I most heartily agree with all of that, only I missed the point about the number of African countries: surely with all the European-encouraged tribalism a finer division could (not necessarily, of course!) end up in a lot of poorer countries turned entirely upon themselves plus fighting neighbours in wars that would be international rather than civil.
I tend to think that integration into loose federations with efficient (but not overly interfering) central governments would be the right way; I mean, if Zimbabwe were a state in some huge Southern Africa federation, the government would be able to deal with it. Indeed de facto this is what RSA tries to do with Mbeki shuttling from peace talks to peace talks, and with the relative success of RSA, Botswana and Namibia (plus, hopefully, a revamp of Angola) the SADC could turn into something useful, and this could help smaller countries, indeed like Lesotho.
Comment by Pavel Iosad – 20 June 2006 @ 7:01 pm
Yes. The trade situation is quite unfair. In addition to tariffs, there are quotas on some goods and, of course, there are subsidies, which drive prices down and make it harder for African countries to sell agricultural goods (though this helps LDCs in the short term). There is a movement, in the industrialized world, to recognize these unfairnesses and get the system changed. It is slow to take off, however, because 1) it does not benefit the average man in the industrialized world, and 2) it is somewhat complex, economically, to explain.
It is happening, though.
I agree with all you have to say. I would really like to see Africa establish a trade pact, possibly including Latin America and parts of Asia. I think that, if targeted the right way, it could be very helpful. Also, it seems to me, the foreign aid money invested in Africa should be allocated more and more toward maintenance. The story appears to me to be all too often the same: plenty of money to build, no money to maintain. What’s the point? Good comments.
Comment by Matthew – 20 June 2006 @ 11:19 pm
thanks for this information .
it did help in my assessment.
thank you ~@
Comment by haein – 7 August 2007 @ 6:22 am
Let us not forget that Africans have lived in the same place since humans evolved, yet Europeans had the disadvantage of having to adjust to a new clime. Yet we still have created EVERYTHING that this ungrateful world has. Africans were chucking spears (still are) when Europe had started the Industrial Revolution and had nearly a millenium of civilization behind them!
Comment by sf – 5 November 2007 @ 5:57 am
Don’t flatter yourself, sf. Do you have anything worthwhile to say, or have you just come here to satisfy your racist views?
Comment by Rethabile Masilo – 5 November 2007 @ 7:08 am
I keep hearing from white africans that they know blacks (Africans) since they are from Africa and that they have the mentality of teen agers. They insist that they are difficult to educate and have hard time understanding basic procedures. They also claim that blacks are irresponsible and won’t do what is necessary for success. They did differentiate somewhat between westernized blacks and not. Many said they thought the west should stop all aid and just pull out and let the continent sort itself out and that it will probably become mainly tribal again. What are your comments on these assertions.
Comment by JK – 29 December 2007 @ 11:11 am
Oh Rethabile, right now I am a mixture of angry and sad. Your wrote an intelligent, informative piece and it was read (though clearly not understood) by a couple of jerks. If only the world had a lot more people like you in it and far fewer of them.
Comment by Jo – 30 December 2007 @ 4:13 pm
I agree with your thoughts totally, and i thank you for writing his paper as it gives us all an idea of what Africa is going through. I do hope that people gain more awareness of what is going on in Africa and do something about it.
Comment by Caroline Sullivan – 9 January 2008 @ 9:05 pm
A very insightful post, Rethabile. Have you read a book called Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond? I think you’ll like it.
Comment by Johan de Lange – 6 February 2008 @ 2:17 pm
Johan, haven’t read the book yet, no. But thanks for the tip off.
Nice excuses do you have more concocted for the next 100 years or so? I mean its been over 50 years and using the same excuse does not attract pity anymore. I mean take the case of India for example, their population alone is greater than that of the African continent, colonized for more than 300 years, Gained independance 60 years ago and you can see substantial development. How come this is not the case in many African countries? English is not their mother tongue either.
