Rich Africans Scrounging for "Climate Famine" Funds

Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe, attends the 12th African Union Summit Feb. 2, 2009 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe, attends the 12th African Union Summit Feb. 2, 2009 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Public domain image, source Wikimedia

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Guardian is screaming out for rich donor countries to help the suffering people of Southern Africa, who are currently experiencing a drought which they claim was caused by El-nino and climate change. But a little research demonstrates that these countries are entirely capable of helping themselves, if the politicians in charge of these drought hit nations diverted a little cashflow towards helping their suffering people.

Southern Africa cries for help as El Niño and climate change savage maize harvest

Only half of $600m promised in aid has come

Two-year-old Zeka screams as a health worker measures the circumference of her arm while another holds her legs and presses her flesh. The nurses agree: Zeka has clear signs of edema, a swelling condition caused by extreme hunger.

“She will live, but she needs to go to hospital. The situation in this area is much worse than when we were here just a few weeks ago.

“It looks like 10% of children here are now malnourished. It will certainly get worse,” said chief health assistant Ane Banda, who is leading a government assessment of rural areas near Nsanje, close to the Malawian border with Mozambique.

“We have not eaten for days,” said Zeka’s mother, who has been living off wild fruit, water lilies and the kindness of neighbours but has been told to attend a food handout in her village the next day.

Malawi is one of seven southern African countries on the brink of starvation and in a situation that the UN says needs requires immediate action.

It has been devastated by a combination of a long drought caused by a strong El Niño weather cycle and climate change. Successive maize harvests have failed, leaving communities there and in Zambia, Congo, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and elsewhere, desperate for food.

Read more:

Why do I think these countries can take care of themselves?

Zambia: Despite extensive government mismanagement, Copper is still the mainstay of Zambia’s export industry. According to Trading Economics, Zambia is earning around USD $1.5 million per month in Copper exports. It would be a lot more if Zambia didn’t keep messing up mining agreements signed with companies desperate to exploit Zambia’s mineral wealth.

Congo: Congo has extensive deposits of Diamonds, Uranium, an estimated USD $24 trillion in untapped mineral wealth, much of it readily accessible with low tech mining equipment. The problem with the Congo is political instability, something they are going to have to sort out for themselves.

Zimbabwe: Despite vigorous government attempts to loot and destroy the Zimbabwean farming system, Zimbabwe still own and operate significant income producing assets. In 2013, Zimbabwean mineral exports were estimated at USD $1.8 billion. No shortage of cash there.

Mozambique: In 2012, CityAM, a London financial publication, noted that the European economic crisis was so severe in Spain, there was a significant net flow of Spanish Portuguese economic refugees to Angola and Mozambique, begging Mozambican authorities for work visas. Mozambique has a GDP of USD $18 billion per annum. Any suggestion that Mozambique needs economic aid is complete fiction.

Obviously a few of the countries on the list are run by kleptocrats who simply don’t care if their people are starving, or who see photogenic scenes of starving peasants as a way of squeezing money out of Westerners stupid enough to believe their tales of woe. But all of the countries listed by the Guardian have the means, if not the will, to take care of their own problems.

What should we do in cases where the government simply won’t take care of its own people?

Kenyan economics expert James Shikwati has some advice for Westerners who want to help, when they see pictures of starving children.

For God’s Sake, Please Stop the Aid!”

The Kenyan economics expert James Shikwati, 35, says that aid to Africa does more harm than good. The avid proponent of globalization spoke with SPIEGEL about the disastrous effects of Western development policy in Africa, corrupt rulers, and the tendency to overstate the AIDS problem.

July 04, 2005 12:00 AM

SPIEGEL: Mr. Shikwati, the G8 summit at Gleneagles is about to beef up the development aid for Africa…

Shikwati: … for God’s sake, please just stop.

SPIEGEL: Stop? The industrialized nations of the West want to eliminate hunger and poverty.

Shikwati: Such intentions have been damaging our continent for the past 40 years. If the industrial nations really want to help the Africans, they should finally terminate this awful aid. The countries that have collected the most development aid are also the ones that are in the worst shape. Despite the billions that have poured in to Africa, the continent remains poor.

SPIEGEL: Do you have an explanation for this paradox?

Shikwati: Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need. As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa’s problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn’t even notice. Only the functionaries would be hard hit. Which is why they maintain that the world would stop turning without this development aid.

SPIEGEL: Even in a country like Kenya, people are starving to death each year. Someone has got to help them.

