4/08/2008

Will Africa's inactivity over Zimbabwe cost millions of lives in other African countries ?

It has been commented on by me, but also but scores of others how Africa has rendered itself impotent and unable to take on the mantle of a vibrant modern continent over the prolonged and deliberate inactivity in dealing with Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwean regime. The African Union's uselessness over many years has seen Zimbabwe turn from the very model of a modern African state, with good health care, education and an open door to investment, to an utter basket case. But the latest reports from Africa show just how short sighted African leaders might have been in pandering to Mugabe's slow strangulation of Zimbabwean agriculture.

The EU development commissioner is warning that the recent hike on food prices, which looks set to continue, could well lead to what he refers to as a "food price Tsunami", which will see millions of African people starve as they are effectively squeezed out of the market for food.

And to think that Zimbabwe was one of the largest food exporters in the world and was referred to as the breadbasket of Africa.

Sadly Africa's leaders stand up for dictators and criminality more than they stand up for the poor and oppressed. For a continent so troubled by conflicts supposedly aimed at liberating and making people free, it's leaders show themselves to be the very worst kind of stuffed shirts lining their pockets or quietly ignoring atrocities because they don't have the backbone or moral fibre to speak up.

We might have some poor leaders in western democratic states, but when they cock up it very rarely leads to millions of deaths. The difference is in Africa that one bad leader can cause millions of deaths, but put them all together in one place and it could be tens of millions. Sadly this looks like the situation they now face in Africa now. African nations fawned at Mugabe's feet and ignored him killing the goose that laid the golden egg fro Zimbabwe and Southern Africa. Very sad indeed.

5 comments:

lettersfromatory said...

The failure of African leaders to place any sort of pressure on Mugabe is very disappointing and suggests that they are happy for him to stay in place, despite what the voters might think.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Africa wanted independance from the Europians, We should leave them alone to get on with it and stop all the money we give them only to waste it.

Tim said...

Paul Collier's excellent and very readable book "The bottom billion" discusses this sort of thing, and what the west can do.

The Secret Person said...

And Thabo Mbeki is the worst of them it seems. Given South Africa's relative wealth, size and location near Zimbabwe, along with a shared colonial past, SA is a natural ally that should be helping Zimbabweans.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Dont judge Africa by your own standards. Thats the mistake everone makes

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