The World Bank and the IMF (the International Monetary Fund) were set up during the end of the Second World War to rebuild the economies of Europe. However, in order for the world bank and the IMF to implement their policies, they (the world bank and the IMF) began offering loans to poor countries but only if the poor countries privatized their economies and allowed western corporations free access to their raw materials and markets. That was a poverty trap and many poor countries realized it when it was too late. We were already in chains.
That was the beginning of much of the problems we face today in Africa. Now we are in a vicious cycle of poverty and there seems to be no way out.
69 Ministers, 327 Members of Parliament, 278 political appointees who include 80 resident District Commissioners and assistants, 75 presidential advisors and 43 private presidential secretaries and their deputies. This is just a picture of Uganda's over-the-top public administration. 'Pearl of Africa' as commonly known is argued that not only is it a sleeping giant but also an over-governed and unproductive country.
It has many administrative units; 45,000 local councils, 5500 parishes, 1026 sub-counties, 151 counties, 18 municipalities and 80 districts. All these structures have executive 10 man executive officials. So, the total number of officials is 10 times the number of every administrative unit.
The more we fight and kill ourselves, the more profit (money) they make so even as we work very hard to achieve peace and understanding, there are many up there in the top working extremely hard to make sure there are wars and even more wars so they can profit from the deaths of untold number of people. This is the situation in Africa today and that is why every now and then you hear conflicts, political violence and rumors of war all across the continent.
Let me begin with a clear example to explain what I am trying to say. Many of you have heard about Darfur and the deaths of untold number of people (some say about 500,000 although the true figure is far bigger than that). However, not so many people know the Sudan conflict
Is Africa the poorest continent on earth? The answer is NO. Africa is not the poorest continent on earth. In fact, Asia is far poorer than Africa. The Indian subcontinent alone contains nearly 50 percent of the total population of poor people in the world today. Africa and the rest of Asia contain about 40 percent of the world's poor population. Latin America and the rest of the world contain the remaining 10 percent. So as you can see, Africa contains just about 20% of the world's poor population. Asia contains at least 60-65% of the world's poor population. It depends on how you view poverty. If you are judging continents based on the number of advanced countries, then you may put Asia ahead of Africa because of countries like Japan and China. However, if you are judging continents based on
Not long ago, some of us Africans back home only saw Chinese people in their very famous "Kung fu" martial arts movies but it may surprise you to know that over a million Chinese investors have permanently settled in Africa today with their families. They've bought lands, houses, established businesses, etc. and have no plans of ever moving back to their country. Most Chinese people are even bold enough to refer to Africa as the "China's Second Continent" why because they have come to lay generational "seeds" on the continent and have no intentions of ever going back even for generations to come.
We often look at the Africa-China relationship from just one economic point of view which is not often very helpful.
My great grandfather had no clock but he was always on time why because he could tell the time just by looking at the position of the sun. My great grandfather could tell the time just by listening to the sound of birds and even the croaking voices of frogs. My great grandfather could see even with his eyes closed. It is a huge mistake to refer to such a man as an illiterate. Most of us the so-called educated men and women of the world today, have clocks in our homes. Some of us even carry wrist watches and cell phones with us yet we are almost always late.
A stupid man is far more dangerous than an atomic bomb. A wise man fears not the weapons of mass destruction but the stupid men operating those weapons.