Comment by Reid – 28 March 2008 @ 10:53 pm
Our Culture, thats the whole problem with africa not intelligence, there is not a culture inclined to build , to get better. so if building comes after other needs then it’ll often be bypassed to fulfill those other things we are ‘naturally’ inclined to [like tribal loyalty ]. Until we have a system that puts growth as our first priority then we are f’d.
Comment by slingerthecat – 19 August 2008 @ 6:20 pm
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Thanks for all the information, and also the guys who have commented. I have an assigment and this has been of help. Thanks once again.
Comment by Rethabile (Saved from the spammer) – 7 November 2008 @ 9:47 am
Author : MARLEN (IP: **.***.45.89 , adsl-**-***-45-89.dsl.hrlntx.sbcglobal.net)
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I GUESS WE SHOULD HELP AFRICA WITH THE ECONOMY
BECAUSE THERE IS ALOT OF POOR PEOPLE WITHOUT HOUSES,SCHOOLS FOOD,CLOTHES AND THEY ARE SOME THAT ARE VERY SICK THATS MY OPINION.:)
Comment by Rethabile (saved from the spammer) – 8 November 2008 @ 2:04 am
why do we like to group ourselves as africans. we are total different people both cultural and historical. as different as china and India. so Batswana are different from Basotho so we must be judged differently
Comment by G.P Nthoiwa – 19 December 2009 @ 10:21 pm
I do this for several reasons. While I agree with you that Africans differ from one another vastly, we as a people (Africans) have been lumped together and exploited as such. I believe that is why in France where I live, blacks greet each other without necessarily knowing each other. It was the same in the US when I lived there.
Another reason is practical. I cannot possibly list poor African countries, or keep saying “some Africans” over and over. It is true that Botswana is a relatively rich country, in comparison with its sister nation, Lesotho. But…
If China and India had been lumped together and sucked dry because of some feature that links them, say skin colour, then they would feel the kinship that I feel toward all blacks. Next year in South Africa (World Cup) I’ll be rooting for Bafana Bafana. If they lose, I will switch to Ghana or Cameroon or another African country.
This is something that many Africans do, but that you won’t find in Europe or America or Asia or Oceania.
I’ll even root for Jamaica or Trinidad and Tobago before I Brazil or France.
Comment by Rethabile Masilo – 20 December 2009 @ 7:19 am
When Africa unite- all those others raping robbing her will have to answer- warning to UK Monarchy thieves and murderous, the vaticans thieves, chinese/Indians thieves and those holding stolen African wealth in their homes! You will have to answer! just wait till we uinte!!
Comment by Ogada Jarateng – 27 December 2009 @ 7:34 am
Ok… why is Hatti the poorest place on the western hemisphere?? Its the same reason that Africa is poor, even though it should not be. Oil, diamonds, travel rich areas. Yet its so so poor, and it is this way not because the white man. It is this way becuase the black man. The same reason America is going down the shitter.
Comment by ALLEN JAMES – 14 January 2010 @ 1:43 am
Do you even know the history of Haiti?
BTW, America was “in the shitter”, wasn’t it, before the guy arrived in power?
Comment by Rethabile Masilo – 14 January 2010 @ 1:58 am
I don’t think allen was referring to Pres Obama. He was probably referring to the fact that we have so many black people on welfare living off of other people’s money not contributing to society in the US. That is the way I took it anyway. I agree with him to an extent, but it doesn’t stop there. That’s all I’m gonna say about it though.
Comment by Michael Smith – 17 January 2010 @ 3:15 pm
You say that “we have so many black people on welfare living off of other people’s money not contributing to society in the US.”
1. Black people have built America, despite being chained and denied basic rights like education. Remind me to tell you the things they have done, I mean beside the physical carrying, digging, constructing, planting, harvesting, singing, praying, sporting, enduring, buying, selling they have done.
