Africa is growing backwards. Koreans, Chinese and now Arabs have bought huge parcels of fertile land in Africa. They are also renting the land they cannot buy for agricultural purposes. If this development is not probed in good time, the damage will be irreparable in future.
The Middle East is full of oil but lacks good agricultural land. Having made a lot of money from oil, Arabs are now buying fertile land in Africa through the now sitting presidents or governments and are paying the corrupt regimes a lot of money at a time when real Africans (who should benefit from the land) are dying from hunger and poverty.
African elites, who should know better are blind. Some have started to import maize from USA, Brazil and other countries for sell in the African market. These middle class Africans (who are killing the homegrown market) are the same elements spreading false propaganda that African goods are being barred from European markets; Europeans are subsidising their farmers and that African farmers are finding it hard to compete hence need fair trade.
The Chinese or Koreans who buy land in Africa do so because they are already over populated and their home land is not enough to cater for their population. By buying land in Africa, they are not only looking for food but also for land to live in.
Africans should probe these developments as they might be too late to solve in future. Africans are not ready to fight another liberation war in future. It will be very hard to send these rich land owners away. The land buyers will then be masters who will later lend land to Africans for cultivation or enslave Africans to labour in their farms for food as slaves did in the past in America and Europe.
Young healthy Africans who should cultivate land in Africa have been misled by the education they receive and wrongly believe that land cultivation and agriculture are 'dirty' jobs.Consequently, they are still dreaming about white collar jobs in 2010.
Consider carefully what happened in Italy this week where two African fruit-pickers in southern Italy were shot by the local youths who hate African immigrant workers. There are still demonstrations about the shooting but the Italian government is doing nothing, since those type of jobs can be done by their own uneducated Italians. Africans have left very fertile land in Africa which can generate them lots and lots of wealth just to be abused and stay in Italy picking grapes with their bare hands. It is the same slave labour which happened hundreds of years ago.
Most African problems are deeply rooted in our way of thinking and old culture. Look at any well developed nations, you will find that most of the old thinking was done away giving room to modernisation and technology.
Education should be remodelled in a way that learners should know where rain comes from, in case there is no rain, then how to go about cultivating with irrigation or boreholes. Learners should be taught to be productive and know where food comes from. Whoever is growing and providing food is the one with the best job on earth today.
We still need white or blue color jobs but food should be given first priority. The know-how on how to harness land should be promoted in our school.Instead of African governments increasing legislators' perks, they should rather subsidize their farmers.
Why should an African leave his country for greener pastures just to end up in a field picking grapes, the same job which can make him be a millionaire if he did it in his home country ? Africans have suffered a lot and we should not go back to captivity again: Let us not sell our fertile lands to outsiders; neither should we sell our most beautiful beaches to the racist Italians or Germans. Where will a future Africans live or have business?
By Paul Nyandoto
Paul Nyandoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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