Europe 2013 – The Fifth Reich?

The idea of the Third Reich was something that we became expressly familiar with through the second quarter of the last century. The German Empire was established by a power hungry megalomaniac hell bent of World Domination and German Totalitarianism. A single nation, under the leadership of one party, for the good of one race of people, come hell or high water. The effect of this madness? A war that wiped out millions of people, flattened whole cities throughout Europe and damaged the economies and geopolitical landscape of the Euro Zone for decades to come.

Fast forward sixty years, and the current German Chancellor seems to have pulled off what the Nazi Dictator Adolf Hitler yearned to do without the shot of a single bullet, without the concentration camps, massive armies and widespread destruction of infrastructure, assets and the establishment. How? Simple, forget about using the dominance of force, and allow the folly of man’s greed play the power into your hands.

Europe 2013 is meant to be a United Zone of nations, brought together in a common interest, to give equality, diversity and collective prosperity to every member country right? Governed by a parliament, protected by a system of complex legal legislative directives, and operated for the preferential treatment of members through a variety of agreements and allowances that enable growth and development through trade, financial stability and equality.

In its simplest terms, the Euro Zone is an agreement which sort to unify Europe. In a world unbalanced by national policies designed to protect and ensure the stability of the national economy of a country, areas of global inequality in terms of workers rights and how the protection of these rights has lead to areas like the Euro Zone finding themselves incapable of competing against developing markets where labour is cheap and operating costs are low, the idea of a unified, equal and protected Europe was appealing to all.

Industrialised nations were only too happy to climb into bed with their lesser developed neighbours as they saw opportunities to secure markets for their skills, manufacturing industries and productivity. As prosperity grew, the union, flush with the proceeds of member nations keen on building equality to stimulate trade, grow internal markets and develop the region, was only too happy to distribute huge financial incentives in the forms of this grant or that loan to facilitate infrastructure projects which in turn lead to the stimulation of job creation, and promoted an internal demand for manufactured goods, skills and supply lines throughout the Euro Zone.

All well and good while the system is working. Everyone seems to be equals, there is a collective system of bringing concerns to the table, discussing them, and working together to resolve any issues. Legislation is worked out, debated and determined to the benefit of all the member states, bringing into effect a national style of identity across the board in all EU Member Nations. Employees suddenly have equal rights from Romania through to France. Members from any member nations enjoy freedom of travel/movement. Protections are in place to protect savings, business, trade, infrastructure, natural resources, the environment and the collective economies of every member of the union.

Courtesy - Derek Bacon - Getty Images

Courtesy – Derek Bacon – Getty Images

That is, until something goes wrong. Cue the global financial meltdown of the last five years. In these unprecedented financial times, it is clear to see the cracks in the system. Equality? What equality. For the first time in half a century, German dominance has once more taken centre stage as Angela Merkel shows time and time again over the last few years the reality of what equality means for Greek and now Cyprian citizens.

What truly beggars belief is the complete madness of fiscal policies that the Euro Zone seem willing to implement in nations on the edge of the system, places where it would seem to be of little consequence whether the idea is of sound and logical design, but drawn out more from a need to appease voters at home, than the equality or future reality for real, honest citizens of this United Europe. In a market desperate for stability, direction and a clear sense of responsibility, all we see are leaders rushing to dodge the bullet, pass the buck, and make sure at whatever cost that they are protecting their own national interests. Bugger the United Europe in this instance.

The worrying trend for me is the way in which at every turn along this torturous road it has been the German politicians that have really been calling the shots. Since the demise of the world money markets, we have seen any number of wealthy European Economies fall into fiscal woe. Ireland, Italy, Spain, Portugal to mention but a few. Yet in these cases billion dollar bail outs were handed out freely, without bringing a nation to its knees. Now however, when it comes to less important member states, economies perhaps not viewed as critical to the Euro stability, that we see the reality of what equality means to the German powerhouse. The sad thing is that when it comes down to it, no one within the Euro Zone has the financial muscle to stand up to Angela Merkel, and for this reason, she is able to bull headedly put the very future of Europe at risk to maintain credibility back home.

