I watched a short film on Comic Relief the other night. It was Bono telling us about the problems of Africa.
He came over extremely well, and you could sense his fire and passion. I was truly impressed.
However, which is – of course – a “but” by any other name; however, the way proposed by Bob Geldof et al, is not the right way, neither is the road the governments seem to be travelling down.
First of all, I do not believe in cancelling the debt. This would, in the long run, only benefit the African with the large black Mercedes!
We have to keep the debt because by cancelling it we send the wrong message to the leaders of these poor people.
Perhaps we should help train the ordinary people in farming and fishing techniques help the ordinary people to survive. This includes loaning (see later for the term ‘loaning’) them the plant, equipment and other resources.
Also we have to ensure that there is nowhere on earth where these wicked leaders can store their illgotten gains. Always running into tens of millions, never less and often more.
If we give the people material items, it must be a loan to the farmer (I mean a loan for life, where it remains our product but we never charge, or ask for it back). The reason for the ‘loan’ is we can then state: if the government doesn’t interfere and confiscate the equipment and resources, – and for each year they don’t – we drop their repayments to, say, £100 for the year (to keep it all legal). But we keep the debt hanging over their (the leaders) heads!
Hospitals and medicines must also come under the same strict terms. We must stop the leaders stealing the medicines and selling them to boost their ill-gotten gains!
Whatever we do, we have to ensure that all the money we give go to the people who are starving and who deserve it. And we must help them to survive
This way, it would cost such a lot of money servicing the debt that the leaders won’t confiscate the tractors and other items to resell to boost their bank accounts.
Yes, we need to do much more, but that comes later. We must help them survive without interference from their leaders first.
Thabo MBeki (the President of South Africa) has promised that Zimbabwe will have fair elections. Now this is just plainly wrong. Mugabe will not have fair elections because if he did he would not win, and by not winning, he could well be signing his own death warrant.
So we have a leader of the strongest country in Africa being taken in fully by a man like Mugabe. I fear it doesn’t bear well for the peoples of his own country, South Africa.
And who started all this? We, and the Americans and the Russians did. East and West were so keen to get the African states on our side that we made all our loans and gifts unconditional. The West, and the East for that matter, don’t understand the African mind. We should have made the gifts and loans conditional. So what if the Russians and Americans made theirs unconditional? It wouldn’t have made any difference to the African’s allegiance. They only paid lip service to us and the Russians anyway – they will only show allegiance to themselves. And, can you blame them?
OK, there may be many flaws in my suggestions above, but the reasons for wanting to do something are all correct. My intention isn’t to try to get you, dear reader, to accept anything of what I am saying. You have, I am sure, a mind of your own. But if these ideas get you to think along the lines that we must do something, then this blog has not been in vain.