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Old 29th Dec 2012, 15:03   #13 (permalink)

Official PPRuNe Chaplain
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Witnesham, Suffolk
Age: 74
Posts: 3,503
No, neither-nor.

Yes, there are some thoroughly unlikeable people who have wormed their way into high office in various African countries, and there are some serious nutjobs with stocks of AK47s and worse. Similar happened in Europe not so long ago.

But there are also some amazing people. I've been in contact (mostly through a very active friend of mine) with a group of people in Tanzania. They are hospitable, generous, caring, and loving. They have very little, and ask nothing - although we choose to send things to them. Said friend and her husband have built several schools and hospitals there - not costing millions, but adequate for the needs and infinitely better than nothing.

Two agricultural members of that local team visited us some years ago. We had a nightmare getting them visas, but in the end the Home Office relented when we got the Bishop fired up to ask questions in the House of Lords.

They had been being "advised" for years by the "experts" in their Government, but were getting nowhere. We took them to the local agricultural college here to meet some tutors who'd lived in Africa years before. They spent a day wide-eyed, taking notes of all the stuff they needed to know - but had never been told. Their crop yields now are vastly better than before; they don't try to grow crops that are unsuitable for their environment; and (most important) they know where to go to ask for advice.

So - my take is: education and healthcare matter. Provide that, and the rest will follow. Keep a beady eye on the individuals - one bad egg in the Tanzanian lot left with the Länd Röver we'd sent, and set up as a taxi operator in Dar. He even had the cheek to ask us to send spares when it broke down. That was one bad egg in a clutch of several hundred: I have no reason to believe it's not similar in most places. The problem comes when the nutjobs with AK47s arrive.

[Edited because a wacky word-censor changes Länd Röver without Umlauts to Trabant].

Last edited by Keef; 29th Dec 2012 at 15:06.
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