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This is a discussion on Is this board good for political discussions? within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; >>The difference here in North America,... You can't compare these African very poor countries with North America. >>but all I ...

  1. #31
    System Novice siavoshkc's Avatar
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    >>The difference here in North America,...

    You can't compare these African very poor countries with North America.

    >>but all I know is people fear getting sued, which is something that people in the developing world do not fear

    Why do you think so?

    You don't know what poorty is. What can you do with a group of people, that 60% of them are doing illegal things just to survive? Think you are the president of Nigeria, and you are a good man(of course you are). What can you do? No exports, no agriculture and no industry. You can't have even enough prisons. And if it was like North America, that its people are making joke about suing (a thief sued the house owner because his leg was hitten by a table or a woman sued coffee shop owner because the coffee was hot), all people would be in prison. Who supports the cost?

    Anyway, I never understood why African nations are like this. I thing 80% of UN money is going to be eaten by Africa.
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  2. #32
    and the Hat of Clumsiness GanglyLamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siavoshkc
    Anyway, I never understood why African nations are like this. I thing 80% of UN money is going to be eaten by Africa.
    This evening in the news: Belgium will spend 25 million € ( that will go to some UN funds ) on sanitation in Kinshasa ( Congo ). They showed something that used to be a canal , and a drainage system during the rainy season. Now it is being used as dump and has become an open sewage system.

    Everytime initiatives like this are taken I wonder:

    1) Are they just going to clean the canal ?
    2) Are they going to give lectures to the people where to dump their dirt, and if necessary provide, dumpsters, and some system to clean these at a regular basis.

    If they do 1 and 2 , both my thumbs up for UN and Belgium for donating the money and the delegation of work down there.

    If they only do 1 then yes indeed 80% of UN fundings will be eaten by Africa , and it will be a trend that is only to continue in the future.

    The voluntary work that I did in Nigeria was exactly what I am describing here. Although I didnt had a 25 million € funds, I wanted to clean up parts of Lagos , especially areas like Ebute Meta, Sabo Yaba, Yaba , Ojota and all those other dirty place where the dirt is just stacked and dumped on the streets ...

    My approach was, get together with all the big landlords that have a large amount of the buildings in one area, discuss this problem with them, see what they want to change about it. Since when an area is clean it will be only beneficial to them since more people will be keen on living there.

    Normally I'd just ask the landlords to put one big dumpster in the compound, then every tenant would pay something like 5 Naira a week, combined this was enough to have the dirt removed by a person. ( there is no dumptruck that goes around in Lagos to collect the dirt - unless maybe in fancy parts like Ikoyi and Victoria Island , in the poorer parts only once a month a dumptruck comes by to pick up some stuff ).

    Also apart from talking to the landlords I would talk to the tenants or let the landlord talk to them. I'd explain them that this dumpster is something to put your dirt in , and not to take parts of the dumpster away because of a friend that needs some iron ...
    Since there used to be public dumspters , but welders from everywhere would just come and take piece by piece away to build a gate or whatever ...

    As for you dont understand why african nations are like that. You should go and visit them, if you have not done yet. And live among and with the people for some time. It's the same as these politicians that go to some African country for a week, im sure they'll be staying in rich areas or at least in some nice hotels. Why not drop them with some random,common, previously screened, but therefore not upperclass family for that one week. Im sure they will get a better view of what is going on, its nice to hear lectures about " oh and this is not working out" or "this should be changed to that for the better of everyone". But rarely the opinion of these "everyone"s is hardly asked. And that's where I think that alot of NGO's come into place. Getting down with these people , see what lives with them, try to get to know their culture instead of trying to teach them your culture. ( for starters, listen to some african music, especially Fela Kuti, although its Yoruba mixed with Pidgin its understandable and lays out the problems very simple )

    Anyway , there are alot of misconceptions by non Africans about Africa and vice versa as well.
    And what im going to say next will be a thorn in the eye of many people:

    We as western countries ought to be obliged , or at least feel obliged to help them out. It is mostly because of western countries that great African nations fell.
    Before the colonist came, there were already borderlines established and a whole political system/ kingdoms or whatever.
    There are numerous examples of this: Congo, Zimbabwe, Niger, Ghana etc etc ...
    In one way or the other western nations have helped the demise of many of these once great nations/kingdoms.

