Here are the people you didn't see at Live 8: Africans and Americans talking about Africa, not in terms of beggary and sorrow but of real independence.
African leaders were not judged in the West by their results but by their rhetoric and their visions that resonated with the rhetoric and the visions of the Western intelligentsia.
Thus Julius Nyerere became virtually a secular saint in the Western media while he was driving the people of Tanzania deeper into poverty and tyranny. Nor was he alone.
Conversely, when Felix Houphouet-Boigny made the Ivory Coast an oasis of economic advancement and civil peace, he was either ignored or disdained. He was one of the few new African leaders with any previous experience in business or any understanding of economics. His successors have ruined the country.
Whatever damage European colonialism did to Africa during its relatively brief reign, that was probably less than the damage done later by well-meaning Western would-be saviors of Africa. Africans do not need to be treated as mascots but as people whose own efforts, skills, and initiatives need to be freed from the tyranny of their leaders and the paternalism of Western busybodies.
Some economic development "experts" attribute Africa's troubles to its history of colonialism. That's nonsense, because some of the world's richest countries are former colonies, such as the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong and Australia. In fact, many of Africa's sub-Saharan countries are poorer now than when they were colonies, and their people suffer greater human rights degradations, such as the mass genocide the continent has witnessed.James Shikwati (in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel):
One unappreciated tragedy that attests to the wasted talents of its peoples is that Africans tend to do well all around the world except in Africa. This is seen by the large number of prosperous, professional and skilled African families throughout Europe and the United States. Back home, these same people would be hamstrung by their corrupt governments.
The worst thing that can be done is to give more foreign aid to African nations. Foreign aid goes from government to government. Foreign aid allows Africa's corrupt regimes to buy military equipment, pay off cronies and continue to oppress their people. It also provides resources for its leaders to set up "retirement" accounts in Swiss banks.
What Africa needs, foreign aid cannot deliver, and that's elimination of dictators and socialist regimes, establishment of political and economic freedom, rule of law and respect for individual rights.
Shikwati: [SNIP] The countries that have collected the most development aid are also the ones that are in the worst shape. Despite the billions that have poured in to Africa, the continent remains poor.Akinyi June Arunga:
SPIEGEL: Do you have an explanation for this paradox?
Shikwati: Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need. As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa's problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn't even notice. Only the functionaries would be hard hit. Which is why they maintain that the world would stop turning without this development aid.
We have to reject AID and encourage entrepreneurship and provide incentives for business in our countries.(Thanks to Booker Rising)
In NON-Profit work and in government ventures the measure of success is how much money has been spent on a project (you often hear politicians bragging about the size of the project in terms of spending as they doll out taxpayers’ money - it is never personal money).
On the other hand, the measure of success in a For-profit venture is invariably the size of the difference between what was made and what was spent, and the future profits are what people buy into when buying company shares. The aspiration is for increasing efficiency, finding better ways to do things, faster, easier, cheaper and making customers come back repeatedly because they are satisfied. (The money always has an owner attached at the end of it who has to make a profit to feed his family, pay bills etc)
We need to regard our problems as profit making opportunities rather than angles with which to beg from the West. That means getting off the paternalism of Western charity so that we can own and solve our problems.