As the 34th G8 Summit held on July 7-9 2008, on the Japanese Island of Hokkaido, Africa for the umpteenth time has been spotlighted on the agenda of the meeting.
Three years ago in Gleneagles, Scotland, at a similar G-8 Summit, Africa was the centre stage of discussions. At the meeting leaders of G-8 Countries pledged to double aid to the continent of Africa to the tune of $25 billion by 2010 and expedite action on debt cancellation of the most heavily indebted poor countries. But what happened since then? Ordinarily, one gets the impression that Africa is like a sick baby with chronic ailments that refuse to go. These include polio, measles, malnutrition e.t.c that manifest in form of Bad leadership, corruption, mismanagement, mass poverty e.t.c. its caregivers cuddle year in year out the sick baby. The ailment persists despite all the care given. But the sick baby is not willing to give up. But the question that need to be asked are; how much has Africa received out of the amount pledged three years ago in Gleneagles? How was the aid utilized? To what extent has Africa leadership contributed in making the continent rise above the dependency syndrome? Will the baby be sick forever? When will it stand and walk like other children and save the caregivers the pains and headache of baby sitting?
Reports indicate that both the G-8 countries and Africa leadership have failed in on way or the other to keep to the terms of the commitments made at Gleneagles in 2005. for instance the G-8 countries pledge to double aid to Africa and Africa leaders promised to end the cycle of coups, corruption and other crisis that have blighted the continent.
It is simple and clear, there is no ambiguity on what each party is expected to do in order to achieve the desired result—to get the sick baby up on its feet for it to play like other children. Some progress has been made on the issue of budget cancellation but nothing has changed in the real terms on the quality of life in Africa. As a matter of fact, the situation of things has worsened in the past three years as new problems emerge such malaria endemic, HIV/AIDS. The say the least, this is unimpressive and hardly expected. There is no way Africa would make progress with such cold front from the major ECONOMIC POWERS. This among other things, explains why the sick baby remain down on its KNEES. One would expect that this baby would be relieved after it had received the appropriate medications prescribed by the WORLD ECONOMIC POWER. Unfortunately, the G-8 that supposed to deliver the treatment has so far fallen shorts of its commitments, the ailing baby remains bedridden. These explain why Africa is on the spotlight because of half medication which is dangerous. Africa needs a full dose of all pledges made by the G-8 for her to make progress on several fronts.
On the part of Africa, its has also failed to live up to expectation as promise in Gleneagles to end coups, corruption and other crisis. Although there has not been military coups d’etat, but political ballots coups has been ravaging Africa since 2005, in form of election disfranchisement turmoil. In Nigeria, the election that produced President Musa Y’aradua in 2007 was adjudged the worst in the country’s history by election observers. Opposition parties are contesting the result in Supreme Court of law.
In Kenya December 2007 unprecedented political turmoil sparked off as President Mwai Kibaki declared himself winner in the election that was discredited by the opposition as rigged which resulted in political crisis that lead to the killing of people estimated at 860,000 and destruction of homes and properties worth million of dollars. In Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe took decision never to allow the opposition rule the country in his life time which has generated international calls for sanctions against the impoverished country. All this shows that ballot coup has replaced military coup d’etat in Africa, without political stability there can be no economic or social progress and the people will continue to leave in a state of quandary.
The continent is faced with multifarious problems ranging from failure of leadership to unfulfilled social, economic and political imperatives, malnutrition resulting from inability to feed itself. The aid package is applied in tackling the scourge of AIDS, strengthening democratic institutions, encouraging accountability transparency. All this will help the sick baby stand and support itself.