It is the Corruption… Stupid.
Davos is always described as exclusive, but that’s one thing it is not. It is a Swiss ski resort during the winter months where common folks with a few hundred Euros show off their slope mastery. Davos only becomes exclusive during the annual gathering of fat cats—the World Economic Forum, as it prefers to call itself.
Mind you, everyone at these annual summits meant well. This year’s summit is no exception. Delegates publicize themselves and the companies they represented. The second priority was to network. Last but not least came the plan to end poverty in Africa, this is a noble cause, but for one problem. Nobody mentioned the c-word. Corruption—as in African leaders’ corruption.
Bill Gates have the cash, technical and commercial credibility, Bill Clinton the soaring rhetoric, and Bono the celebrity, but if these cats manage to eliminate hunger from even one tiny African village without holding African leaders they cuddle with at the summits accountable, I will join the APRC.
Well-intentioned crusades against poverty in developing countries are good for publicity but little else. Accusing rich nations of not doing enough while not mentioning the corrupt nature of African leaders in attendance is just another way of ingratiating oneself with hyperbole. Because the reason so many thousands of lives are lost daily in sub-Saharan Africa is not lack of aid but because too much money goes into fighting wars, or end up in vaults in Zurich, leaving nothing for hospitals and schools.
Hand wringing by corrupt African leaders is nothing new. Case in point is Obasanjo and Mbeki. The psychopathic Liberian murderer Charles Taylor is living in Nigeria with the hundreds of millions he stole from that nation’s coffers, and his protector, Olusegun Obasanjo, presents himself in Davos and lectures on the need to help Africa. Ditto Thabo Mbeki, president of South Africa and the prime mover behind the theory that AIDS does not exist but is an American plot to weaken Africans. With such moronic attitude coming from the two power hitters in sub-Saharan Africa, how are we supposed make any progress in changing the attitudes of our peoples?
Africa’s problems are man-made. They began when the Europeans hastily drew artificial boundaries without regards to tribal animosity. They later on granted African nations independence without resolving the resultant social issues that came about. Resulting in tribal warfare all over sub-Saharan Africa. This robbed its citizens of health care and education. The rest was predictable. Africa’s epidemics—malaria, cholera, typhoid, and AIDS—will not be beaten by grand gestures from the West that only end up in the bank account of the Yaya Jammehs.
The only solution to Africa’s misery is good governance, an impartial judiciary; secure borders, internal peace, modern medical practices, solid education and an end to kleptocracy. Repatriating millions of dollars stashed in Swiss accounts by the Yaya Jammehs will be a good start. But I won’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.