coutries like Sierra Leone, Rwanda, etc....i guess its all for the love of Africa & Africans. What is the point of this sort of school boy leftie biased journalism? Godd or bad, Andrew Young's work is not a major constraint to the development of Africa. It is the lack of seriousness of African leaders, and the acceptance of mediocrity by Africans themselves. We need to look at ourselves critically before looking outside. Enough said.
@ Anonymous: It is a problem when Andrew Young is regularly promoted as one who champions the cause of african americans and a great friend of Nigeria. Even has his commentary included in documentaries about the "problem" with Nigeria.Yet he is one of those who continues to collude with corrupt govt. officials to further enslave Nigerians to greedy corporations.Just because others do it does not make it right. No need for two posts to name check others in Andrew's defence...
For details on Adrew Young's work on behalf of the Biya regime in Cameroon (for 350,000 USD per year) check out this story: http://www.dibussi.com/2008/07/government-of-c.html#tp
Ms Mak, i agree that two wrongs do not make a right. Fact remains that the man set out to make profit albeit under the guise of a good cause or causes. If Nigeria cannot speak for itself, and feels it needs to engage the services of a profiteer, too bad! It says a lot about Nigerian/African leaders, most of whom are lazy and incompetent.
Ms. MakI am Anon @ 10:03 PM, and frankly find it rather irritating when even supposedly educated Africans persist in acting like infants who need others to take care of them and their interests. Neither GWI nor Andrew Young is primarily responsible the legacy (and increasingly, the culture) of poor governance in Africa. Rather, it has been created and/or (at the very least) perpetuated by Africans themselves. How many educated Nigerians have campaigned for (or even read) the Freedom of Information Bill, the Fiscal Responsibility Act, the Pubic Procurement Act (or even the Competition Bill that has lingered in the National Assembly since 2003), and all other legislation that seek to institutionalize a framework for transparency and good governance? Yet we seek to place a greater moral burden on others than we do on ourselves.Rather than looking at Mr. Young or other outsiders for scapegoats for the condition that we have firmly (and sometimes quite enthusiastically) placed ourselves in, I would suggest more brutally honest introspection that extends beyond just the political leadership, and perhaps thereafter we can deal with the rest of the world as relatively equals and based of a mutuality of interests, rather than as 8-year-olds primarily relying on paternal "great friends" to protect and promote our own well-being. Anon @ 9:38 AMI'm gad that someone else was intelligent enough to grasp the underlying color and ideological bent of the article.
@ Anon 10:03pm: Frankly, I also find it irritating when people choose not to comment on the issues raised in the particular post, but instead attempt to point out others as somehow less intelligent than them. But then again, it's a blog and we're all entitled to our opinions, right?The article was about Andrew Young. I commented on Andrew Young. Notice i mentioned he's "colluded with corrupt govt. officials". As far as i know, these negative forces (foreign and local) are not mutually exclusive of each other.I guess we the readers are now to assume you are one of the few intelligent and matured Nigerians who have 'campaigned' for the FOI bill et al right?
Now, you will have to agree that this was a terribly written article and it is full of speculation.
@ Ms. Mak,Apart from acknowledging Anon 9:38 being intelligent enough to grasp the underlying ideological and race themes of the article, I made no other references (derogatory or otherwise) to intelligence, since even obviously intelligent people nonetheless still disagree on the same things. So (unless you are seeking an ad hominen diversion), you should not be getting your bloomers in a twist.On the substantive matter at hand, suffice it to reaffirm that without OUR cultivating a cesspool of corruption (public and private -- not just "corrupt govt officials"), there would be little for any outsiders to collude with. The Andrew Youngs of the world are a self-indulgent diversion from what really ails us.
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