Hey Mr "President", why are you paying the arms dealers before the doctor?

Ok, let’s get directly to business here…

I have been asked countless times why it is that African leadership buys weapons before food for their citizens. And frankly, it is the one time that I am left without a response that satisfies me, much less the person I’m speaking with.

After taking another look at the United Nation’s Human Development Index today, I am left wondering how any African leader can explain the enormous discrepancies in spending! After all, leaders are elected (although not often enough is real democracy present on our continent) with the hope that they will be able to impliment programs which facilitate people’s daily lives, improve their living conditions and allow mothers to see their children live longer, stronger and better.

Isn’t it a universal ideal after all for each generation to want better for future generations? How is it then, that we have managed to breech this rule of law in our leadership’s vision for our nations?

Since when does it make sense to spend 10% of your national budget on your military; yet 1% on healthcare for your citizens?! Utterly disgraceful numbers by anyone’s standards. These numbers may be true of Ethiopia’s government; but the fact is that you could plug in the budgets of a host of other countries (Eritrea, Angola, Djibouti…) and ask yourselves the same thing.

When will education, healthcare, access to clean water and other development goals be what leads the decision making process? When will we put our children first?

Just my thoughts,
Mama

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