    If I say the above to people I get 95% of the time the answer:

    "Forget about Africa it's a dead continent and whatever you do its a drop on a hot plate."

    Should I forget and continue my luxury life and sit and wait while so many people are being infected by HIV simply because they don't know about it, while so many people starve to death while at the same time here food is being destroyed just to keep the price of one or two items up, while so many people live in inhumane conditions while im relaxing in front of my tv laughing my ass of with some comedy show....

    I think that I myself as an individual must not forget about the continent!

  3. #33
    The superhaterodyne twomers's Avatar
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    Dude, that's way too long! Get a sig like Mario F's, at least that way you appologise about it!!
    Seriously though, I don't think I've ever had a post that long!

    Interesting post though! How long were you there for? Who did you go with? What organis(z)ation?
    Last edited by twomers; 08-02-2006 at 03:20 PM.

  4. #34
    System Novice siavoshkc's Avatar
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    Before the colonist came, there were already borderlines established and a whole political system/ kingdoms or whatever.
    I am not agree with this. What political system?
    In African countries only Egypt has an old history. None of them were rich in any portion of history. They never tried to solve their problems. They just like to make some groups, buy some weapon and fight each other. Always dealing with the worst diseases and spreading them in the world.


    I have a question: Why they didn't help the demise of western countries? Do you know what I mean? They were weak and poor, always.

    This evening in the news: Belgium will spend 25 million € ( that will go to some UN funds ) on sanitation in Kinshasa ( Congo ).
    Just give me that money and I will pray for Africans A LOT.
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  5. #35
    The superhaterodyne twomers's Avatar
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    >> In African countries only Egypt has an old history.

    ... em .... sweeping generalisation there mate. Do you have proof?

  6. #36
    System Novice siavoshkc's Avatar
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    My school history book.
    And its a time to point something, USA school history books are just beautiful story books.
    Last edited by siavoshkc; 08-02-2006 at 04:04 PM.
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  7. #37
    and the Hat of Clumsiness GanglyLamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twomers
    Dude, that's way too long! Get a sig like Mario F's, at least that way you appologise about it!!

    Interesting post though! How long were you there for? Who did you go with? What organis(z)ation?
    Sorry for the long post but I just needed to get this out .

    Organisation: ICYE
    Duration: 1 year.

    Before I went there were like 150 candidates to go abroad with ICYE. After some weekends of information and selections we ended up with maybe 12 persons.

    I had 2 introduction weeks first in Nigeria , to get to know some culture specific things, a quick Yoruba course so at least I'd be able to understand and speak some Yoruba.

    I am not agree with this. What political system?
    The Yoruba for instance had a whole system outlined by kingdoms, there were rules just like here in a democracy, although be it in their own way. But their own way does not imply a wrong way. It's not because I say that people should walk like monkeys that that is the right way. There are no right or wrong ways of culture, sure you yourself as an individual might find a cultural horrific because of their believs or whatever but that does not mean it is a wrong culture.

    None of them were rich in any portion of history. They never tried to solve their problems. They just like to make some groups, buy some weapon and fight each other. Always dealing with the worst diseases and spreading them in the world.
    You definately need to go and visit some poor countries look at their belongings of the past. Back then they were rich in their own way. Maybe not rich like us but rich for them. A dollar here means less then a dollar somewhere else, its the same.

    As for the deseases, an ecosystem is in balance untill someone tries to change something, be it unwilling or unwillingly. In the case of colonist they themselves were the weight throwing the scale out of balance.

    And about the fighting, we were no better at that time and we still are no better then they used to be. People sending their own children to fight a war that is not even theirs thousand miles from home, thats insanity at the highest level.

    Yes they did fight with each other, but so do we at this time , where is the difference?

    Also do not forget that in Nigeria there were alot of kingdoms before the colonist came. When the colonist decided where the borders of Nigeria should be, the borderlines included alot of etnical groups, not to talk about the variety of languages ( probably more then 100 in total ).

    So in a country with this much of diversity how can you expect one to obey one rule all of a sudden when traditions and ways of living have been the same for hundred years.

    But then again thats the human's nature, we want to categorize/structure as much as possible, you as a programmer should understand that fully. Why is there OO programming , why didnt we just stick with plain C. Creating structure in chaos is something humanity strives for. But rearranging an already in place structure with a completely different is never easy ( in IT thinking, transition from one system to another ).

