Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Sign Up for Live 8?

About the Live 8 Lobby.... I don't think AID is the answer to trouble in Africa and even though trade with the west will certainly produce lots of wealth, evidence shows that even the quotas we have been given in free trade agreements like AGOA, we have not beenable to fill precisely because our internal business environments are sostifled by corruption and overwhelming bureaucracy that local home grown businesses on average do not grow much in most African countries.

Our leaders are obsessed with begging westerners for money and abdicatingresponsibility for their lack of vision and active undermining of thevery institutions that would underpin the kind of society that wouldallow for the average African to achieve for themselves their individual"Millennium Development Goals".

We have to determine what we are doing wrong and make it right so thatnot only will Foreigners VOLUNTARILY invest in our economies in allsectors (as they are doing in India, China, Taiwan, Singapore etc,) but most importantly that we will have more African enterprises growing into Multinational companies... we need more millionares on that continent of 800 million... millionares are not created through AID, they are created through individual initiative, supported by stable, predictable laws,functioning courts to enforce contracts, a stable none inflationary monetary policy - only possible through independent Central banks,clearly defined, defeasible and divestible property rights and lowbarriers of entry into formal business (rather than prohibitiverequirements that relegate poor people to the informal sector where itis difficult to get protection by the law, get access to banking services, limit liability, spread risk by selling shares etc..)

We have to get serious with ourselves and stop embarrassing ourselves bygetting more comfortable with our position at the bottom of the pile...I hang my head in shame when we have become so bold as to DEMAND thatforeign governments should force their citizens to send us money (AID istax money, taxes are not optional) for which they receive no benefit and for which we have not yet accounted for from past giving.

I have even seen African ministers demand for free contraception from foreign governments... and I wonder to myself... since when does a man have sexual relations with his wife and then demand that the neighbour must ensure she does not get pregnant???

All this is getting absurd and Ithink many people around the globe are beginning to wonder if we are fitto govern ourselves... It is time we responded by taking charge of our destiny, or gave ourselves up for recolonisation... because we can't have our cake and eat it... claim to be independent yet want other people's tax money to play games with and squander.

Right from our homes... we need to begin respecting each others human rights... think of how people treat their house servants, and poorer relatives who live with them in Africa and you will see how deep ourproblem is... we have a long journey ahead and I don't know if any of us sees the promised land clearly enough to articulate it and inspire the rest.


wanduma said...

Great post. You know, I was nodding with you until the last paragraph...when I this not one of our dirty little secrets? I think this needs to be discussed more. It is heartbreaking how bad this is...and how little kids in our homes are trained to treat house servants like dirt.

We focus on the major abuses and scandals, as if the matter of respecting all work, and indeed all Kenyans, was not an issue at all.

Mimmz said...

Spoken like a true thinker. The fault used to lie with the leaders before a significant number of people had the education that it takes to contribute to productive conversations and debates. Now its squarely on all educated people. Why they choose to pursue the easy way out-aka corruption to make ends meet. People seem to have become allergic to hard work and making it the hard way.

I think it would be very desirable to instill the pride associated with a project well done into people's minds. Granted majority of people are above par, but I think we all contribute indirectly to this mess. It's about time we all started effctive complaining and changing the world by effecting the changes ourselves-as Ghandi advised us once.

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mieoux said...

Ey, Imiya Nyiero ndi! To iwacho mar adier. Apenji i neno nade wach mar jo China ka giwacho ni jo Afrika nyalo konyore kod gi, ni ok gibiro kelo "imperialiasm" ma jo Amerika ma tweyo "foregin policy" gi "trade"? Dholuo lalna marach.

Girl next door said...

Great post! Very thought provoking. Our system is inefficient and corrupt on all levels and the only ones reaping the benefits are those at the top. You are so right on how "our leaders are obsessed with begging westerners for money..." In the eyes of the world, we lack dignity and pride because of the shameless behavior exhibited over and over again. For example how promptly MPs agree to increase their salaries and allowances, yet our Constitution and system of government is in desperate need of an overhaul. Promises are readily cast aside once elections are over. We keep having the same OLD problems and the same OLD people keep doing the same OLD things and yet there are new methods, tools, and ideas around us. I recently read the article in Nation about the documentaries you did and I hope to watch them soon! I blogged about it recently.