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 Head-to-head: Africa's food crisis part2

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Nombre de messages : 654
Localisation : Washington D.C.
Date d'inscription : 14/06/2005

MessageHead-to-head: Africa's food crisis part2

With good governance, most African countries could be net exporters of agricultural produce
Darren, Lobatse, Botswana

Of course not, but we need to look beyond the hunger and ask why they are hungry and what can be done to end the conditions that generate such absolute poverty that makes millions suffer the indignity of depending on others to feed themselves.

It is about power at local, national and international levels.

Remember the famous quote: "When I feed the poor they call me a saint but when I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist".

Too many saints around without many communists is turning Africa into a permanent emergency for latter day missionaries to shower in conspicuous charity!

Nicholas, I guess we all have to make our choice whether we become self-chosen saints or communists.

Or both, as and when situations demands it.

Nicholas Crawford, World Food Programme

Spasms apart - and let's be honest, Westerners don't have a monopoly on spasms when it comes to aid and charity - you are right that we all make our choices.

WFP's choice is to engage, to be there on the ground, to acknowledge (hopefully) our major failures and shortcomings.

And to work in the real world trying to try to get things right and trying to move towards solving hunger in a continent that will continue to be wracked with enormous problems, while you and others do whatever it takes to bring about the pan-Africanism you are dreaming of.

Are we really at cross-purposes?

Do not patronise people dependent on you by calling them partners. Even on slave plantations there were partnerships!
Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem

Besides denunciations of the aid system, what is it you are actually calling for?

What choice are you making?

If it's immediately closing shop on the Bob Geldof's and the WFPs because there is - decades of aid later - so much food insecurity, come out and say it and acknowledge the costs.

And by the way, please do talk to some of the women who have never had an ID card in their life or been entrusted with family resources: they don't see themselves as beggars.

Thanks for the passion and the stimulating discussion.

Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem, Justice Africa

Let me spell it out clearly: Africa does not need aid or armies of bleeding heart liberals to feed its people, clothe them, educate them, if we have responsive and responsible leadership.

A people without a dream to work towards will suffer nightmares
Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem

Our aims differ: you offer charity while justice is what we seek.

You lament poverty and even believe you want to alleviate it but our focus is on the internal and external dimensions of Africa's impoverishment.

Aid strengthens superiority/inferiority complexes in a relationship mediated by slavery, colonialism and now recolonisation.

Aid agencies have become both willing and unwilling bodyguards of the new imperialism.

The fact that there are many Africans working in them does not change their character.

The colonial bureaucracies were full of Africans!

Do not patronise people dependent on you by calling them partners. Even on slave plantations there were partnerships!

China is a threat to the West today and India is treated with respect because God cannot make 1.3 and 1.1bn (respectively) people stupid.


A united Africa is essential for us to seize control of our destiny.

A people without a dream to work towards will suffer nightmares. Has Africa not had enough nightmares?

You are so consumed by wanting to save us that you cannot see how we can and are saving ourselves.

I end on a specially adapted prayer: God save me from my liberal friends because the conservative opponent I can deal with, without any pretences on both sides.

All the best.

What do you think? Do you agree with Nicholas Crawford or Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem? Send us your views using the link below.

If you would like to take part in the Africa Have Your Say radio programme on Thursday 2 February at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/02/02 16:19:33 GMT

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