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From: Obama announces African electricity initiative, reflects on Mandela - World News

President Barack Obama on Sunday announced a sweeping initiative to help bring electrical power to some of Africa's poorest regions, while reflecting on the legacy of Nelson Mandela and urging the continent to continue the work of South Africa's ailing former leader.

Speaking at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, the president announced a $7 billion initiative to bring electrical power to sub-Saharan Africa in an effort to help modernize the continent and better connect it with the rest of the world.

The program, called "Power Africa," will also include more than $9 billion in investment from private companies, according to the White House. The iniative will focus on six African countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania.




It should be interesting to see what happens with this. I would imagine that if the African nations start to step up more into the world powers that it could change things up. The question is can the countries in Africa step into the world power system as a force and still maintain the culture they have.
 

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::shrugs:: I was just posting and commenting on what I saw, if the Russians and Chinese are already pushing electricity into Africa, awesome. My thoughts and musings on how Africa will interact with the rest of the world as they progress more still stands.
 

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As a South African, I can tell you large chunks of the continent are already Westernized as fuck. There has actually been a lot of debate with regards to cultural imperialism and Westernization/Americanization in Africa and how it's "destroying" the traditional cultures of the various countries.

I would like to point out that there is no such thing as an "African culture" though. Even in SA alone the Xhosa, Zulu and other "tribal" cultures are often at each others throats for differences in beliefs and practices. I don't think you meant to imply that the whole of Africa is the same in terms of culture, but the phrasing kind of makes it sound like that. Besides, culture isn't something static, like a lot of people seem to assume. It's something that slowly evolves over time. Technology, the economy and a number of other factors affect how any given culture develops.

And Vaz is right. Those are not the poorest countries, nor the ones in greatest need of aid. But... they are the countries who could in all likelihood utilize it the best, as things stand right now. Many of the really poor countries have leadership in place that's too corrupt and/or incompetent to put the money to good use, for the good of the nation. Instead of going to the electricity initiative, it will either line someone in power's pockets, or be horribly mis-managed.

As for the Chinese and Russians... there is indeed a shitload of activity in a lot of resource-rich African countries already. Problem is though that the locals see very little of the positives coming out of this. Take the Chinese for example. They will come to a country and offer to build hospitals, schools, mines etc. but will import Chinese labour to do the work, and everything they get out of it gets sent back home. So no job creation, no extra money coming into the country. Sure you can say "hey, they have a new school there", but that means jack shit if the local population is still in the same financial clusterfuck they were in before attracting foreign interest. Just because there is a new school or hospital doesn't mean anyone can actually afford to use it.
 

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I did not mean to imply or insult with the culture reference. Just am interested in this situation, the majority of African information seen over here on media is slanted one way or another. If those countries step up into stronger world power roles do you think they will try and help the surrounding countries in Africa that are falling behind?
 

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I did not mean to imply or insult with the culture reference. Just am interested in this situation, the majority of African information seen over here on media is slanted one way or another. If those countries step up into stronger world power roles do you think they will try and help the surrounding countries in Africa that are falling behind?
No worries about the culture comment. Like I said, I figured it wasn't what you meant to imply.

As to the question...

Ideally, I'd love to say yes. But it's far more complicated than that. Partly because, even if these countries get into a more prominent position on the world stage, it will probably be decades before they might be able to stand on equal footing with the developed countries of today. Hard to predict that far into the future.

Also, many African countries have acquired a pretty stubborn streak with regards to Westerners after gaining independence (kinda hypcritical in a lot of instances, considering how many of them devour Western pop culture). There is a lot of mistrust towards the Western powers, and it is continuously inflammed by despotic leaders who use the excuse of "Protecting the African agenda against Imperial agents" to justify doing whatever the fuck they want. And, sadly, a lot of the people buy into it. So some countries might reject aid from the more developed neighbouring countries if they think it's furthering the apparent "Imperial agenda". And as I mentioned earlier, some countries need to sort out their leadership first before they'd be able to make good use of any aid they'd receive.