There is an argument that says Cyprus has become a safe haven for Russian Billionaires who use it as an off shore centre of storing large deposits of dirty money, and for this reason, why should German tax payers foot the bill to bail out the Cyprian government in their hour of need. I would love to see this argument used in Switzerland should heaven forbid, it ever need a financial bailout. Regardless of who has banked their money in a nations financial banking system, how does this translate to fairness when a fiscal demand attached to a bailout offer sees consideration given to taxation of ordinary savers who have placed their hard earned money into accounts throughout a nations banking system.

Stop for a single moment and consider what savings are. I have listened to numerous financial experts who freely wag their chins on Radio and National Television suggesting that savers should be exposed to the same type of risk as anyone investing their money in any type of investment based on the expectation of a payment of interest on their savings. For the vast majority of people, savings are exactly what they would suggest. Deposits made into what is perceived to be a safe and secure domain to prepare for a capital purchase at some time in the future. Why do we use bank? If it were safer to keep my money stored under my bed do you not think I would do this? The only reason we place our hard earned capital into a bank account is based on the idea that for the 95% of the population that are not wealthy, the bank is the only safe institution where we can store our money while we go through the motion of saving up for that deposit on a house, a new car, a family, education, business idea.

If we perceived a savings account as a financial risk, would we use it as a way of keeping our money safe? If we were told openly and honestly that in real terms, this is NOT a savings account, but a vehicle of investment, a loan in effect to the bank, and there was no guarantee that we would get out of it as much as we put in at the start, would honest, hard working, average people be at all interested in depositing any sum of money into a savings account?

Quite honestly, if this was the truth they were forced to print in the literature of a savings accounts terms and conditions, I could see the sales of home safes going through the roof in the next five years. If you are looking for a fairly good stock market investment right now, Chubb would be a pretty good bet!

All jokes aside, it is astounding to me, or any lay person, that anyone with access to the top financial economists money can buy, would even consider the proposal we currently see on the table in Cyprus. A tax on savings is ludicrous. Do you WANT to start a run on the banks? Are you seriously looking to destabilise the rest of Europe? I mean come on, can you honestly tell me that no one considered that a possible result of such a proposal would be that savers in every European Country in financial difficulties right now, would not look at the proposal in Cyprus, put two and two together, and realise that, just maybe, their own savings could now be at risk?

I am no economist. I do not work for any government, nor do I confer or speak daily to financial experts, and even I can figure out that this is a potential risk. Why? Simple. I am a saver, with funds in a large British Banking institution who is wondering if my savings could ever be pounced on if the UK gets into choppy waters. We’ve already been downgraded by one financial institution, indicating that they are expecting us to have difficulties in repaying our debt. What can I draw from this? At some point in the future, it is likely if not certain that the UK will default on its payments. When this might happen, who knows. It is even possible it will never happen, however, for someone out there, it is a very real possibility, and for that reason, it is a very real concern to me.

So what do I do? Rush down to the bank and draw out my savings? How many other people throughout Europe are asking themselves the exact same question right now? How do we now AVOID a run on the banks?

For many people, this is quite simply a fore runner of a tax on wealth. This means that for 5% of the worlds population, they are really itchy about having to pay more on their vast sums of money, so they would prefer to see 95% of the worlds population suffer to foot the bill so they can continue to live in the lap of luxury.

Fair? Where is the equality in that? No, I am sorry this is not balanced Europe. This is not a place where it does not matter what you bring to the table. When it comes down to the crunch, it is the people with the power, in this instance our good friends the Germans’ that are calling the shots. If it is not in their interest to offer a bail out plan, then to hell with it, they will bring the EU to its knees before they see any more of their taxes paid out to help their neighbours in the Euro Zone. So that concept of equality, openness  fairness? Yes well, it works when it is in our interest to see it work, but when risk is put before us, and you expect us to come to the rescue, expect your lives to become a living hell while we do it.

As a simple worker, a person much like the majority of the sixty plus million people living in the UK, all I can see from where I stand is a super powerful Germany becoming a dictatorial leader within this Europe on our borders. When ludicrous fiscal policies are being put forward, debated, considered and insisted on by the weight of a financially powerful nation within a Union, I would suggest that the union is not quite a union. I cannot help but wonder if there are people behind the strings, hell bent on collapsing Europe. Plunging the world into an economic melt down like no other. Let us be quite clear. When the normal man is losing everything he owns, there are powerful institution’s, and hugely wealthy people making money as a result of the collapse. Is this what is really going on in the Euro Zone?

