Saturday, July 16, 2005

As the G-8 discusses plans to cancel Africa's debt this week, most agree that the world's richest countries can and should aid the ailing continent. In fact, the group agreed to double aid to Africa by 2010. But in the excitement surrounding the G-8 summit, few have asked Africans how they feel about the plan. The answer, supplied by African journalist Bashir Goth, is surprisingly negative. While Goth appreciates the honest efforts of the world's most powerful, he worries that the money they send will merely line corrupt leaders' pockets and bank accounts, never reaching the needy: "In Africa, money is like a snake's droppings, everyone hears about it but no one ever sees it." Instead, he asks for schools, hospitals, roads, and food – aid that will reach the people of Africa – not just their rulers. – YaleGlobal

How Africans See the Initiative to Help the Continent
Bashir Goth
Khaleej Times, 8 July 2005
GOOD intentions to dislodge poverty's tight grip on Africa are welcome and must be well appreciated by every conscientious African who cares to see an end to the continent's long night of hunger, disease and grinding poverty.
In Africa we should salute all honest initiatives aimed at helping our neglected continent. We say Viva to Prime Minister Tony Blair's Commission for Africa, Chancellor Gordon Brown's relentless fight to bring as many countries as possible to the African aid's bandwagon, Bob Geldof's Live 8 and his army of world singers and musicians who enthralled the world in the name of mother Africa. We also take off our hats to the audience of millions who responded to the Live 8 call and poured out their pockets and their hearts to Crusade End of Poverty.
We do this because in Africa it is the language of singing, music and drumbeat that we understand more than any language. When we are hungry we sing, when we are sick we sing, when death descends on us we sing, when life smiles for us we sing. We always sing, beat the drums and dance. Music and singing are the secret of our existence. This is how we cheated extinction and annihilation. Even when the prime youth of Africa, the manpower of our continent were taken in chains across the Atlantic, they took their drum beats and their music in their hearts, in their heads and in their feet. This is why when the world sings in our name today, we understand the honesty of it and we sing with them. More

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