There have been over 9 Million Refugees and internally displaced people born out of conflict in Africa. Hundreds of thousands of people have been slaughtered from a number of armed conflicts and civil wars. Genocide is a craft that has been used and perfect by multitudes of African combatants that make the killings in European countries seem pale in comparison. Bloodshed and loss of life in Africa since the 1990’s has overshadowed any other theatre of conflict throughout the world, yet it is not something that you hear people talk about. Little is known about the truth behind Africa’s years of strife. Scant consideration is given to the multitudes of lives torn to shreds or impacted by decades of death and destruction.
On a report produced by Virgil Hawkins called Stealth Conflicts, How the World’s Worst Violence is Ignored, he presents the graphic evidence that since 1990 88% of the world wide death toll due to conflict can be found in Africa. Yet on the flip side of that coin, only 2% of the people surveyed in an International survey in 2009 could name any single theatre of conflict in Africa.
It beggars belief that in the 21st Century that a conflict which vast sums of International resources are expended on the Arab/Israeli conflict. A conflict that while has little direct evidence of hard numbers of deaths, has disputed figures around 20,000 casualties since 1948. Compare this to the Congo Conflict were it was estimated casualties at the height of the conflict amounted to 42,000 people a month or the Darfur struggle which has left over 400,000 officially dead, I have to ask where the justice is in this world.
The UNHCR has put official figures on Refugee Migration and Displacement as a result of conflict in Africa at 9 million people. Yet no consideration is given to the impact on the people, nations, lives or economies of the places that take these lost souls in. That is without even stopping to consider the impact on the lives of the refugee’s themselves. I did a quick calculation of eight G8 meetings around the world through Google, looking at the bill that was paid for world leaders to enjoy the luxury lifestyle while people starve as a result of battles of attrition. In excess of US$100 million was spent for G8 leaders to meet in eight locations around the world in the last two years, and what if anything was accomplished as a result.
The world is in worse economic strife than in living memory. International terrorism is still a thorn in the West’s side, and a deal on the environment is more comical than a Tom and Jerry cartoon. Considering the rhetoric to come out of these meetings, we Joe public are sung a merry song of lies, deceit and corruption by a world lost in its own lavish consumerism. As long as it’s ok when I get home, screw the rest of the world. As long as we win the next election, forget the reality of what we can’t fix, and hell if you work for the media, well, frankly let’s just work on making Rupert Murdoch even richer and more powerful at the expense of the truth and reality.
Hawkins undertook a yearlong study in 2000 to see what percentage of the International Media attention fell on stories out of Africa, and not surprisingly, less than 10% of the information available in the mass media in that year were to do with African issues. What is of even more irritation is to find that research carried out by Media Tenor over 2002/3 pointed to media coverage post 9/11 in main stream media channels fell to 0.2% of all international news reports dealing with African Issues.
Africa gets the pity of the world. It is brushed off as a chaotic rabble of warlords and destitute people with little hope of achieving peace or stability. The International corporations see it as a land to rape and pillage, stealing what they can while the masses battle and rage over scraps. Governments see it as a necessary evil, a war torn shred of humanity to call light to when spin is needed to cover up a local transgression.
As African people we do not have the respect of the International Community. We are not regarded as an equal sitting at the table. We have no power over our own destiny. We are bound, yoked and in service to a First World that has nothing but contempt for us. The sad thing that we don’t realise as African people is that it doesn’t matter to the world at large if we are white, black, blue of yellow. They have no care which tribe or ethnic clan we originate from.
I have watched US media channels broadcast World Cup football reports with a map of South America as a back drop to their news room. I have seen British politicians stand by idly as generations are wiped out in a multitude of African conflicts, and raise not a finger to help or challenge the murder and destruction, yet when conflict erupts in Oil Rich Libya fight like hyena’s to get to the aid of the rebels. I have met adults who have no clue that Africa has 52 Independent nations. To them Africa is all South Africa, and we are one, seen with the same eyes, lumped together as one people, branded as incapable and unworthy of equality.
I have seen greed and indifference reduce my amazingly beautiful Africa into a boiling pot of hatred and division. I have watched International Arms merchants become hugely wealthy off the blood of African men, women and children. I have seen nations of people fall to the deception of a better life in the words of war lords.
Africa, my people, we need to wake up. It is high time that African’s become people in our own right. We need to realise that the rule of “divide and conquer” is being used against us even today. The West has no desire to see Africa rise up out of the ashes and prosper. Our leaders have no intention of making a better life for their people. We are bitter and twisted people. We see colour as more important than survival. We define tribe as more critical than progress. We enjoy destitution more than prosperity.
We can sit here and blame every single thing that has worked against us through life as African people, or we can take the future by the horns and shake it from the grasp of our oppressors. Africa wake up. We are not a nation of slaves anymore. We are not a world of single minded selfish cultures. We are individually loyal, educated, resourceful people. We are beautiful. We are richly diverse, uniquely talented, broadly capable, and hugely capable. What we lack is unity. What we need is a common heart, a single desire, and a drive to win.
Democracy is won by blood and persistence. Freedom is taken not given. Respect is won not earned and wealth is owned not distributed. The world have Africa right where they want us. We sit under their thumb, bark when instructed, kill when ordered, hate without reason, distrust without cause and work against each other without consideration. It is too easy for someone like the CIA to manipulate a war on command. It is far too easy for someone like the China National Petroleum Corporation to drain vast resources out of our natural rich economy. It is far to acceptable for our leaders to become fat off the wealth of international aid and hand outs while their people suffer on in poverty and destitution.
The sad fact for Africa to live up to is that we are too ready to squabble among ourselves over insignificant issues. The opportunity of a life time is passing us by as we speak. The financial institutions of the world are on their knees. The global economy is distraught and solutions are scarce. World leaders are at each other’s throats, only too eager to be the one that provides a fix to the problem, waiting in the wings ready to spill blood in a political battle of life or death at the hands of their electorate.
Never before have we heard of mighty economies like Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Ireland fall into bailout territory. This was land that was once hallowed to African nations. Investor confidence is at an all time low. Markets are stagnant with the filth of decadence and over indulgence. This should be Africa’s time to shine. This should be our salvation as we step up to the plate with answers and solutions. We could have so much to offer, if only we would pull our head out of the sand and unite, pull together as African’s and work together to build the power house of tomorrow.
I’ve said it once already, Africa will one day be a world power. It’s just up to us how quickly we get there! Please leave your thoughts and opinions as comments. Your input is needed.