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A continent of beggars?

By NEW AFRICAN REVIEW
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In this reflection, writing in New African, Akua Djanie

struggles with the disturbing widespread phenomenon of

begging. 'What is going on?' She wonders. 'Why have

we turned into a continent of beggars? Our leaders go

abroad to beg for 'aid' to run our countries. Our
police and immigration officers have turned themselves into

'beggars in uniform'. From extended family members to

the young bank teller, everyone seems to think begging is

okay. Why?'
She argues that there is no 'problem with asking for help

when you need it.' That it need be also obvious that one

is seriously limited. Citing the example of abundance of

precious minerals and other natural resources in a good

number of African countries, highly demanded elsewhere, she

says it beats logic that we give these away at throw away

prices, and then go back to the very countries to beg for

aid. Why can't we in this case for example dictate the

prices of our resources? Why can't we take control of how

we mine, polish and sell our diamonds to the world, instead

of begging European companies to come and do everything?

She says that though salaries be low, begging is not the

answer. It is high time that Africans, from individuals, to

families, communities, organs of the state, states and

through the continent itself, make better use of their

skills, resources and manpower.