I am in danger of repeating myself here but, considering the number of Blogs I’ve churned out over the last few years, I think a couple of repeats are inevitable and I hope excusable. I’m back again on the topic of money and also the subject of world population – this time together, and what brought it about was an article by a Mister K. Myers in the ‘Irish Independent’ headlined – ‘Africa is giving nothing to anyone except AIDS.’ The article was sent to me by Ceri Wiercx.
It’s not quite true; other bad things come out of Africa such as bush meat and poached ivory, every pair of tusks meaning the death of another elephant. But Africa also produces gold, diamonds, copper, and various minerals necessary to modern industry, particularly I believe in China, the mining of which destroys both the natural beauty of an entire area and the wildlife that used to inhabit it. But there you go, industry is paramount. Africa also exports various fruits, some excellent wines from the Cape, rubber from West Africa and coffee from Kenya.
However, Mister Myers in his article gives some quite astonishing if not alarming statistics about Africa, hence his headlines. In particular he focuses on the Horn and famine aid and I wish I could reprint his article verbatim but that would be breach of copyright so I can only tell in my own way what he says. He admits quite frankly that his views will undoubtedly raise the hackles of the self-righteous but basically his argument (as is mine) is no more charitable aid to Africa, pictures of wide-eyed starving babies notwithstanding. As he says, the wide-eyed starving baby saved from starvation twenty five years ago is now ‘a priapic Kalashnikov bearing hearty, siring children whenever the whim takes him.’ In those twenty odd years the population of Ethiopia has grown from 33.5million to 78million! That is a lot more mouths to feed in a drought stricken country and by 2050 the population will be 117million. Is the rest of the world still expected to feed them? Why on earth, he says, should he do anything to encourage further catastrophic demographic growth in that country? Where is the logic? There is no doubt a good argument why we should prolong this predatory and dysfunctional economic, social, and sexual system, he says, but he doesn’t know what it is. Thanks to food aid (that has to be paid for so is the same thing as handing out loads of cash) the population of Ethiopia has more than doubled.
I must quote verbatim here because there is no way I could possibly better Mister Myers’ writing. ‘Alas that wretched county is not alone in its madness. Somewhere over the rainbow lies Somalia, another fine land of violent Kalashnikov-toting, khat chewing, girl-circumcising, permanently tumescent layabouts. Indeed, we now have almost an entire continent of sexually hyperactive illiterate indigents with tens of millions of people who only survive because of help from the outside world. This dependence has not stimulated prudence or common sense. How much morality is there in saving an Ethiopian child from starvation today for it to survive to a life of brutal circumcision, poverty, hunger, violence, and sexual abuse?...Of course it might make you feel better which is a prime reason for so much charity but that is not good enough. For self-serving generosity has been one of the curses of Africa.’