    Why they didn't help the demise of western countries? Do you know what I mean? They were weak and poor, always.
    I'd suggest you look up , if you not know already , what kind of money lending stories/dramas there have been with African countries. As for being weak and poor , again the same, I can be rich without having a dime in my pocket.

    They were rich by having their own system of trading things. Agriculture and the likes were already present even before the colonist came. These countries are blessed with gifts that most western countries don't have naturally and envy.

    Natural resources like oil, diamonds or precious metals etc. We as western countries went there, to us these things mean nothing more then money and levelling up our ways of living.

    And yes they were weak, weak against the firearms of the colonial powers, I've been to Badagry which is supposed to be the first place where slaves were taken from. If you see the drawings , the equipment and ways they used to handle these people ... yes they were weak.

    And they are still weak right now, why?
    Again the money lending dramas come up.
    Just look at Congo , the first elections in over 40 years .... come on that's insane, and why, because some colonial power decided this area was one country, also again including different etnic groups and different languages.

    There's a reason why there are Africans that insulted me when I was there. And I can't blame them, but I can also not be held responsible for the actions people of my country did 3 generations or more ago.
    But I can be held responsible for the result/followup of what they did.

    :edit:

    Don't believe whatever you read, the best way to get to know something is to get in touch with the subject and surely don't rely on a sole source for information.
    a search on google for "kingdoms nigeria" ended up at http://www.kingdomsofnigeria.com/ or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigeria
    check the historical part. Better yet, go to the library and get a book about kingdoms in Africa.

    And this is what I mean by:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganglylamb
    Anyway , there are alot of misconceptions by non Africans about Africa and vice versa as well.
    Last edited by GanglyLamb; 08-02-2006 at 04:56 PM.

  8. #38
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siavoshkc
    In African countries only Egypt has an old history. None of them were rich in any portion of history. They never tried to solve their problems. They just like to make some groups, buy some weapon and fight each other. Always dealing with the worst diseases and spreading them in the world.
    I'm really not sure how to deal with this statement. Especially the last sentence. I'm sure you are well educated enough to have said that in some joking manner. If so, I will smile at the joke with you.

    As for the rest of your statement (the earliest bits)... You really need to learn about African history. You need to learn for instance, that among other things, big and important civilizations existed in Africa, that while not having spread past african borders, they were nonetheless rich both in culture and resources. This is particularly true of African regions known today as Ethiopia (the incredibly rich Aksum civilization), The Ghana and The Mali, The Great Zimbabwe, and most especially the Swahili Kingdoms that shadowed Egypt (both military and in resources) for the most part of their history and lived in Eastern Africa.

    There are also some "unknown" civilizations that are only now being discovered in Africa. Some of which show incredible technology.

    As you well know, only now is Africa being actually "discovered". Historians always favored Europe, the Americas and Egypt. Years of colonization didn't help to establish a scientific approach to the continent either. That is thankfully changing... and the findings may surprise us even more than they have already.
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  9. #39
    The Richness... Richie T's Avatar
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    One of the things I hate about documentaries is the way that some of them
    present some arbitrary information/opinion as a root cause for something.

    I can't claim to know anything about African economics, but I would guess that
    there are numerous factors other than living far inland which affect economy,
    say past colonisation, lack of freedom of individuals (dictatorships), cultural
    differences (wars with other nations, traditional living), and perhaps more, all
    of which create an inhospitable climate. Consider the poverty trap -
    governments that can't afford to run their country so they borrow from rich
    countries, but war, corruption and poor investment mean that the money
    is a short term fix, so the country becomes poorer.

    I would guess that population desity in central Africa is far lower than in coastal
    regions, primarily due to desert regions and rainforest, which result in small
    populations is such places.

    Edit: I also love the fact that a thread questioning whether topics such as these
    should be discussed on this forum has become a full blown dialog on the political
    and social status of Africa!
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  10. #40
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    >I don't know what you are on about!! Invisability?????
    twomers, you have some of the best ideas.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    Last edited by joeprogrammer; 08-02-2006 at 09:19 PM.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeprogrammer
    >I don't know what you are on about!! Invisability?????
    twomers, you have some of the best ideas.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
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    Oh, now did I get it?
    Last edited by joeprogrammer; 08-02-2006 at 09:18 PM.

