I'm not worried about saying it, almost the whole continent has been going down the toilet since the colonial powers left, there's nothing new there.
The indigenous peoples may have recieved little from the colonial powers but they recieve a damn lot less from the corrupt tin pot dictators that seem to have shaped much of Africa's politics since the 60s.
i'm not afraid to say it , it's the most corrupt continent on the planet , your average ruler there shouldnt be trusted with running a f*cking bath let alone a country , and the only way to get ahead is to be more sneaky and corrupt than the next bloke , so , what does the west do ? channel billions of pounds in aid , straight to said corrupt governments , and then its surprised when presidente (enter corrupt african ruler here) starts kicking off with his shiney new migs , "oh where did he get those , stop that!!" say the now horrified west , "or we'll cut your aid."
"my people will starve" says matey
"oh yeah sorry , heres another couple of million , fancy a seat on the UN while we're at it , then you can have a say i how WE do things seeing as you're doing such a good job at home!!"
ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh it makes me angry!!!!
Well, I keep it shut at work lest the thought police (day job involves contact with civil service types) decide they would rather do business with someone more "right-on"
I totally agree with you and it grips my shyte when the likes of Mugabe forces white farmers (who produce food crops) off their land and replaces them with idle blacks (who produce nothing) in order to divert attention from the fact that he's bleeding his country dry.
Just before the cry of " But the colonial powers left too quickly and are responsible" is heard while it is certainly true powers such as Belgium bolted without any thought for post colonial infastructure or a functioning civil service, the independance movements DEMANDED the European powers leave immediatley. This despite the obvious problems pulling the plug overnight would cause, its very much their own fault. Your contry now do what you want!!
The British, in many cases had planned a staggered withdrawl. The idea being that one day these emerging states would govern themselves in the mould of Canada or Australia, this was a mindset stretching back to the Victorian era
Singapore, annother former colony not exactly a sh1thole is it? makes you think
I dont know what the average moron on the street thinks about Rhodesia but here are the facts; black people were not 'slaves' and actually had jobs and hopes under Ian Smith. The Rhodesian African Rifles (RAR) were brilliant soldiers (all black) and fought for Rhodesia with pride!
It was mainly due to the Americans that Rhodesia went the way it did. Now they have a corrupt marxist running the country.........brilliant!!!
America only moves off its arse when its in their OWN interests...........
Rhodesia was the jewel of Africa, now its the shit hole......(marxist state of zimbabwe.....)
Is there any way we can have a little trade-loop going where we can help them? Obviously introducing money now will just fund the leaders but if the leaders were changed then would we be able to help them?
Stronger commonwealth? Run like Europe should be? Simply a trade-group which looks after its own.
Just a shot in the dark, tell me if I'm on to anything useful. If not then I'll slink off and see what other people have to say before putting anything into words again.
There is nothing sadder that the sense of grim satisfaction when an inevitable penny like 'Africa was better off under colonialism' finally, after 40 plus years, drops. Unfortunately, it really is far too late. Ordinary native Africans have been saying this for years, but their voices have usually been drowned out by the gunfire of their rulers' squads of thugs, echoed by the collective shrill squawking of the left in the West. Worse still, decades of post-imperial guilt has been laid on the conscience of the West which means that any rational debate on Africa's problems is almost impossible. It should come as no surprise that the UN still has an office devoted to decolonisation, which concerns itself with the Falklands among other places..... Colonialism has not caused Africa's problems - decolonisation is to blame.
Perhaps the most stupid thing we as a nation ever did was economically dump the Commonwealth countries which were mainly primary producers in favour of Europe which produces much the same as we do. We end up slapping tarrifs on things we need to import, from people who need the money while engaging in free trade with our competitors.
The colonial powers should take some responsibility for the way they divided the continent up. Most of the countries in southern Africa were created by drawing lines on a map and saying "We'll have all the people this side, you can have the rest." Unfortunately this bore no relationship to the pre-existing political situation and tribes which have hated each other forever ended up together. Therefore whichever mob got power first used it to attempt to annihilate their old enemies.