I cannot believe that the German’s do not know what they are doing. I am not able to believe that no one in a position of power has not been able to consider the very things that I have written about above, without considering the risks associated with these actions, and for this reason alone, I cannot help but wonder what the real reason behind it is. For a long time, people have talked about a single currency, a worldwide monetary system, the phasing out of dollars and cents, and the introduction of a financial monetary system for the digital age. Is this how they are going to do it? Force the collapse of one major economy? It is only logical that the collapse of one single national economy will start a chain reaction around the globe.

We are teetering on the edge of oblivion. In our life time, money, the way we buy and sell, our value system and how we trade will change. For this to happen certain things have to take place. Look for example at how the British people have resisted the Euro. The offer 20 years ago of a single currency, an inter dependence, a great new world was a bridge too far for simple people. The idea was shunned, and so back to the drawing board they went. So if you can’t get people to buy into an idea openly, how do you introduce the idea? You create a set of circumstances that demand that people have to adopt your idea to survive. Bring the world to the brink of a financial melt down, threaten peoples savings, lose people money in bank collapses, bankrupt a country or two along the way and what happens? You will cause a panic like never before. Introduce a solution, in a single currency, a digital trading system that does away with paper money and plastic credit cards, and means that you store your financial certainty in your body in the form of a chip or some such device, safe, secure and never again at threat from being lost in some scary international collapse, and every single person will buy into your idea without batting an eye lid.

How certain are you now that Germany are not behind some weird kind of world domination conspiracy? Didn’t the Third Reich want to own the world?

I am not one for a conspiracy theory if I am honest. There are too many ifs, buts, ands, etc. Questions without answers, and assumptions without evidence. I don’t like assumption. However what I am saying is that there is something more than meets the eye going on here, and if it looks like a dog, sounds like a dog and feels like a dog, then sorry it is a dog!

I don’t know exactly what is going on, but one thing I am certain about. We will see a very different world soon. It is going to happen in our life time, and not for the first time in my life, I am certain that these are the end of days as we know them. Something very different is coming and it is coming soon.

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Now or Never for UK – Opportunity 2012

I saw an advert on the television last night. It must have been the very first paid for television commercial of 2012 on ITV1 here in the UK, and it was paid for by the Sun. The advert said simply come on Britain, let’s make Britain great.

2012 is a year of golden opportunity. It is a time when if we are proactive, cleaver and decisive, we can forge out a new place for this Nation in our future. It is a year that opens a multitude of doors to us that can give us strength, stability and independence from the rope of austerity throttling at our necks.

I am one of many people that are not British that call the UK my home. I may not be born or bread, but as a person that has lived, worked, loved and lost in this land for over a decade of my life, I do feel passionate about the future and success of my home country. I desperately want the UK to succeed, almost as much if maybe not a little more than British people themselves.

2011 was a hard year, and while I do not imagine that someone is going to wave a magic wand and make everything perfect in 2012, I do feel that 2012 is for Britain the dawn of a new era of British potential. We have taken a battering through 2011, now it is time to pull together, rediscover that British pride and re-establish ourselves as one of the leading nations of our global economy.

For much of last year I watched and listened as the people of Britain, the press and even our government talked doom and gloom. We became our own worst enemies in 2011, and in many ways I feel that Britain has lost that indomitable attitude of survival against every odd that makes this nation stand out from the crowd. We fell out of touch with that ability to dig deep and find a solution, work out a plan and fight for our lives, homes, communities and nationality.

100 years ago Britain would never have stood for the French talking down at us. We fought two world wars against German oppression, and won! We built trade routes and developed relationships. We made mistakes, learned and adapted, built from ashes and rose up better, stronger and proud of being British? So where is that spirit today?

In 2012, the world comes to Britain. We are the focus of world attention. This is for us an opportunity to open our doors to new opportunities. It is a chance to build bridges, forge new alliances and bring renewal and opportunity to British shores. Do we really need Europe as much as we are lead to believe?

There was a time when much of Europe were either at war or opposed to the British Nation, yet as a nation the British people forged on, and at one time were the world power to recon with. While I do not condone Imperialism, quite the opposite, however I do believe strongly that far too much credit is given to our reliance on the European Economy. At a time in our past when we hardly ever traded with our European enemies we were still able to rise up as a World Leading Power.