  13. #43
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    I'll admit, I learn much more about world history from watching the History channel and Discovery channel than I did in my world history class in highschool. I don't know how broad my knowledge is currently, but I would doubt anything I would say I know is wrong. I don't think the History channel alters history for the benefit of entertainment. There is plenty of entertaining history out there. No need to add more.

    I just hope one day our great-great-great-great-grand children can one day turn on the TV... or hologram room, or whatever... and see "The adventures of the Cboard as only the History Channel can bring you".
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  14. #44
    and the Hat of Clumsiness GanglyLamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDofRockyView
    GanglyLamb, I heard that the economic problem in Africa stems from the fact that the population does not live on the coast of Africa but lives inland, and this is due to the geography for varios reasons such as agriculture.
    Hmm then Nigeria is on of the big exceptions along with Togo, Ghana and all the others that have some coastline, with over 10 million inhibatitans Lagos as a city that is directly near the sea .... with Ibadan with its huge population which is only a 2 hour drive from Lagos, with the Delta State, Cross - River state etc ...

    In other words, since they do not establish coastal cities this affects trade. I heard this in some documentary but it was years ago, and I forget the economist involved but he was an authority of some sort who has been involved in the development of various economic systems.
    Either this was a very bad documentary or you are very old .

    I'm not saying we should feel responsible for everything that goes on there.
    When it doesn't rain, well then it doesn't rain.... desertification ... well maybe that can be our fault as well somewhere ... but thats very long fetched I guess... although there seems a direct link to global warming and desertification ...

    Anyhow, drought and other "natural" things happen. At that point its not that we should help them out because of what happened during the colonial periods, no that one is called sympathy and not being indifferent for people starving. Since for all you know , you could have been born down there and you'd be the one suffering.

    Now what Richie T says the "poverty trap" is so true, the borrow money, make wrong investments, they can't get a new loan in the old system since they went over the limits, so western countries create a new system allowing them to borrow more. Then early this year they said some debts were just cancelled....

    Its a good thing. And again the same as with the UN sanitation programme in Kinshasa. Only cancelling debt will not help them in the long run. Cancellling their debts by removing the interest, and giving the rest of the "money" that would be used to cancel their debt to them under supervision would be better.

    Let them finally take some right decisions, since they can't do this on their own , let someone else help them with it.

    Here in Belgium every normal common person has acces to this social service, something called "debt negotiation" programme. Whatever, these nations should have something like this as well, a programme that would advise on what to do next, what to invest, etc etc...

    If no one teached me how to write, then I'd come here and fill jibberish in this textbox....

    If no one teached them how to decently do agriculture, do politics, control and run a nation .... how are they going to know. ( this is not a generalisation, there will be colonist nations that really helped their country on the way after abandoning it ).

    How is it possible that in places where western people have gone , agriculture is limited to no irrigated lands and things like that. When while the westerners where there, agriculture was booming.

    Just look at Zimbabwe to see the whole colonist leaving process but then in the near past and not 50 - 60 years ago. Zimbabwe's agriculture has collapsed since the westerners were forced to leave and taken away their grounds....

    I also love the fact that a thread questioning whether topics such as these
    should be discussed on this forum has become a full blown dialog on the political
    and social status of Africa!
    Yeah im just going to shut up, since I can ramble on forever probably .

  15. #45
    System Novice siavoshkc's Avatar
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    As for the rest of your statement (the earliest bits)... You really need to learn about African history. You need to learn for instance, that among other things, big and important civilizations existed in Africa, that while not having spread past african borders, they were nonetheless rich both in culture and resources. This is particularly true of African regions known today as Ethiopia (the incredibly rich Aksum civilization), The Ghana and The Mali, The Great Zimbabwe, and most especially the Swahili Kingdoms that shadowed Egypt (both military and in resources) for the most part of their history and lived in Eastern Africa.
    Great Kingdom? The great kingdom means a rich man is governing other people. It is not a good civilization.
    When you talk about history, you should come with proof. Proof is not some old jars here. The proof is the effect of that nations on each other. I live in a very old country, oldest maybe. We know there was a greece that we had some problems with it and sometimes we were in peace. It is not concluded by an old jar.
    Unfortunatly western countries use to make beautiful stories about the history, instead of talking about what really has happend in the past.
    Eric Vondeniken (not sure about spelling) explains how wrong conclusion can come from an old jar.
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