Shikwati: But it has to be the Kenyans themselves who help these people. When there’s a drought in a region of Kenya, our corrupt politicians reflexively cry out for more help. This call then reaches the United Nations World Food Program — which is a massive agency of apparatchiks who are in the absurd situation of, on the one hand, being dedicated to the fight against hunger while, on the other hand, being faced with unemployment were hunger actually eliminated. It’s only natural that they willingly accept the plea for more help. And it’s not uncommon that they demand a little more money than the respective African government originally requested. They then forward that request to their headquarters, and before long, several thousands tons of corn are shipped to Africa …

Read more:

The moral of the story is clear – let other people sort their own problems out, even if they try to play on your empathy and convince you that their suffering is your fault.

Correction (EW) – the CityAM story was about Portuguese economic refugees flooding into Africa. The Spanish economic refugees were flocking to Latin America.

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November 27, 2016 11:25 pm

See the book, When Helping Hurts.

Bryan A
Reply to  Ralph Dave Westfall
November 28, 2016 6:36 am

So how much of South Africa could be fed by the Corn used to make Ethanol?

Reply to  Bryan A
November 29, 2016 6:55 am

zero. Actually ethanol was a way to gat rid of too much corn (just a sophisticated replay of burning grain instead of coal in 30s’ locomotives). Should corn stop to be used to make ethanol, it wouldn’t be grown in the first place anyway.

Reply to  Bryan A
November 29, 2016 1:30 pm

Corn is actually a problem in some areas, the indigenous population believe it to be better because it’s what “Rich White People” eat and have gone into a complete monoculture at the expense of traditional grains better suited to the local conditions.

Reply to  Ralph Dave Westfall
November 28, 2016 6:44 am

the quickest way to destroy a people and their way of life is to give them free food, shelter and clothing.
in the case of Africa, free food destroys the local markets, such that local farmers are driven out of business, and a small famine is turned into a large famine when the free food stops.

Reply to  ferdberple
November 29, 2016 7:03 am

plus, free food is sized by warlords who use it to overfeed happy their militia, get rich by reselling stuff, while starving opponents. The more they destroy the country, the richer and powerful they get.

November 27, 2016 11:26 pm

Rhodesia used to be prosperous. Nobody was starving. Then Robert Mugabe expropriated or stole the land and drove out the white farmers. He gave the land to his cronies and production plummeted. On the one hand, trying to eradicate racism is laudable. On the other hand, driving out all the competent farmers is really stupid. The country is now a wreck.

… it is not surprising to learn that a great astronomer said: “Two things are infinite, as far as we know – the universe and human stupidity.” To-day we know that this statement is not quite correct. Einstein has proved that the universe is limited. link

Reply to  commieBob
November 27, 2016 11:52 pm

Absolutely true. Some of those white Rhodesian farmers have ended up in New Zealand. Some it seems simply walked off their land as the government and security problems made remaining quite impossibe. Some had been on that land for more than 100 years and employed more local labour than the farms can support currently under Mugabe.

Reply to  commieBob
November 28, 2016 12:13 am

Same as Cuba, same as Venezuela, same as North Korea. When the insane ideologues take over the Zimbabwean result always arrives.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Keitho
November 28, 2016 2:46 am

The current ruling clique of Zimbabwe were sponsored (militarily) by the North Koreans both before and after the Lancaster House Agreement. 1980.
The Fifth Brigade was NK-trained. Note the similarity of the result. This is not an accident. The masses are much better ‘behaved’ when they are hungry. The drought is not a political disaster, it is a political opportunity. For some.
I do not agree with the generalisation that the worst countries should not receive food aid. Without previous assistance they would be in even worse shape. There are no off-the-cuff or off-the-shelf solutions.

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
November 28, 2016 2:56 am

Having lived through the entire 36 years of the Mugabe destruction I would say that all of the aid simply propped up the vicious dictatorship by removing the worst effects of his deliberate cruelty and oppression. It is certainly arguable that aid does in some instances produce good results but in the case of Zimbabwe the outcome has been negative.
It could be that Zimbabweans are simply docile or even support Mugabe. My take though is that aid kept the populace teetering on the brink of rising up but never quite getting there. This experiment in extreme African nationalism would have come to an end much earlier if Zimbabwe had been left to her own devices.

Nigel S
Reply to  Keitho
November 28, 2016 5:24 am

Aid mainly supports the local Mercedes Benz outlets (the locals call the kleptocrats ‘WaBenzi’ = the Benz tribe).

Bryan A
Reply to  Keitho
November 28, 2016 10:23 am

There are 2 ways to do things…The Right way and the Zimbab-way

Reply to  Keitho
November 28, 2016 1:32 pm

It’s also the same in the Ghettos in major western democracies with welfare, etc. Except that in Africa, the lefties don’t get their vote in exchange.

