africa continues to be myopic and ready for the picking

So I keep reading stories about foreign governments like China, the Gulf States and South Korea that are planning on buying millions of acres of Africa’s arable land in order to provide food security for their citizens. From what I gather, most African governments are eager to sell 100 year leases in order to make a quick buck and then for 100 years condemn their countrymen and women to being near-slaves to foreigners in their own countries. How more stupid can our leaders get?

As a continent, Africa is the most food insecure place on the planet. Millions depend on food aid, even in supposedly more developed countries like Ghana, Kenya and Senegal. Some countries like Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, and nearly all of the Francophone Sahel have never known food security for decades. They have been permanent recipients of aid from the US and the World Food Program. It makes you wonder why it is not these governments making deals with their fellow African countries to guarantee the continent some food security.

Food production is what propelled human civilization. Mesopotamia, the Indus-Gangetic Valley, the Nile Valley, were all organised with an aim of improving food production so as to free up talent for other more meaningful human endeavors. Africa, nearly 12,000 years later, still cannot afford to feed its own people. It is not a question of land or water. The great lakes regions can feed the entire continent and still have a surplus. With the exception of the South West African countries and the Sahelian states, all of Sub-Saharan African countries ought to be food-secure. The fact that they are not is simply and squarely because of poor leadership.

And now these same inadequate leaders want to sell the land to foreigners. I am assuming that when foreign governments buy land they’ll treat it like they do with their embassies – provide their own security and run the show by their own rules. I wonder how different this will be from an outright recolonization of the African continent by more developed and better run countries.

We are still in the woods. And we are screwed for the foreseeable future. Like it is not even funny anymore. Our Mugabes, Obiangs and Zenawis continue to fail us big time. How hard can it be to run a country? Like seriously.

2 thoughts on “africa continues to be myopic and ready for the picking

  1. After a while it gets tiring blaming the leaders… we have been doing that for forty years!! The key word being leaders, and since we claim to be democratic, these are democratically elected leaders, which means they represent us and are a reflection of the people they represent!! the problem is with the people who keep returning these so called leaders to their sits of power!!! As much as people brag that the electorate is well informed, I beg to differ, the Electorate is ignorant and naive…

    Food, food, food security will be the tipping point to chaos of the whole continent….

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  2. It’s unbelievable how much claims of e.g. technology transfer, local employment, linkage to markets etc. have been used to underpin the foreignization of space, yet there is no meaningful research that has confirmed the contributions of these acquisitions. I am working on this in the meantime, and so far I can tell that the quality of employment is dismal.

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