Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

From the AU Summit in Kigali, Rwanda:

"One of the primary goals of the agenda is to guarantee integration and political unity in Africa and this passport will aid the body achieve that goal."

Yet Paul Kagame has been President of Rwanda now for 16 years!!!

Oh and this borderless AU is only available to the "ruling class." So African politics as usual. Nobody believes this nonsense. This is pure spin.

If they really wanted to address jobs they would need to address the fact that their countries are increasingly selling their natural resources and labor to the Chinese. I was shocked when I saw Chinese laborers in coolies building roads in Ethiopia and a foreman barking at them in Mandarin. This is not an uncommon site in Kenya and the DRC either.

Africa is a complex problem.

How do you think the Chinese manage to get access to every natural resource?

Just bribe a leader and you're home free.

But don't forget that we moved practically all our manufacturing industry to China, so that problem is not unique to Africa.

The real problem is that when a "strongman" appears in an African country and tries to set things right, he's automatically a threat to former colonial powers, so we get rid of him.

The French have ben doing it before we came on the scene, so getting rid of African strongmen is not our invention.

I'm not following any of your statements. They don't seem to relate to each other either.

I am not sure what you mean by "Africa is a complex problem", there is no singularity there. Africa is also not "a problem." I am not even sure I know what that means.

The Chinese aren't bribing anyone, they are actually building much-needed infrastructure. These are real tangible things they are delivering The problem is they are doing it in exchange for access to the natural resources in those countries, the extent of which is often not well understood.

You saying "we moved our manufacturing" leads me to believe that you are American. This is not the same as whats going on in sub-Saharan Africa with infrastructure projects at all. American companies reap significantly higher profit margins by manufacturing in China. In a sense America has "completed its industrialization" and is now largely a service economy. much of Africa is considered a "developing economy", those natural resources and the wealth that they could generate should benefit the African not the Chinese.

Kagame is not a "strongman"(I dislike that US media term.) He's been in power way too long for sure but he is not a military thug which is the general connotation of that term. A lot of good has actually happened for Rwanda under his leadership and compared to neighboring Burundi things run pretty well there. Kagame is not a puppet of any former colonial power nor is Kabilia for that matter.

> Africa is also not "a problem." I am not even sure I know what that means.

That's probably because you've not been there. I could write a whole piece on the complexity of the place, but that's too much work for me right now.

But consider the problem faced by citizens of a country called Nigeria. That's one of the top oil-producing countries in the world. Yet as I write this, most have no electricity and the price of refined crude products does not make sense. It's a lot worse, but chew on that.

> The Chinese aren't bribing anyone

Really! So the Chinese showed up one day and started building roads and bridges and exporting any natural resources they can lay their paws on without negotiating any contract with officials there. It's during that "negotiating" that stuff happens.

Where do you get off making a statement like that? In fact I have been there. Not only have I been there but I have spent a significant amount of time there. I know Rwanda very well, additionally I've spent much time in neighboring DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia, Burundi and the Sudan.

Please provide evidence of Chinese bribery then? Where is your citation?

If they were bribing officials they wouldn't be building infrastructure, they would simply exchange cash for natural resources and that is not what's happening. The Chinese have laborers, boots on the ground working 14 hour days, undertaking large scale infrastructure projects.

Yes, strong dictators have been great for African development. /s

Actually, strong, nationalistic military leaders have been. There're, of course, corrupt, authoritarian leaders that decimated their countries, but those are not unique to Africa.

Muammar Gaddafi was of that strong, nationalistic military type who was very good for his country, that is, until we decided he was too much of an impediment to our interests.

You should look at the average, not cherry-picked benefits. Sure, every continent has had authoritarian leaders who did some good.

But the average dictator just exploits their population to enrich themselves and sets the country's development back substantially. (That being said, I don't think the US should be getting involved at all. Establishing good governance is Africans' own responsibility.)

> How do you think the Chinese manage to get access to every natural resource?

> Just bribe a leader and you're home free

Heh, far from it. See this documentary about Chinese operations in the Congo, for example:


Getting anything done in Africa is a pain in the ass, and it goes far beyond just bribing the right people.

That video highlights part of the problem in Africa, well after negotiations have brought in the highest <i>briber</i>.

But it's all part of that complexity of doing business there.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact