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.