2. White people are the ones with the money: heard of white priviledge? From the time slaves landed on American soil, everything was MORE for the massa and his family, NOTHING for the slave and his family. Not only blacks, by the way, slaves, including the American Indian. The white man did it again in Australia and in South Africa. I live in France. Despite being qualified, can’t get a job. Had to start my own business. Since white people have the money, and the power, where in Heaven’s name do you want poor black people to get it from?
3. If black people have not contributed to society (A group of humans broadly distinguished from other groups by mutual interests, participation in characteristic relationships, shared institutions, and a common culture), who has?
Comment by Rethabile Masilo – 17 January 2010 @ 4:16 pm
The strange thing is, while Asian countries in the 50’s like japan, korea, taiwan, singapore had economic levels similar to that of many african countries, they have lifted themselves from extreme poverty while africa still has rampant starvation. China is now the world’s 3rd biggest economy, and just look at it 40 years ago (rampant starvation like in africa). Could this be a cultural difference between asia and africa – or something deeper? And yes, Asian countries were under european domination just as africa was, during colonial times, yet they have fared much better.
Something interesting to think about.
Comment by Anonymous – 9 February 2010 @ 6:34 pm
I like the way you say, “Could this be a cultural difference between asia and africa – or something deeper?” That’s funny.
No, I think you’re wrong. Asia, China in particular, is enormous culturally and physically and economically. It’s a giant. China sits permanently on the security council, is one of the most visited countries in the world, is a low-cost producer due to cheap labour and high productivity, and has an undervalued exchange rate; I could go on.
Apart from Chinese girls sold into slavery/prostitution in California during The Gold Rush, when have the Chinese undergone slavery and dehumanisation and colonisation on a scale as deep as many countries in Africa?
Asia is larger than Africa and has 47 countries. Africa is smaller than Asia and has 53 countries. The 53 countries of Africa were determined by colonisers, while Asian frontiers are “natural” in that Indians live in India and Malays in Malaysia and the Japanese in Japan.
Comment by Rethabile Masilo – 13 February 2010 @ 9:30 am
How many peoples in Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa? And what has this done to the stabilities of those “countries”?
If anything is related to something “deeper”, how come Yemen is poor and not Saudi Arabia? Lesotho, and not Botswana (same culture, same language)? Why is Bangladesh much poorer than Pakistan and India?
And more telling, why is Romania poorer than France? They’re both in Europe and they’re both “white” countries. Why is Greece needing an economic boost right now, in 2010? They’re white, and will probably get their boost from the 26 other European countries.
Comment by Rethabile Masilo – 13 February 2010 @ 9:31 am
Part Three and last:
What country in Africa got a boost, from who? Marshall Plan? What country in Europe or North America trades fairly with what country in Africa?
What country in Africa enslaved and colonised what country in Europe or North America, in order to fill its coffers and obtain cheap labour for its industries and rape the reaches of the enslaved and colonised peoples (as well as their women)?
Do you really still think there is something “deeper” than pure greed and malice and evil at work here? Do you read any history objectively?
Why don’t you spend your time wondering instead what needs to be done to the rich white folks who are rich because they destroyed other people through force? Because they pillaged whole communities through force? Because they continue to keep an iron-hand on other communities , through force and the help of permanency on the Security Council and the G6, G7, G8 and G20?
In Spain, people who speak Basque conduct guerilla activities against the central power. That’s one language, imagine there were twenty different languages and cultures in Spain. What would have happened then? Corsica has been occupied continuously since the Middle Stone Ages. Could this have anything to do with the fact that they’re setting up bombs, too, against the French government? Or do you think there’s something “deeper”?
If Africans or anybody else, for that matter, came and occupied your territory, shipped its most able and its strongest people away from home to go work in forced labour camps and fields in South Carolina and Virginia, shipped the raw materials of your territory away (stole it) without paying for it, did a host of other unthinkable things to you and your people, continue to do some of them into the 21st Century (white priviledge, job denial, unfair trading policies, etc), then say you’re poor because there’s something “deeper” that’s keeping you so, what would be your reaction to that?
Comment by Rethabile Masilo – 13 February 2010 @ 9:35 am