Friday, June 24, 2005

As if to prove my point....

The African Union has declared that they will not pressure Robert Mugabe to stop his campaign to destroy his own country. Because, ya know, they've got bigger things to worry about. Which, whilst true on a 'I would rather have my home and business knocked down and lose my livelihood than be violently raped by marauding janjaweed and have my village destroyed by fire as they leave' level, doesn't really inspire much hope for solving Africa's problems.

Zimbabwe had potential, it had plentiful natural resources and a functioning economy, but in recent years Robert Mugabe has destroyed this, along with any sense of democracy. We can send aid and cancel debt until kingdom come, but until Africans start dealing with their own problems, nothing is going to improve.

South Africa's government continues to show an unwillingness to confront the problem, despite the fact that Zimbabwe's dependence on them for electricity means that they could have significant influence in this situation. According to the president's spokesman:

"South Africa refuses to accept the notion that because suddenly we're going to a G8 summit, we must be reminded that we must look good and appease the G8 leaders," he said.... We will do things because we believe they are correct and right."

Stay home then. The whole point of South Africa being invited is that the G8 leaders are supposed to be talking about how to resolve Africa's economic problems. With its response to the Mugabe issue, the South African government has shown that they really have no interest in this. I see no purpose in their involvement. Zimbabwe is a country populated mostly by black people, Mugabe is a black man; Thabo Mbeki is still so caught up in apartheid-era struggles, that he does not seem to be able to wrap his head around the idea of black people as oppressors. But it is time to grow up and come to terms with the fact that Africans need real solutions, not just people spouting anti-colonial jargon......Well, either that or a bunch of free concerts in major cities (and Barrie) across the globe demanding that the G8 solve all of Africa's problems by cancelling their debt. Yeah, let's do that instead.

1 comment:

Dave said...

But Helen, tell us how you really feel...