Monday, February 3, 2014

"Give a Man a Fish.."

 I agree with the author of the article wholeheartedly. I don't know why the Western world persists in portraying Africa as a desolate country, full of pestilence and poverty when in reality we should see Africa as it truly is -rich, yet undeveloped. It comes down to simple economics: everyone has something that someone else wants and in Africa's case, it's a whole treasure trove of diverse resources waiting to be tapped and exchanged. While I still very much believe that donations can be a force of good -after all you are transferring your wealth to another in return for nothing, nearly the very definition of selflessness- like anything in life, they can be used for good OR bad. It's good to help Africans in their war against Malaria. It's good to donate medicine to them as well. It's bad to do all these things without also empowering the African peoples. It's when we victimize Africans -effectively playing god with almost an entire continent- where we often go astray and miss out on the valuable gains from trade that come along with continued development. This situation calls for wiser selflessness.

 On a separate, important note, taking this route to development also means we should be better stewards of Africa than we have been of our western world. We have an opportunity to see gains from trade while also being environmentally responsible. There is no reason that the plagues of the Industrial Revolution, like extreme resource depletion, and intense pollution, need repeat themselves. It's a sad day when China does capitalism better than America, but more and more it seems like that is becoming the reality. If we could see Africa as a great and exciting new investment, we would reap the rewards that often follow entrepreneurship and innovation. If we don't pay attention we could miss a shot at a huge opportunity.

No comments:

Post a Comment