Some Excerpts from West African Blogs

Dictatorial rule of Yahya Jammeh of GambiaHome of the Mandinmories
“Gambians are bleeding from excessive taxation. They are bleeding from the debt burden that is incurred in their name and siphoned off to overseas banks in some of the greatest corruption debacles that has occurred since independence…There's the literal blood, Gambians summarily executed by this government since 1994. There are so many victims and no perpetrators brought to justice. What else do we expect? The culprits of these heinous crimes are in charge of government. They pardon their own crimes, thereby becoming the judge, the jury and the executioner. But what does the ruling party members of the National assembly do? Give the dictator more powers as if he needed more. The only time these group of people have there priorities straight always involve lining their own pockets.”

Police, arm robbery and mistaken identityThe Trials & Tribulations of a Freshly-Arrived Denizen…
“This calls to question the vigilante-like tactics of police officers who shoot-to-kill without verifying, plus the hard-nosed attitude of the police these days towards armed robbers. The latter is a very good point, given the spate of armed robbery, but mistakes like these are bound to occur if proper regulation by higher-up authorities is not maintained. My view is that given this attitude by the police, armed robbery has been clamped down considerably, but, as always, the double-edged sword is that innocents get killed….At the time that this was going to “press”, there was news that the occupants of a taxi in Dansoman, a suburb in Accra, had all been killed by policemen who believed them to be armed robbers. It is sounding like a case of mistaken identity, as some of the occupants..were themselves victims of an armed robbery!”

Water PrivatizationAkwaabaghana
“A Ghanaian lawyer and human rights campaigner has won recognition for his work to stop water being privatised. Rudolf Amenga-Etego, who is campaigning against a privatisation scheme being backed by the World Bank, has won a 2004 Goldman environmental prize. Rudolf Amenga-Etego founded Ghana's National Coalition Against the Privatisation of Water, an attempt to halt a $400m project which would have meant water being sold at full market rates…”

The Future of the French CFAFrance Watcher
“One of the burning issues facing countries of the Franc Zone in Africa today is what to do about this currency arrangement following the introduction of the Euro in 1999. So far the appearance is being given that the problem was solved by simply pegging the CFA to the Euro and renewing the Operations Account Agreement with the French Treasury and going back to business as usual. This is all a way of sweeping a serious problem under the carpet in the living room. But with every passing day a hump is growing in the living room under the carpet and nobody seems to understand what is really going on.”

Guinea from the eyes of a South AfricanJust thinking
“When we arrived here two days ago, I was shocked at what I saw here…With all the natural resources (like gold and diamonds) one would think that this country must be rich. However, I have never seen such poverty anywhere. Not even in South Africa. In SA there might be lot of tin shacks, but the average level of subsistence here seems to be extremely low…Here they even do there garbage dumping by the truck load into the sea. As we were driving next to the coastline, we saw them dumping into the sea and the garbage patches on the sea looked reminiscent of oil slicks. Just this time the patches were paper, plastic, cans and other items.”

From Liberal to Social DemocracyNgwane
“Benin is undeniably one of Africa’s most successful stories in liberal or electoral democracy. From 1990 when she became the first African country to institute a sovereign National Conference, Benin has continued to employ all innovative and endogenous democratic strategies that distinguish her from the continent’s identity of political insolvability. The solid foundation laid by the conference in February 1990 provided the Beninese people with a nationalistic vision that focused on the power of alternatives through the ballot box rather than the principle of self-perpetration through constitutional tinkering.”

Charles Taylor – Boogeyman Behind Bars Part 1Jewel In the Jungle

This blog provides further insight into the Charles Taylor’s affair, the author believes that Taylor shouldn’t be tried alone. It provides many links to external sources that yield even deeper insight into story.

“The extensive financial, military and political networks Taylor established range from the Balkans to Central America, Bulgaria to Iran. His inner circle of financial advisers and weapons purchasers include, among others, American, Belgian, Dutch, Israeli, Lebanese, Libyan, Russian, Senegalese, and South African citizens…Documents show that a small group of people continue to insure Taylor receives up to $1 million a month in revenue from his Liberian investments alone. It is also clear that Taylor has sought to and likely succeeded in establishing several front companies to handle his finances during his exile. Numerous individuals with longstanding links to Taylor, now based in Liberia, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Ghana, continue to play important roles in Taylor’s financial structure”

Oil for the Lamps of China IjebuMan
“The Chinese interest in Africa is welcome but we need to ‘shine our eyes well well’ (like my peeps will say) This time around the relationship has to be of mutual benefit. (No giving away of the family heirlooms for a mirror or was it for religion??)
There's a saying ‘beware of greeks bearing gifts’, As long as we Africans are aware that there's no free lunch and we ensure that we actually gain something from the relationship rather than letting China use us as a source of cheap raw materials.”

As Nigeria Becomes Debt FreeChippla’s Weblog
“To a capitalist purist, the deal between the Paris Club of Creditors and the Nigerian government—in which the latter supposedly got some relief on its debts—may be anathema. But to a realist, it was simply the right thing to do. Locked in a vicious cycle of debt servicing, Nigeria was bound to remain a perpetually unproductive and poor nation, except it found a way of freeing itself from this debt bondage…While the debt deal should be met with rejoicing in Nigeria, the heated and uncertain political terrain may negate its immediate benefit. To most Nigerians, government figures on the size of the economy and foreign cash reserves mean nothing. ‘Why should a country with poor infrastructure be saving some $30 billion abroad?’ some may ask. ‘Wouldn't it be better to make use of the money in building schools, hospitals and roads?”

Rivers State: Cries froma forest of flowersNIGERIA: long & difficult history; corruption, greed & murder of the innocents!
“Rivers is one of nine states (Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers) traversed into the Niger Delta region, which is the world's third largest wetland, coming after Holland and Mississipi. It consists of relatively small upland with the rest being riverine fresh and brackfish water mangrove swamp hemmed in by sandy coastal ridge barriers. Nigeria is 6th biggest producer of oil in the world and since oil was first struck more than forty years ago, the area has grown to produce most of Nigeria's wealth and oil has become the main source of foreign exchange earnings for the whole country. Yet, the Niger Delta remains the least developed area of the country in physical, socio-economic terms, and her people are some of the poorest in the world.”

1 comment

  • Mutombo M’Panya asked every African he met on a tour of all the countries through the World Bank what they could see in their future, did they have hope, and they answered, yes, they had hope, but in their own people!

    Thank you for posting such an informed, and perceptive ring of bloggers!

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