That is according to David Lane speaking at the Pittsburg G-20 . He reasons that Africa has over 1 billion producers and consumers of services of goods. He calls for G20 to make Africa part of the solution to ending poverty in Africa and further more that the next G20 meeting should be held in Africa.

I must say that I agree with him on all accounts.

Yes  he is right in the first instance that Africa has an awful lot of consumers and suppliers.  Africa is also the producer of some of the high end/value products in the world such as diamonds, gold, petrol, coffee, cocoa etc but these products are merely extracted and taken to consumers elsewhere, and when returned the African’s almost always can’t afford them, and those that can often have to travel millions of millions to be able to consume these products. Does any of this make sense to you?

The next point – the next G20 meeting should be held  in Africa and the campaign has started and if you agree please add your name here

 

Africa is almost always part of the agenda at these summits with leaders of the richest countries in world pledging more help for the continent, however these meetings are never held in Africa, unlike  the COMMONWEALTH HEAD OF STATES

 
I can imagine that a lot of money is spent at these meetings, imagine therefore what such a meeting would do for the economy of a small central African country, like Rwanda, Burundi or Uganda, unless of course the organisers of such a meeting opted to fly in everything that would be used, including food service staff etc. But even then, there would inevitably be a trickle down of sorts.

 The economic benefits aside, if you have a matter to resolve with someone isn’t it best that you go to them and do this face to face. Some of the points that come out these meetings regarding Africa are , MAKE AFRICA LEADERS MORE ACCOUNTABLE, END CORRUPTION, IMPROVE GOVERNANCE,  and so on and so forth, but  if the leaders of Africa only ever here this on TV and radio, wouldn’t they be forgiven for thinking it has nothing to do with them,  a sort of hearsay, Afterall would you take anyone seriously who talked about you behind your back? The natural reaction is one of IF YOU HAVE  SOMETHING TO SAY TO ME,,,,,,

Obama and Clinton have led the way to going to the leaders of Africa and given them some tough love and I do hope that the G20 will follow in their footsteps. They are currently discussing how to lift the world out of the recession but surely the recession is worse amongst the bottom billion of Africa.

 Can the G20 ever see Africa as a key economic player and not a basket case that needs hand out? Is this indeed the solution to Africa’s  ending poverty? Can a whole continent be lifted  out of poverty by AID? Of course not treating Africa as  an economic partner,  a consumer and supplier of goods would go along way to resolving te poverty. food shortages etc experienced by its people.

 

If you have a view either way, I would like to hear from you as usual

No it is not April fool’s day folk that was yesterday.

The G20 meeting is under way and as I understand it at the top of their agenda is helping economies that are struggling under the current circumstances.

 Notably  no one (at least as far as I am aware) has named who/which/what these economies are. Up until recently struggling economies automatically implied developing or emerging countries and as such a part of our tax would be sent to help them out.

If you listen to Conservatives it would appear that Gordon Brown and his chums have given us all false hope and that things  are so bad here in the UK that calling a large meeting will not achieve much. I have to admit to being an optmist but as my understanding of the world of economic situation is limited I am not sure who to believe. consequently like most folk I am in a panic about what future holds.

For those folk that are specialists in the financial and economic world are things so bad that we here in the UK are about to go to the world bank with a begging bowl?

If so what does that mean for the folk in the developing world?

 

 Only this morning I heard Prof Sachs being interviewed on Radio. He referred to the mines being closed in the Congo and the prospects those poor folks faced specifically as far as food is concerned.  Rio Tinto is one of the major players in the mining world but they started scaling back their business a while ago, I suppose due to lack of demand for their products.

It is  only fair that people cut back on material goods that they do not need but sadly someone down the line will go hungry.  Is that fair on the people who earn a living digging up precious stones etc? Perhaps not as it is unlikely that such folk knowingly contributed to the current problems in the financial world.

So where do we go from here?

 

Is Britain about to join the queue for AID?

 

 Is that unthinkable?

 

Please join the debate

There is no doubt that these are tough times folk and I find myself in a reflectived mood today. The wet weather here in Maidstone Kent, from where I am writing this from has not helped.

The G20 nations are due to meet in London next week and I understand that on their agenda are questions how to tackle the current economic down turn that has left many folk workless as well as homeless.

It was reported on the news this morning that this upcoming meeting has aroused some raw emotions from environmentalists, campaigners for more jobs, as well as those who blame the financial institutions for the current economic situations. And to that end several demonstrations are underway as folk strive to get their voices heard by the powers that be.

An hour ago, I was engaged in a conversation by a fellow guest here at the Ramada Hotel in Kent. After the initial general questions the converasation soon turned to the upcoming G20 meeting. She is especially interested in all issues to do with the envrionment, I must confess, apart from religion, this is a topic that I would rather not get drawn into. I find it emotive and frankly I don’t know much about it.

For instance this lady wnated to know from me if it is ok to buy peas and Mange tout brought into the UK from Kenya? She informed me that the folk in her network and family believe that the process by which the peas and Mange tout get here is bad for the environment. But she doesn’t agree with them since the production method is mostly by hand or hand held tools, which in her mind offsets any carbon emmissions.

I on the other hand believe that farmers in the developing world should have access to as many markets as possible as their best hope out of poverty is the ability to trade. This is not only sustainable but it ensures that other than waiting for handouts they are helping themselves out of poverty. The question then becomes one of which is more important, the climate, employment or justice?

This lady wanted and answer from me! We spoke at length about  AID to African countries. 

In particular Food AID.   Africa as a  continent made up of some of the poorest countries on earth most of which are dependent on all types of AID from donor countries. Some of  this AID doesn’t make sense at all when put in the context of ending poverty, climate change and human rights

This is a strange thing for me to say, you might think. But hear me out if you will. Some parts of Africa have got an awful lot of food much more than folk can consume whilst others have none at all.

 Imagine  this , what if some of this food was shipped to parts of the continent that need it as oppossed to flying peas, Maize, sugar etc form the USA to Somalia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia etc? What impact would that have on climate change and poverty amongst African farmers?

The twist in the tale here is that AID in the form FOOD AID doesn’t always get to the people that need it. Here is an example of what I am talking about http://ethnicsupplies.blogspot.com/2008/09/food-distribution-in-uganda.html#links

Don’t get me wrong I am not against helping disadvantaged folk in the world. I am however concerned that this is sometimes done without due regard, and consequently a culture of dependency results. This happens in West too especially in the Housing provision area. This giving of FOOD AID can kill off local farmers markets completely.

Second clothing was the other topic for discusion. What about the second hand clothing charities send to out, the lady asked me? Sadly this too kills off local produce like cotton as demand for such textiles dies off, and as far as the environment is concerned, most developing countries may lack the technology to process artificial fabrics like Nylon, when they come to the end of their useful life!

I have seen goats/cows that have died as a result of eating these artificial fabrics as well as plastic bags. The sad thing about this is that where these goats and cows are all the assets folk have to sell to pay for children’s health care an education!!

As we parted company she asked if I have ever considered being  a Politician,. The answer came very quickly NO. I don’t mind working alongside politicians but I would not want to join them.

Thniking about the G20 generally and the issues at stake, the failure of the economy has no doubt hit the poorest the hardest regardless of where in the world they are, the sad thing as articulated by the Brazilian President this week, the current situation was not credited by developing countries.

My question then is , Where do we go from here on issues, climate change, worklesseness and justice? Have you got a viw either way if so please share it.

Will the G20 meeting have answers to these issues?