Monday, July 13, 2009

Bono, Obama and Ghana = New Africa

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish
and you feed him for a lifetime" - Lao Tzu

While one 'leader' celebrated his 100 days in Putrajaya Command Centre with populist short-term goodies (more of 'khabar berita dari rupa' because like PPSMI, implementation sucks in this part of our 'world'), Mr. Obama has his feet firmply planted on the ground when he says the economic stimulus would only 'bear fruits' in 2 years time - that's my Mr Seriously Realistic!

, a dear blogger, shared with me an article wrote by U2's Bono on Mr. Obama's visit to Ghana titled "Rebranding Africa". Thanks Joshua!

Here's some of the interesting excerpts from the said article, which i think are relevant and applicable for us, right-minded malaysians, to take comfort that these are workable, if our government is serious about changes: -

"President Obama can hasten that day. He knows change won’t come easily. Corruption stalks Africa’s reformers. “If you fight corruption, it fights you back,” a former Nigerian anti-corruption official has said. From his bully pulpit, the president can take aim at the bullies. Without accountability — no opportunity. If that’s not a maxim, it ought to be. It’s a truism, anyway".

2. "That’s thanks to Africans like John Githongo, the former anticorruption chief of Kenya — a hero of mine who is pioneering a new brand of bottom-up accountability...Then there’s Nigeria’s moral and financial fist — Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a managing director of the World Bank and the country’s former finance minister — who is on a quest to help African countries recover stolen assets looted by corrupt officials. And the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which is helping countries like Ghana clean up the oil, gas and mining business, to make sure that profits don’t wind up in the hands of kleptocrats".

3. "New promises from usual and unusual partners, from the G-8 to the G-20, need to be made — and this time kept. If more African nations (not just Ghana) are going to meet the millennium goals, they are going to need smart partners in business and development. That’s Smart as in sustainable, measurable, accountable, responsive and transparent".

And here's another snippet from an article from AP, which speaks volume of the First Family's values, deeply ingrained in them, for they know where they come from, the torments their forefathers had to go through to make a difference in their own ways to this world, now inherited by their generations.

Their ancestors must be so proud of them. I wonder - are we doing the same thing or are we destroying our forefathers' reputation and sacrifices - all in the name of self-interest politics?

p.s. Talking about self-interest politics,
Encik Aspan Alias' blogpost is a must-read.

"Inside the whitewashed fortress, the first family got a tour of the oven-like brick dungeons where slaves were crammed as they awaited their fate. The Obamas walked through the "Door of No Return" — the gateway through which thousands passed to ships bound for America — and paused in contemplation, arms around each others backs.

Afterward, the president called the castle "a place of profound sadness." He told reporters it put him in mind of Buchenwald, the German concentration camp he saw last month — evidence of "the capacity of human beings for great evil."

Yet he also found it inspiring, and hoped Malia and Sasha would grasp its import. "It is here where the journey of much of the African-American experience began," he said.

"Every day with its success, Ghana sends a simple message to the world, that democracy can thrive in Africa," Obama declared. "Great days lie ahead for this nation. The future is on Ghana's side".

So, after figuring out this equation as this -> Ghana (Bono's article x Obama's visit) = Rebranded Africa, do you think you can figure out an equation for a better Ibu Pertiwi?


joshua wong said...


Only you could take a foreign article, connect the dots and make sense of it in a local context.

Thanks for sharing the AP article and Aspan's blogpost. Also, not forgetting the blog-mention, haha.

Fi-sha said...

Dear Joshua

I'm a dreamer - i fantasise and make believe they make sense in this part of our world but i do believe we are after all humans and we could share our experiences to address issues that affectinng humans globally.

And Joshua, i wont missed your posts again since i'm your follower now - ALL HAIL JOSHUA! ;)


bongkersz said...

Those 'short-term goodies' are not even goodies in the first place, if the government did what it should do all this while. Those are part of the many benefits we should reap when we have a responsible government in place. I hope Malaysians are not too blind and dumb to differentiate between 'government's responsibilities' and 'goodies'. Like I always say, we shouldn't be thankful for what's rightfully ours.

Fi-sha said...

Dear Bong

I am not at all impressed or give a hoot about the goodies - goodies my foot!

Still, with Melayu Mudah Lupa and Tak-apa-ism remain cancerous, even smart people can be fooled with such 'Genetically engineered Carrots' - yucks!

Thanks Bong...