2012 is a time to look further afield from a Europe that wants to bully and isolate us. What the European Leaders fail to consider is that there is a whole world out there. It would be stupid to ignore the fact that emerging economies are no longer here in the heart of Europe. Africa is rapidly becoming a new powerhouse for production, potential and opportunity. South America is a developing continent that presents unthinkable opportunities to those willing to go and get them.

To the German and French, I would say that sabre rattling is pointless when the very Europe that you have worked so hard to build is literally on the brink of collapse. Yes agreeably the economies of European countries have become intrinsically entwined over the last fifty years, and we have been at fault in committing ourselves to the European cause too whole heartedly.

However, I would consider that the reality of the situation is that Europe in actual fact needs the UK a little more than it is willing to admit. The German and French governments may well think that they are immune to the UK withdrawing from the EU as a preferential trade partner, but consider for one moment that the major buyers of German and French technology today are us the UK? So we loose BMW, Audi, Mercedes and VW, but there is Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Chrysler, Dodge and oh so many other potential suitors to fill the gap. Can German manufacturing really stand to loose the UK market? Can French Brands really afford to loose revenue from the 66 Million people that live in the UK? I some how doubt that either could afford to loose us any more than they can afford to loose each other.

The British people have put considerable finances towards propping up ailing EU Nations. What would happen if we were to turn around and demand repayment of these loans now? I’m sure that it is not quite as simple as this, and that we would probably only hurt ourselves in the short term by taking any such action, but I do wonder what the effect to the European dream would be if we did. Anyone can play hard ball. The Germans and French would do well to remember this.

Much of the UK Domestic labour force is made up of migrant workers, many of whom enjoy the freedom of movement under the EU Treaty on Freedom of Movement for EU Citizens. If it were true that the EU didn’t need the UK economy to prop it up, I would humbly point out that for a good few of the EU Economic regions, much of their infrastructure is made up of currency earned by their Diaspora community’s resident in the UK, working and living here, sending money back home. Due and careful consideration should be given to this fact by the Governments of Romania, Poland and Hungry. I’m sure they would hastily reconsider isolating Britain if hundreds of thousands of migrant workers were suddenly packed off back to their nations to find work and earn a living back home.

I appreciate that parting from Europe would be painful. I realise that there is much to replace and lots to do before we could effectively replace the dependence on Europe that we have been lulled into, but it is for our very survival as a nation that we must take these steps. The UK cannot be pushed into a corner and be told to stand to attention at the cost of our Sovereignty, identity and independence. We should never allow our neighbours and partners dictated to us how, when and what we shall do.

To those of you that shout and scream that we need Europe and without it we are but lost, I say this to you. There are several hundred nations in the world. Many of them survive without being a part of any great union. They thrive and develop without preferential trade agreements. They learn to adapt, overcome difficulty and become proud, independent nations, fully in control of their future, fully dictating their own destiny.

Instead of pouring billions of pounds into the infrastructure of greedy European economies, Britain would do well to refocus its attention abroad. So we need food. Zimbabwe needs agricultural infrastructure. Yes, there is history between Zimbabwe and the UK. Yes there would be very challenging political hurdles to cross, but the history is exactly that. Leave the hurt of yesterday in the past, and work with a nation that is hungry to develop.

Support the people to become better capable of producing the crops that would feed their own nation while providing enough of a surplus to plug a hole in the UK food supply chain. I’d rather see a deal worked out to support an emerging nation like Zimbabwe, than get back into bed with Germany that is unwilling itself to commit any of its own resources to a European Central Bank, yet is perfectly willing to expect us to contribute towards European Bail Out funds.

I would be far happier to see concerted efforts to get trade agreements established with nations like India, China, Brazil and so many other sources of economic potential. I believe we’d gain far more from putting attention on our own domestic identity, and worrying less about the tide of a failing EU. When things are going wrong, you have to eventually stand back and realise that no matter how much money you throw at it, it’s not going to fix the problem.

Europe was always destined to failure. It is a union made up of unequal partners, great egos and different national interests. A Europe built on trade agreements is a possibility yes, but a Union of European States is impossibility in itself. To have laws passed down to us dictating who can fish where and when from a power that has no local understand, no practical knowledge of the British Industry, from a body that has failed to undertake any form of dialogue with the people it affects in making its decisions, is completely ludicrous.

