« Art for life | Main | The fat lady finally sang »

Pave Africa

Seriously. Africa doesn't need small-scale poverty handouts, it needs concrete -- in the form of roads, factories, bridges, etc.:

Africans are not suffering because of climate change. We’re suffering because of underdevelopment. The fact is we simply don’t have the infrastructure that has enabled the West to subdue nature. If we are at the mercy of the climate, it is because our societies remain under-industrialised.

I've read a lot of "oh, Africa is hopeless, give up on it, the people there are just fundamentally broken somewhere in their psyche." The idea is that all we do is waste money on them and it gets piddled away on booze and cars for their leaders, or Marxist adventuring, or whatever. That's as may be. But once my own country was hopeless -- its previous population depleted by disease and warfare, its new colonists consisting for the most part of Europe's dregs and castoffs (at least as judged by Europe at the time). Look at us now.

Maybe what Africa needs instead of us treating them like children -- handing out pittances of money like giving a preteen a weekly allowance, and worst of all, treating Africa like some sort of pristine nature camp -- is for us to send them a few industrialists with big pockets. But too many of our leading industrial lights, I am afraid, have bought into the whole climate-change, development-is-bad, back-to-the-soil hoax that Dr. Andrew is fulminating against.

(Via a commenter on Tim Blair's site.)

Comments (2)

Sigivald [TypeKey Profile Page]:

The problem with your plan (which is otherwise pretty sound) is that Africa is full of States and political cultures that would treat such an industrialist simply as someone to drain of all possible resources, into as many pockets as possible.

(The exceptions, or partial exceptions, like South Africa, are the ones who need the least help, unsurprisingly.)

Industrialization would help Africa (especially sub-Saharan Africa) no end... but it's hard as hell to manage when people at every level are more concerned with looting the construction attempt than helping it succeed.

Did you read the article? Anyway, it's not my plan. And saying "oh, they're just going to steal it anyway" strikes me as rather defeatist. This country wasn't built on defeatism. Of course, our crop of indecisive Hamlets has grown since colonial times. As has our crop of ineffectual do-gooder Mrs. Jellybyes. We couldn't colonize an anthill as we are now. Sad.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Don't worry, he's just chopping broccoli.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 29, 2007 11:08 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Art for life.

The next post in this blog is The fat lady finally sang.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.33