What also links to their distrust of former colonial powers and the West is that colonialism will return in a new form, economic colonialism. Some view the interest in the African continent by foreign powers as a new attempt at taking control of them (I personally feel that the danger of that comes more from the East than the West nowadays).

On the flip side, there are a few African countries that have the potential to be much more than they are right now, and are more than willing to accept aid in order to better their situation. All they need is a little help and a few nudges in the right direction. What I hope for is that development does indeed happen in these countries, and that their less co-operative neighbours take note, realising that accepting the help can indeed prove beneficial in the long run. And I also hope that this realisation is proven to be true and that these countries, and thereby Africa as a whole, can become a more prominent player on the world stage.
 

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I'm interested to know where the money for it is supposed to come from. Will China lend us the money to start this initiative? What about our people here at home Scofield? The hungry, the homeless, the people without healthcare, education, cars, phones, big screen tv's...
 

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Most likely the same place that the defense budget comes from.
 

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Nope, I totally got it, just pointed out that it comes from the same place that pays for a bloated military.
 

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"Power Africa," will also include more than $9 billion in investment from private companies, according to the White House. T
I hope none of the $9 billion is U.S taxpayers money. Seriously does he have no shame or common sense. Conservative or Liberal i think America as a whole really hates this guy now.

BTW, he took his daughter to the chamber where Mandela was tortured. That really sets a good precedent for racial relations for future Americans.
 

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Seriously does he have no shame or common sense.
Depends, if he is trying to appeal to gun toting, ultra paranoid 'patriots' then no. If he is trying to appeal to pretty much anyone else, then attempting to enact humanitarian actions that the other government bodies will not vehemently oppose out of spite, then yes.

Conservative or Liberal i think America as a whole really hates this guy now.
Still has about the same approval rating as Bush at the same point in his second term (43%, Obama, to 46%, Bush, if I remember right.)

And thats with various shifts in society and him getting the flack for things he did not do (as so many people are want to heap his way.)

BTW, he took his daughter to the chamber where Mandela was tortured. That really sets a good precedent for racial relations for future Americans.
How is that a terrible thing exactly?

He very likely took her there so she can see a part of history first hand, similar to going to a Holocaust museum.
 

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we offer aid to the rest of the world.
Unfortuantly there are a lot of countries I'd cut out of the AID list. I could cut the deficit with all that cash.

How is that a terrible thing exactly?
I wasn't till i sat down with my father a few days ago and discussed the same topic. He made the point that while it's good to note history and prevent repeating the mistakes of the past it can also hurt the future by leaving racialo marks on the young. If they look at what people did in the past and remeber it was "those people" that committed it then they build a layer of bias against them.

My father used the example of "White Guilt" as he called it. The idea that many parents of non-caucasian decent teach their children that many of histories mistakes are the fault of the white man. As we all know this is factually true, as most Imperialistc cultures were caucasian in decent, and many known attrocities have been committed by people of such decent as well. However my father made the excellent point, I think, that if we as humanity, as one race, are to heal the scars of time that we must move beyond such things and leave them in the past. Repeatedly bringing them up only creates bias in the young generation and dioes nothing to kill the seeds of hatred.

Anyway thats what he said, personally it's his family so all power to him. I just don't approve of such wasteful trips over some ridiculous tax money project done by "private contractors" being bided on by the goverement.


True, though i don't know which honestly
 

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Doing the Aid is the tradeoff for others putting up with our military presence.
 

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Doing the Aid is the tradeoff for others putting up with our military presence.
They should GTF over it. The few troops we have in Africa (and we really don't have that many considering most of them are in northern Africa) keep the government heads safe from Warlords and Islamic dissenters. If they don't like that lets pull out and let them face their own problems. Would be good for tax's
 

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My comment was in regards towards world view of our country not just Africa. We do the amount of aid we do because if we did not the world would get fairly pissy about how much our troops are spread out in it.

If your viewpoint in response to that is the same then sure, I agree reduce our military. It is one of the largest tax sinks in our country, more so than pretty much any other single program and many programs linked.
 

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Nigeria and kenya are no surprise seeing as the CIA is suspected of having black sites there to "interrogate" individuals. Aid for torture sheds? Got to pay for the dirty work somehow.
 
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