Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:February 25th, 2008 12:33 EST
Who's to blame?

Who's to blame?

By Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo

I alone am responsible for whatever is going on in this world "

This article is aimed at getting societal view regarding the impression, the world has about Africa.

I know you`ve read a lot regarding Africa and its wahala until it`s becoming a bore whenever you come across articles narrating Africa crisis.

Actually, don`t take this for another episode of Africa storytelling.

Acknowledging the fact that the continent is often taken for a country that is never will you get somebody saying ; "I`m going to Europe` instead they say "I`m going to Britain, France "in Europe.`

But, often you get them saying "I`m going to Africa, not specifying which country in Africa.`

Africa being the second largest continent with 53 countries, total area of 19million square km. lying across the equator with it southern tip, at 35° S & Northern coast between 35°-37° N.

Madagascar, one of the largest islands in the world, with Mauritius, Reunion & Seychelles are also part of Africa.

People say; first world countries take Africa as third world, corruption, HIV-Aids, poverty and had even given the name ; "Dark continent.`

While others believe that as much as the western media contribute the majority in broadcasting Africa failures, but forgetting that the main cause of Africa is from some countries such as Britain, France, and U.S.A.

Is it true that the media present Africa in a negative image?

Mr. Mwalimu George Ngwane response;

Yes I know, because there are other aspects in Africa that the media doesn`t focus on, For example; Botswana being the second in economic growth worldwide. This, you will hardly hear it broadcast.

On the other hand, I say no.

The media is a mirror of the society. No matter, often it`s news selective, but more focus on Africa ills even if the same act happened in the west. E.g. during Bush`s first mandate, elections were rigged in Florida but that wasn`t talk, I bet you if it took place in Africa, it would had been a different story to tell.

Africa events that had never make news;

Democracy & government in Tanzania, Mali,Ghana and Benin " the transition from one president to the next is always clean & fair.

Recently, Bush was in Tanzania, appreciating its good governance, this is a government that respects the right of his people.

Dr. Canute Ngwa response;

In this case we look at the technological advancement, which is obvious. Moreover the masses concerned, then you will realized that the dominant viewers are from the west. Keeping that at side, media focuses on issues that will interest the society, in order words, event that seems extraordinary or shocking.

E.g. refugees In Sudan, starvation in Ethiopia all attract attentions.

Understand that what in Africa is noted being positive is no news to the west. Besides, Africa doesn`t have an Africa media "Pan-Africa media` that will project what Africans will find it interesting and defend them. I am not referring to these home Media that are just singing the head of state praises.

CNN, BBC, Sky New, are giant Media of the west while the Arabs have the Aljazeera.

Do you know the reasons for these entire acts? This is just to make the Africans feel inferior, and always be dependent so as to become better. And then, what happens to our strength of labor? High level of Migration

Magdalene Siri response;

Journalists are watched dogs of the society and the media prioritized issues in the mind of the audience.

We have to understand that the western media are liberal, freedom to press in practice, unlike here where we pretend to have freedom just on papers but not in practice. Except for the private media who are stubborn to pin point the negative issues faced nationwide.

I`m not per saying, Africa is only full with negative aspects, but now it depends on the gravity in question. And why the media often seek negative event, I think doing this gives room for support, moreover alert the population of what is going wrong. If, Media doesn`t make this remark, the society wouldn`t tell if it`s wrong or right.

So in this case, I think the Africa societies have little good to be spoken of as compare to the ills.

E.g. I hope you don`t expect the media to say; schools were built, hospitals & roads were constructed. I think that`s the state responsibility & obligations. I personally, don`t take it strange. Although these are praises which, not too bad but when that`s the only story at hand, it becomes a social ill.

What influence do the aforementioned countries have on Africa, and their decision makers?

Dr. Ngwa response;

In the 1880s, European scramble for Africa colonies resulted to wrong and biased treaties with the chiefs. Some of the policies such as the;

Indirect rule by the British, where they were colonial administration of government through traditional political structures; Assimilation by France was a policy to Frenchify the people and territories. While the Protectorates were through which they indirectly annexed the territories through their agent notably. And any chief that refused to sign any of the treaties were frighten with guns, some even used military pressure to force some rulers to signed treaties of annexation. From which, our technology were discourage, and theirs were imposed.

U.S.A. is just another new stage of imperialism.

Mr. Ngwane response;

In economy, there is biased allocation of resources thus making the economic relationship unbalanced. Africa produces raw materials and sells it at a price proposed by the west. And when turned into finish goods, brought back to Africa, sold at prices imposed on Africans.

World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, this I called axis of economic evil in Africa.

The strange thing is that, these 3 multinational organizations come under the pretext of aiding Africa behind which is the influence of the same people.

Further, indirect rule still in practice, because our head of states are chosen by the same people, from which result ethnicity, regionalism, conflict e.g. the Congo basin crisis. What a shame! Only greedy leaders who are bent to destroy their fatherland are chosen. Sometimes, they behave as strangers, visitors to their homeland.

Is Africa corrupt?

Mr. Ngwane response;

Yes, the earth is built on human nation where there is no society that is corrupt free. Now, it depends on the intensity.

Transparency international allocating most corrupt countries, from which first few nations are from Africa. It is a pity! Cameroon leads the crew.

But what they failed to do is to fish out the nations influencing the corruption in these most corrupt countries since for any corrupt act, two or more parties is involve.

Although, in pure traditional Africa, the word "corruption` doesn`t exist. Instead, it is termed appreciation.

If that be the case, then our colonial master taught us to be corrupt, because in the signing of the treaty of protection, they offered gifts to Africa rulers who did sign. And that is the very situation face nowadays, why changing the term to corruption.

As a leader, what will you do to dispute the corrupt altitude of the continent?

Moreover, what will be some implementation measures that will give Africa a standard in the world?

Mua patience Nsia response;

 Patriotism let the citizen love their countries and be ready to develop their nation.

Secondly, from basic to higher educational institutions, all the courses treated will be change, will make sure most of the books read should gives them that spirit of togetherness. Because our history has given us a selfish mentality, you realized that the forefathers work just for their personal interest and not for the nation.

Ngu Alpha

 Understand that most Sub-Saharan African leaders are some how waging a cold war against their countries, in order words, they are worse than criminals. That is swindle state funds into foreign account, and is also involved in corrupt transaction at the peril of their nation. Wealthy nations in turn use this as a stepping stone to cripple the economies of the African countries concerned.

 Therefore, as a leader, the population must have a  voice in decision making, cut  off corruption, even distribution of wealth, free and fair elections. Will encourage the unity of African state using a common currency.

Mr. George Ngwane
National Book Development Council
Dr. Canute Ngwa
Senior Lecturers,
History, Political science.
University of Buea
Magdalene Sirri
Journalism & mass communication student
University of Buea
Mua Patience
Economics, management student.
University of Buea
Ngu Alpha
Physic student
University of Buea