Ujima, Collective Work and Responsibility: Africa image harming aid effort, says charity Oxfam

On this, the third day of Kwanzaa, we celebrate the principle of Ujima, Collective Work and Responsibility. Today we renew our efforts to build and maintain our community, while working with others to solve our problems.

Our country produces enough to feed us all. We can even produce more than we need. Unfortunately, for lack of organization, we still need to beg for food aid. This type of assistance is counterproductive and has kept us thinking that we can only be beggars who need aid.”–Thomas Sankara 

I am so tired of the BS of so called Aid groups who have basically taken over the duties and responsibilities of governments in Africa, operating much like corporations with tax breaks and other incentives that allow them to actually get more out of many nations than they give while sharing all the aid money amongst their own circles. When operational expenses and the annual wages of CEO’s and aid workers take up a large amount of the money donated then we have to think twice about the long term usefulness of the idea of Aid and charity  not being treated as actual corporate businesses that should be taxed in the nations they operate in.

2012: Awakening 2013 :ReClaiming 

Maybe when the foolish concept of “Aid” that takes more than it gives dries out- Africans will finally hold their governments & ourselves accountable for our own personal responsibility toward ourselves, our future and our own complicity in exploitation capitalism through poverty.

“Revolutions are brought about by men, by men who think as men of action and act as men of thought…Africa is a paradox which illustrates and highlights neo-colonialism. Her earth is rich, yet the products that come from above and below the soil continue to enrich, not Africans predominantly, but groups and individuals who operate to Africa’s impoverishment…from now on, today, we must change our attitudes and our minds. We must realise that form now on we are no longer a colonial but free and independent people…But also, as I pointed out, that also entails hard work…We are going to demonstrate to the world, to the other nations, that we are prepared to lay our foundation – our own African personality….It is said, of course that we have no capital, no industrial skill, no communications, no internal markets, and that we cannot even agree among ourselves how best to utilize our resources for our own social needs.Yet all the stock exchanges in the world are pre-occupied with Africa’s gold, diamonds, uranium, platinum, copper and iron ores. Our CAPITAL flows out in streams to irrigate the whole system of Western economy. Fifty-two per cent of the gold in Fort Knox at this moment, where the USA stores its bullion, is believed to have originated from OUR shores. Africa provides more than 60 per cent of the world’s gold. A great deal of the uranium for nuclear power, of copper for electronics, of titanium for supersonic projectiles, of iron and steel for heavy industries, of other minerals and raw materials for lighter industries – the basic economic might of the foreign Powers – comes from OUR continent. Experts have estimated that the Congo Basin alone can produce enough food crops to satisfy the requirements of nearly HALF the population of the whole world and here we sit talking about regionalism, talking about gradualism, talking about step by step. Are you afraid to tackle the bull by the horn?” Dr. Kwame Nkrumah

“none of the children here actually want to be taken away from their family and friends so they can be displayed as some kind of trophy in the homes of self-righteous singers or actors who want to score some points with the media and Oprah.”…“If they really want to help us, they should get Big Pharma to ship us some anti-retroviral drugs for the AIDS epidemic, or build schools and hospitals. If they don’t want to do that, then they can all go f** themselves!” the child told reporters…The 15-year-old also stated that he would say the same thing to any one of those American or European “faux humanitarian posers”, except for Bono, whom he said he would also kick in the groin…“Bono’s efforts to save the African savage from itself prove that the colonial imperative is alive and well,” Dakarai said as he walked with other village children collecting sticks to build a tree fort… READ MORE

The relentless focus on ongoing problems at the expense of a more nuanced portrait of the continent, is obscuring the progress that is being made towards a more secure and prosperous future….”If we want people to help fight hunger we have to give them grounds for hope by showing the potential of countries across Africa – it’s a natural instinct to turn away from suffering when you feel you can do nothing to alleviate it.”…”Of course, there are floods, droughts, and there is conflict, but that is not in every country at all. And there are quite a number of countries now in Africa that are really doing very well….”We want to make sure people have a really better balanced picture of what’s happening in Africa. Of course we have to show what the reality is in the situations in those countries….”But we also need to show the other places where things are actually changing, where things are different.”…In a separate recent Oxfam poll, more than half of people immediately mentioned hunger, famine or poverty when speaking about Africa…” READ MORE