To be told how many hours we may work by a European parliament made up of nationalities who have built their nations on siesta’s with different agenda’s, when our nation has been built on hard work and dedication through generations of British families is madness.

To pay taxes to a Europe that can’t even agree on its own Central Bank, and who’s members cannot agree on who contributes what, is throwing hard earned money down the sewer. These are just a few examples of the hilarity and fundamentally flawed agenda of a Union of European States. There are endless multitudes of stupid errors, unrealistic laws and inflexibility by an institution that is so robustly arrogant it is little wonder that it never gets anything done.

This is not the Britain we learn about in history class. This is not the Britain that got us here today. This is not the Britain that is going to bring us prosperity and success in the future. It is high time that Britain got tough. We must for our own sakes take hold of our country from its very core and shake it thoroughly. It is now that we must call ourselves into full attention, rise up to the challenge, draw in our belts and buckle down to the hard work that lies ahead. Miss this opportunity Britain, and we are dead in the water.

2012 is the year we really need to think about the work of rebuilding a Bigger, Better, Britain.

The South Africa Project – Opportunity for the Youth of Africa

I recently stumbled across a program of educational development run by the George Washington University in the USA in support of youth from the rural township of Winterverldt in South Africa.

The South Africa project was launched in 2004 and each year youth from the Bokamoso Youth Centre travel to the US, stay with students from the University, attend classes and perform dance, drama and poetry as part of a development program sponsored through the Bokamoso Youth Centre Scholarship Fund.

In 2011 eleven students were hosted by the university, and while this may seem to be a small number of students when you consider that there are millions of African children desperately seeking opportunities like this, we can draw encouragement from this project as it proves that through partnership, it is possible to open the doors to African youth within International Educational facilities.

Progress through partnership is a very positive step forward, and if you consider that in the UK there are 300 facilities of Higher Education, in excess of 5.700 facilities in the USA, well over 400 facilities in Canada, 2,200 listed through China, and that is without considering Australia, Japan, Russia and other European countries.

With well over 10,000 International Educational Facilities to draw from, the leadership shown by The South Africa Project at the George Washington University could easily be rolled out internationally to suddenly provide support to over 100,000 African students. If these places were offered to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, meaning that African Universities continued to provide places to those within the African Educational system who earn the right to a place at university then we find ourselves in a position of incredible opportunity for the youth of Africa.

To set up this type of network of educational partnership across an international spectrum would certainly be a challenge, but not impossible. If a basic model of success, such as the one implemented at the George Washington was duplicated across the board, and partnerships established with communities throughout Africa, it would be left to each individual organisation to operate their Scholarship Fund, and work directly with the community that it partners in choosing its students for the next calendar year.

Great things don’t come through waiting for opportunity to knock on our door. If you look at any successful organisation or individual in this world, their success came through hunger and determination to succeed. As African people we should take heart that there is hope for the disadvantaged within our society if we get up and make it happen.

I don’t believe there is anything wrong with taking the great work piloted by The George Washington university and duplicating it. I believe that we should undertake as a community to use 2012 to network through the African educational systems, identify partitions of our society deserving of such an opportunity and work to develop an African program of development for the youth of Africa. Let’s work to take The South Africa Project of The George Washington University and make it into a worldwide Africa Project.

Africa leads the way in Funeral Bling!

In many countries in Africa, death has become a very lucrative business. Surprising as it may seem, it is rapidly becoming a status symbol among some African communities, as bling is the name of the day, and lavish expense marks the importance of the day.

In South Africa, the whole affair of death can set families spiralling into debt as they struggle to finance a lavish send off to their loved one. Is it wrong to want to send the dead of well you ask? I think that there is a difference between a good send off, and going over the top.

A survey in 2004 conducted throughout South Africa found that people spent more time at funerals than at weddings or even in the hair salon. Conspicuous consumption is very defiantly the order of service at an African funeral these days.

The BBC interviewed Molefi Kupane, who runs one of the biggest funeral parlours in Johannesburg recently and he told of the flamboyant funerals that people organise through his company. Indicating that he does as many as 40 funerals every Saturday, he told the BBC that he regularly see’s people spending far beyond their means on expensive caskets, colourful services, extravagant parties and days of catering for mourners as they come to pay their respects.

