Shame on them…

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 implement 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?! What 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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One thought on “Shame on them…

  1. Hello Mama Afrika,

    Thanks for the read. You have every reason to be dismayed at African countries’ spending on the military, rather than vital public services such as health, water and sanitation, education, so on and so forth.

    I think a better way of understanding the lop-sided view of African leaders, which mostly leads them to percieve a ghostly ‘existential’ threat, is to look at what International Politics scholars call ‘security dilemma’. Which means, one foolish leader thinks his neighbour is arming himself, or moving troops strategically, and what does he do? He mis-allocates vital funds to do just the same and more! Eventually it turns into a stupid game while the masses suffer.

    Ethiopia, for example, has in 2006 pledge the international community to assist its famine stricken people with $90 million in relief. But after recieving these monies, the president, Mr. Zenawi, increased his budget expendature on the military up to $ 50 million, making the overall expendature on the military around $ 400 million! Subsequently, Meles invaded Somalia and now occupies it, while millions of his people are on the brink of starvation.

    The same can be said about Eritrea and Djiboubi, who are now, even more than ever, increasing their military budgets to extreme percentages, at the expense of their populations. These two countries have recently, a week ago, been involved in a border-zone conflict, and that means more money to be spent on financing war and its fears. it’s all absurd.

    Hope things change.

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