Just as Northern Ireland is doing now - and they all look pretty white to me....
As you all know by now I am a white African - but I have to agree with the thrust of the argument put forward here, however painful I find it to admit that. Bladensburg, I think that is probably one of the truest and most accurate criticisms of the colonial regimes...........and it played precisely into the hands of any dominant and unstable local politician that has continued to this day.
However, re Zimbabwe, even South Africa, a white elite remaining, however benevolent most of them are as individuals, was just never going to be viable.
There should have been an active and determined process to create a large black middle class in those countries - they are the strongest provider of stability, both politically and economically (in any country!).
This is a topic which on another (history) board, there was a great deal of debate a year or so ago, and the problem which 5-mile-sniper reports was well to the fore, as people were actually afraid to discuss it for fear of repercussions.
I was born and brought up in East Africa during the 50's and 60's, and after a bit of wandering, returned in the 90's. The decline in every single aspect of life for the people of the country (those who were using coin) was immense. Roads hadn't been repaired since Independence, schools and hospitals had long closed, businesses stifled by the crypto-marxist philosophy fashionable at the time, endemic corruption (every policeman expected a gift, including the Inspector General). The people seemed to be proud to call the country the "poorest in the world", and therefore were not merely deserving of the enormous amounts of aid being thrown into it, but absolutely demanded it and more by right. As a white man, one was automatically the subject of demands for money.
At the same time, the Army ran Land Rover Discoveries and Hummers (!) and the President's road convoy consisted of about 20 Mercedes 'S' class limousines. The largest building in the country is an aircraft maintenance hangar which has remained unused since it was built in 1990. The number of foreign aid 'projects' which, after put in place and the Japanese or Danish engineers had departed simply declined and collapsed (usually because parts were stolen, and maintenance ceased, then everything was stolen) was legion.
Things did get better when a new President came on the scene in the mid 90's and removed the most corrupt leeches in high positions, but thirty years were lost.
Singapore makes a good comparison; a tiny place with no natural resources to speak of, versus a country the size of France with natural resources of every kind leaking from its' pores. Both became independent at about the same time, and one of the the two subsequently received 'Aid'. GDP in Singapore is at about $109billion, Tanzania $21billion (including substantial World Bank and IMF aid). Of the population below the poverty line, in Tanzania the figure is 36%. For Singapore the CIA World Factbook simply says "Not Applicable".
About once a week, say 3 times a month i have a drink with a German mid 70's decent bloke Berliner 16, in 45.
He was an agricultural specialist and worked exstensively in Mid east and Africa.
I remember uganda in late 50's he says. Marvelous place, clean, good roads, good police and civil service. it could almost have been an old German colony, he says with a grin.
Then he says he went back post Idi Amin, just shugs his shoulders and snarls something in German.
He also says, 'You know we where very popular in Egypt, loved us there, they always said they had hoped Rommel had got there in 42.'
...and if you think East Africa's bad, take a look at southern Sudan. Where there used to be a British Provincial or District Commissioner essentially governing an area the size of Scotland and making certain of fair and lawful existence, now there's a thousand secret police from every department imaginable, extreme poverty, squalor, and disease - while vast amounts of oil are pumped out of the ground to go to China, and the profits to Khartoum and probably other destinations, too.
While wandering around in the backwoods miles from anywhere in those parts a couple of years ago, I met an old boy wearing an army greatcoat and six or seven campaign medals, looking after a few goats. He'd been in the KAR in Burma, possibly in my father's battalion. Apart from the goats, it looked like the medals were all he really had, and he was immensely proud of them. In all of those countries after the war, the PCs, DCs etc had mostly served in the Forces, and their management style was one that anyone who has been in the British Forces would recognise. The change to a style of governance which is based in a belief that the fatter and more rapacious one is the more one should be respected has something to do with Africa's current problems.