It would seem that when it comes to a funeral in Joburg, it’s all systems go. The modern trend is to arrive in the most expensive cars, wear designer clothing, the coolest jewellery, the brightest colours. Gone are the days of quiet, sombre affairs where everyone is dressed in black, and all the mourners maintain a silent respect. In the 21st Century, it’s all about the image. As long as you are turned out in the height of fashion, and the funeral meets with the high standard of expectations, then vogue has been fulfilled at the grave side.

As the posing finishes at the cemetery, expect a massive meal served with desert and a plentiful supply of drink, and then get ready for the ‘After Tears’ party to swing into action as the pouting and swagger moves onto the dance floor, and the hangover is topped up with yet more copious amounts of alcohol.

But South Africa is not the only African nation cashing in on this quickly developing new trend. Business Daily Africa reports that in Kenya the same trend is making entrepreneurs a small fortune. Speaking with Eunice Kitata of Euphrace Events and Catering in Nyanza, the Business Daily reports that Ms Kitata saw an opportunity in the market as she was tasked to help organise a funeral for a member of their church. A lack of professional event managers and decent catering firms left an opportunity for her to move into what has become a very lucrative business for her and her young family.

Now employing 15 people, and earning in excess of half a million Shillings a month, Ms Kitata has built a successful venture bringing calm order and efficient management of an emotionally charged and often confusing time for the families of the deceased, and has also successfully forged a niche with the Kenyan diaspora on the repatriation of Kenyans who die abroad. But even Ms Kitata admits that funerals have become a complex and expensive thing for African people. From the time the bull must be slaughtered to who should be served in which order, the challenges of making the funeral day perfect are as important today as the role played by a traditional wedding planner.

Opportunity lies at the door of whomever is brave enough to open it and take a chance. Africa proves that even in death there is an opportunity to make it big, even if it is just you making sure that you attend in the finest suite or the most expensive frock. Yogi Berra, a former American baseball player once said: “Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.” Wise words to the venture capitalists in Africa’s newest growth industry.

Brand Africa – Are we creating credibility?

I was somewhat perplexed and mildly irritated when I came across a news story on the BBC website this morning. The news item details a case taking place in Zimbabwe where three women are accused of raping a number of men for the purposes of harvesting their semen to use in rituals to make them successful in business.

In my mind this couldn’t be more ludicrous than trying to turn water into wine without some supernatural miracle to make it happen. I mean while every man would love to think that the product of their loins hold more power and mysterious properties beyond its baby making potential, it is a little farfetched to imagine that sperm can create riches.

However this is part of the difficulty that Africa faces as it struggles to gain credibility on the International Stage, and I cannot help but wonder if the African Traditional Values do not impinge on the ability of the world to take Africa seriously.

Western culture and Scientific forum wouldn’t for one moment entertain the rumour that people can seriously believe that women would go around raping men for purpose of using their semen in some ritual. Yet it has become a news worthy story for the main stream media in Zimbabwe to report on three women accused of these farfetched crimes against men. It is then not difficult for an organisation like the BBC to pick up on the story, and broadcast the contents of the story to the world at large.

What impact does this kind of reporting have on the image of Africa as a whole. We all acknowledge that there is witchcraft and an occult in practice. Pagan religions and traditional rituals are a part of every society, but are they news worthy? I just cannot help but wonder in the greater scheme of things how much of a dis-service this type of reporting has on our image Internationally.

Imagine sitting in a board meeting with powerful individuals looking to invest in Africa. Imagine they have read or heard of such a story. It is not farfetched to imagine that maybe they would even discuss the matter with their African counterparts, ask their opinion, gauge their reaction. You have to ask yourself, that seen through the eyes of Modern Society, how can we as African people expect to be taken as equals, respected as participants and given the credibility as a people of maturity and substance, when we dwell in a world of cultural mysticism.

I don’t mean to suggest that Africa needs to lose its cultural identity. I accept that in any society there will be elements of society that do not conform with the norm. Modern culture has a tendency to look down on difference with contempt. The men with power have a very black and white impression of the world, and medieval hocus pocus does not have a place in mainstream modern culture.

