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Opinions of Sunday, 24 October 2004

Columnist: Kufuor, Appiah Danquah

Give Us A Cause To Grow Up ? Give Us Hope Africa Children

Well Done Mr. President- James Wolfensohn for saying it loud and clear? the single worst cancer ? on the Africa Continent is corruption.
This serious and dreadful disease ?corruption? has eaten into our body politick and created societies that are outright sycophantic, unaccountable, untransparent and damn right unprogressive.
Our continent is bleeding and dying. Mr. Wolfenshon said although corruption was not exclusive to Africa it was more widespread and pervasive in sub-Sahara Africa than any other part of he world ? ?this is tragic?. James it is not tragic it is deadly, it kills, maims and leads to genocidal activities. It leads to lack of basic sanitation facilities, takes away bread from the mouth of dying babies, drugs from sick children, antI-malarial tablets from dying patients and milk from sucking mothers. In short Corruption in sub- Sahara Africa is a killer disease the bane of our society.
It is interesting to note that the 3 leaders that met in Libya to discuss the Sudan Darfooor crisis had been in power for more than a total (50 years.) No wonder the spokesperson for the group stated and I quote? Let us find an African solution to this African problem? Well done Honorable! Let us continue to drive our Mercedes, send our children to schools in Europe, flash our toilets with good drinking water and the refugees (oh give the refugees the usual ?African treatment?) Most of your readers are au fait with the African dose of fairness. The elites, ruling classes, traditional Chiefs, etc all eat, drink , sleep, snore well and the rest of the people - God will provide.
I do not need too bore readers with data, statistics and facts. Is there any light at the end of the tunnel for our people ?
Here is a story of hope. Last week the group overseeing the implementation of European Structural Funds in the East of England met at Aldeburgh Thorpness in Suffolk. The village of Aldeburgh is ?the? most beautiful coastal village in England made up of about 500 houses half of them listed buildings. The only sad news is that the village of Aldeburgh may not be around for the next 10-20 years as it would succumb to the forces of nature (the sea).
Folks, I was amazed by the courage and tenacity of the people of Aldeburgh- they had hope- they knew that the future of their children and grandchildren would be secured when Aldeburg goes under. They were prepared to sacrifice one of the most beautiful places in England to secure a future for their children. I was privileged and honored to have stayed in the village and met some of the locals.
As an African, I said to myself when, when when can we give hope to our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren? I kept asking myself would the wretched children that I met at Savlegu, Kasoa, Nima, Maamobi grow up into a country that would provide them with opportunities and equal life chances?
Or would the tinshacks, filth, and abject poverty be their lot? Would they inherit a society where one is not judged by his birthright but by his contribution to society? Would they grow up into a meritocratic, fair, equitable society? Or would they inherit a sycophantic, crass, lopsided, unequal and outright shamble continent?
The great Ephraim Amu was right when he said ?yen ara asssi ni? you and I have a role to play. How we leave it for the next generation is up to us. One thing is for sure the piercing eyes of the starving African child that you see on the OXFAM advert is pleading begging you and I for HOPE.
I do not intend to appeal to the conscience of our leaders anymore, as I am not sure whether the majority leaders of the African Union have any conscience left. I just appeal to the ordinary folks LET US GIVE THEM HOPE.
Mr. World Bank- On behalf of the children of Nima, Kasoa, Maamobi, Aboabo and all shanty towns in Africa Thanks a bunch for your comments and May God Bless you.


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