By Elamu Denis Ejulu
We are seeing and hearing more tales involving deportation of Africans on planes amid screams and resistance
News from the Middle East concerning the predicament of over 700 black Africans, most of them of South Sudanese and Eritrean origin, facing the prospect of deportation from Israel is a rude awakening.
This comes on the back of violent protests in Tel Aviv in which two black Africans were targeted while driving on the streets of this famous biblical city.
According to estimates the figure of Africans living in Israel either illegally or as asylum seekers is around 60,000.
The violent scenes in Tel Aviv have been downplayed by Israeli senior politicians like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahuw even as reports of a resurgence of racism are making the rounds on several media houses including the BBC. In Israel some politicians, especially the ruling Likud party, are of the “throw out the Africans” sentiment.
So what does this mean for particularly the black African who, due to less opportunity at home and civil strife in their backyards decides to venture into the distant lands?
This is something which can only best be answered by policy makers and implementers within our governments. Don’t they get embarrassed by such developments in neighbourhoods next to Africa?
After the success of the first original black man in the politics of Washington, U.S. President Barak Obama and so many lucky cousins of Africa who have slowly integrated into the wealthy communities of the developed world, many of our young folks are trying their luck across the Mediterranean Sea.
But are seeing and hearing more tales involving deportation of African on planes amid screams and resistance. These tales exposes how, despite being blessed with rich soils and wealth, Africans have failed to transform our societies into the modern villas and boulevards that we admire and dream of in the distant progressive lands.
How did the rosy economic growth figures posted for over five consecutive years on the continent not transform into sizeable employment for our majority youths? Why has the modern agricultural dream failed so badly due to technical mismanagement that our people continue to survive on humanitarian assistance? The industrialisation policies that have failed to create an army of manufacturing industry for our skilled and semi-skilled population amid the political and public corruption. Who put a spell on us that housing, electricity and safe water are for the thin elite class that hangs on state patronage and the informal sector which contributes much to our economies cannot afford the above basic utilities?
We need a paradigm shift; from shelving good policies in public offices to implementing the national agenda.
Memories ring back to when I last read a manifesto of a devoted African government; that was the Common Man’s Charter by the former President of Uganda, Apollo Milton Obote, in which key sectors of welfare were given serious focus on paper. May be it would have ended on the shelves of government. But with the crisis of the global economy, serious governments are planning for the future in areas of health, education, agriculture, infrastructure, and the environment.
A case in point is the Rwanda Government Vision 2020 which lays the foundation for Rwanda 5 Year Strategic Plan and covers environment protection, economic empowerment for vulnerable women and children, and mitigation of rural-urban poverty, the list is endless.
It is such policy formulation and implementation which is credited with turning around a country of 11 million once bedeviled by the horror of the 1994 genocide into a fast-growing middle income country.
It is think tanks and policies that could change Africa if we keenly paid devotion to them.
Nobody will help us as the global economy is threatened by the economic thinking of the post-Cold War era, invented in the Chicago School of advocacy for corporate governments and deregulation to produce a vampire genre of greed driven by insatiable thirst for plunder and wars as witnessed in Libya and in Iraq.
In the words John Perkins, the confessed former Economic hitman who dubbed it corporatocracy, no one will help us clean our backyards as we rollout Red Carpets for the foreigners coming to Africa. Even our African entrepreneurs too have potential.
Elamu Denis Ejulu is a political economist living in Juba