Stop Trying To ‘Save’ Africa

I just read the op-ed by Uzodinma Iweala. It is an interesting piece. I thought I’d share it.

Last fall, shortly after I returned from Nigeria, I was accosted by a perky blond college student whose blue eyes seemed to match the “African” beads around her wrists.

“Save Darfur!” she shouted from behind a table covered with pamphlets urging students to TAKE ACTION NOW! STOP GENOCIDE IN DARFUR!

It seems that these days, wracked by guilt at the humanitarian crisis it has created in the Middle East, the West has turned to Africa for redemption. Idealistic college students, celebrities such as Bob Geldof and politicians such as Tony Blair have all made bringing light to the dark continent their mission.

Read the rest of the article here

4 thoughts on “Stop Trying To ‘Save’ Africa

  1. Pingback: oh, what a world… » Archive » ‘Saving’ Africa?

  2. “Idealistic college students, celebrities such as Bob Geldof and politicians such as Tony Blair have all made bringing light to the dark continent their mission.”

    In every situation, we’ve got to analyse the whole thing from another point of view. It’s not important how many “Very Important People” and celebrities try to became the “hero” of the situation (because they usually do it ’cause they want to improve the power of their public image), the most important thing is Normal People. There are lots of men and women who help Darfur people to survive. They live like them, they fear bombs, violence and death like all of them. They love them, like everybody would have to.
    We’re not talking about 1900, when every nation in the world wanted to conquer the majority of poor states to improve their power and healty, here we’re talking about helping people who are in need. And who can leave healty and security to suffer with Darfur people… is indeed a great human.
    It’s true that West is looking at Africa only today,4 years after the beginning of the war, after 200.000 of deaths. It’s horrible. I think that we’re silly, thinkin’ that Africa is sooo far from us. We are selfish, so I agree with: “the West has turned to Africa for redemption.”. It is horribly true.

    Sorry for the english, I am Italian.


  3. Thank you Dafne for pointing out that regular people go and risk their lives to make a difference. I find that too many people sit and watch the news and do nothing. I used to want to be an aid worker or join the Peace Corps. There is nothing wrong with a idealism. I remember one time, an African student expressed his anger that Black Americans did nothing to help Africa. This of course is untrue, since Black Americans did played a part in independence movements and maintained links with African churches. But sometimes when it comes to any cause, you’re damned if you don’t and you’re damned if you do. The best thing is to follow you heart and make sure your intentions are in the right place, and of course do research and make sure you have a balanced understanding before jumping into any cause.


  4. Salam Sister,

    Perhaps I agree that as comfortable well off people, white or black it can sometimes appear callous to be involved with saving countries. Though may Allah bless them for their attempts. Africa is a mess and it is not getting any easier. WATER is a major issue and getting worse by the minute.

    It is not about saving Africa it is about saving our world! Because as a Muslim all humans are Bini Adam and therefore my brother and sisters, would I leave my sister to starve? No, helping Africa is not a choice it is mandatory as a Musluim.



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