So do we put ourselves down as we give the floor to traditional rituals and strange pagan practice? Does Brand Africa punch with its weight in the face of suspicion and contempt from other players in the global market place. Personally I believe that there is a time and a place for traditionalism. I accept that witchcraft is a given part of African society, and we will never fully appreciate or understand it as it is a part of our culture that those that practice magic do not want to have exposed to scrutiny or understanding. Furthermore I accept that magic will always be intrinsically part of African society. However I do not believe that this part of our culture enhances our image as a modern, 21st Century society, and for this reason it is something that we should seek less to broadcast.

No one likes to be the laughing stock. We don’t enjoy being the fool at the table. We all have quirks, nuances and differences, but as individuals we learn to mask these, hide them and celebrate them with those that we trust and feel close to. Is this not a lesson we should transpose from our individual experience to our National existence? We must learn that the impression we give the world on a global scale will impact on our ability to be taken seriously and given the respect we deserve Internationally.

European Collapse an African Opportunity!

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.

Africa should take a leaf out of the History Book

It is not hard to see that every society through time have struggled through cultural, social and economic development. It is not hard to see how the weight of power has swung from one side of the globe to another as this cultural integrity shifts. Call it if you will the industrial revolution.

The lesson for Africa here is to stop and examine history and try to learn from it. It is more proactive to be aware of the mistakes of others in the past, and work to avoid the pit falls of the error of their ways and achieve the end result more efficiently and effectively.

Africa has a common flaw when it comes to trying to engage unity and cooperation. We far too easily fall into the trap of blaming the cultural divide, the issues of tribalism, the diversity of our religious beliefs and the battles we fight for Ethnic Dominance. As African’s we look at the world around us and we miss the opportunities that face us in a tangle of emotion, stubborn ignorance and a shameful lack of willingness to learn.

We are not the only people to have walked this path of discovery. Nay is it not fact that several hundred years ago Britain as we know it today was a land of war mongering savages? Did not the tribes of Celtic worriers wage war against Anglo Saxon settlers and Scottish Celts? Were the Irish not regarded as heathen by the Lords and Ladies of the land? Was crime and corruption not rampant while people lived in poverty and depravation similar to what we see in Africa?

Come to think of it, let’s be honest. Every civilised society that claim to be world leaders have gone through some form of internal strife as they forged out their identity and worked their way through their very own industrial revolution. China is a fine example. It was at war with itself for much of the last century, yet today it is very possibly the next world power to step up to its role as a global leader. India has battled colonialism, ethnic diversity on a grand scale, and religious and tribal indifference that is still a volatile pot of intricate acceptances and allowances of its people, constantly simmering quietly away. Even the mighty USA went through its war of attrition.

The end result in every case has been the realisation by the communities within these nations that war is futile. It is important to maintain your identity. It is comforting to be able to take pride in our nationality, and have a sense of belonging, but in the bigger scheme of things we are all human.

The colour of your skin does not matter, the tribal dialect you speak is irrelevant to your worth. The city or town or rural location of your birth is insignificant when you really think about it. The tribe you relate to or identify with, or the church that you attend. These are all things that make us individual, give us character, bring us identity and give us wealth as members of our society. They are the foundations of our makeup. As a community we gain social capital from a richly diverse and multi-national/multi-cultural society.

Mormons have built mighty organisations throughout history. Christians have made scientific breakthroughs. Islamic Muslims have made fascinating discoveries in engineering, while Hindu’s have achieved much in Medical Sciences. African’s have pioneered Infectious Diseases’ controls and Europeans have learnt much about social enterprise. Chinese people gave us paper, and Egyptians gave us writing. The Americans took us to the moon, and the Russians built the largest flying machine to ever take off.

We could carry on listing the achievements of man, but to do so would mean we would miss the point. Regardless of who we are, where we come from, what race, creed or nationality we claim, we are all members of our society, our community, our national identity. As an African nation we should seriously learn to look beyond the differences of individuality, learn to see the bigger picture, and overcome our resistance to diversity.

We need to learn to stop looking to the past for excuses, and learn to look back there for reminders of what not to do today. Let us not make the mistakes of others. Let us not seek to find blame, but learn to find solutions. We can become great, achieve much and get there faster than anyone else before us. When you go out tomorrow, stop to think, what have I done today to make my society a better place. The next time you meet that person that speaks slightly differently to you, or looks a bit lighter or darker than you, search to find their inner worth.

When we learn to tap the inner gold that lies within our people regardless of who they are, we will learn to become a formidable force on the global stage. Africa will one day be a world leader. It’s just up to us how quickly we get there.