tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-21429470068075777102016-05-20T15:52:11.090-04:00Passion for the PossibleIdeas for those determined to make the world a better placeTracy Moaverohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08280055712515863977noreply@blogger.comBlogger1125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2142947006807577710.post-85534097398693898012011-02-10T07:16:00.008-05:002011-02-15T10:47:34.697-05:00Is the US to blame for Africa's woes?Some people in the US seem to think so. And they have plenty of things to point to, from the flow of weapons to Africa to harmful trade practices to burdensome debt. There's no shortage of analysis about what the US and other wealthy nations do wrong for Africa.<br /><br />I've had the chance to talk with Africans from every corner of the continent about these matters. They've been human rights or peace advocates at UN meetings or immigrants working in a wide array of jobs in the US and Europe. When I bring up the role of the US and the West in Africa's problems, I get the same response over and over. It can be paraphrased as "we're capable of messing up our countries all on our own, thank you very much."<br /><br />Africans tell me that corruption and greed are what devastate their countries. They also cite the ignorance and bigotry that ill-intentioned leaders use to divide and conquer nations. While they welcome efforts to change international sources of injustice, they see the causes of and solutions to Africa's problems as lying first and foremost with Africans. <br /><br />Those conversations come to mind whenever I hear Americans or other Westerners discuss the need for debt relief or other policy changes for Africa. While some people understand that Africa's struggles are complex, others are so focused on the outside role that you'd think that what Africans do doesn't matter. <br /><br />Meanwhile, within Africa, people and organizations like the thousands listed in the <a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1312171200000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1385874000000">UN's Directory of African NGOs</a> are working to make change from within. They may address US or Western policy, or they may not. Basically, we're not always the star of the show.<br />______________________________ <br /><b>Tuesday, February 15, 2011:</b> For a much more thorough and eloquent examination of the issues I raise, and a look at the role of outside influence and interest in political uprisings, please check out "A classy revolution: Why we cared" by Ivo Vegter for South Africa's The Daily Maverick <a class="twitter-timeline-link" data-display-url="thedailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/20…" data-expanded-url="http://www.thedailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2011-02-14-a-classy-revolution-why-we-cared/" href="http://t.co/aLzzGDh" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="http://www.thedailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2011-02-14-a-classy-revolution-why-we-cared/">http://t.co/aLzzGDh</a>Tracy Moaverohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08280055712515863977noreply@blogger.com2