Reply to  Keitho
November 29, 2016 4:48 am

But just once, I wish the aliens in some show when they look at our history would say something like that instead of you are a violent species.

Reply to  Keitho
November 29, 2016 5:35 am

Bad luck.
The USSR had 50 years of bad weather. Talk about bad luck.

Reply to  commieBob
November 28, 2016 7:51 am

No, surely they did not starve to death.
koBulawayo. The whole place has been named for slaughter. Ixwa and machine gun.
This is not to say Mugabe has been increasingly catastrophic.

Reply to  Hugs
November 28, 2016 7:54 am

I mean Mugabe HAS been increasingly catastrophic!

Reply to  Hugs
November 28, 2016 10:39 am

Starving people rarely starve to death, because they are killed in an attempt to feed themselves by those who have managed to feed themselves. If you allocate one crust to ten starving men, I doubt very much if the remaining nine simply sit down and starve.

Reply to  commieBob
November 28, 2016 8:09 pm

Agreed. Rhodesia used to be the bread basket of S. Africa. When the white farmers were run off or shot, the whole agri culture went downhill. Africa has always been beset by corrupt, incompetent rulers who are only interested in acquiring money & power.

November 27, 2016 11:39 pm

Money changes equations and motivates otherwise sane individuals to hold cabinet meetings underwater.

Reply to  chaamjamal
November 28, 2016 12:12 am

Oh so true. Like so much of the Climate Wars it is just theatre designed to elicit a cash response.

November 27, 2016 11:45 pm

I’ve noted before that over many decades we’ve been constantly harassed by images via aid agencies of starving children from Cambodia to Africa. There’s no guarantee that the depots in charge of these countries don’t siphon off a whole heap for themselves. Why make tin-pot dictators rich?
Besides, I reckon Mugabe’s favourite excuse would be: “Why should I help my starving peoples.. What have they ever done for me?

Reply to  ЯΞ√ΩLUT↑☼N
November 28, 2016 3:36 am

they provided a rather staggeringly expensive private jet i gather
and a palace etc etc..

November 27, 2016 11:49 pm

I’ve noted before that over many decades we’ve been constantly harassed by images via aid agencies of starving children from Cambodia to Africa. There’s no guarantee that the depots in charge of these countries don’t siphon off a whole heap for themselves. Why make tin-pot dictators rich?
Besides, I reckon Mugabe’s favourite excuse would be: “Why should I help my starving peoples.. What have they ever done for me?
I hope this doesn’t turn out to be a duplicate comment – something went wrong just then.

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia
November 27, 2016 11:57 pm

Maybe the Clinton Foundation could help?

Reply to  Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia
November 28, 2016 3:37 am

you mean?
Haiti sure didnt get helped by them it seems

Nigel S
Reply to  ozspeaksup
November 28, 2016 5:31 am

Haiti is the most shocking I think because of the abject poverty, hence weakness, that was exploited. My colleagues and I recently designed (pro bono) an earthquake and hurricane resistant (proof God willing) school building for an orphanage there. It was built by Christian volunteers in time to survive the recent hurricane and provided some shelter amidst the surrounding devastation. So the Clinton Foundation feels quite personal.

Johann Wundersamer
November 28, 2016 12:00 am

Never thought SPIEGEL would regain journalistic expertise.
Thanks for stay.

November 28, 2016 12:09 am

“and in a situation that the UN says needs requires immediate action.”
Typo Eric ?
Great post, as always…..

Robert from oz
November 28, 2016 12:16 am

This is hard but true .

Kaiser Derden
Reply to  Robert from oz
November 28, 2016 6:48 am

why is it hard ? why should you really care if faraway people starve due to their own follies ? other than some sort of guilt driven virtue signaling ? Its not hard to not care about people you shouldn’t care about … we all do it all the time with people we have never heard of who are suffering …

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Kaiser Derden
November 28, 2016 2:05 pm

I’m galad to be a descendant of those who rose up against tyrants to make their country free.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Kaiser Derden
November 28, 2016 2:07 pm

Galad? sheesh.

November 28, 2016 12:26 am

“Give a man a fish, and you feed his family for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed his family for a lifetime.”

Reply to  Marcus
November 28, 2016 1:26 am

Give a man a fire and he’s warm for a day. Set him on fire, and he’s warm for the rest of his life
(this comment is meant for humour alone, and in no way endorses setting anyone on fire, just to be certain I am not misunderstood)

Reply to  Jer0me
November 28, 2016 1:50 am


Reply to  Jer0me
November 28, 2016 3:27 am

Give a man a fire and he’s warm for a day. Set him on fire,</strike) Give him a Samsung cell phone and he’s warm for the rest of his life.

Reply to  Jer0me
November 28, 2016 3:29 am

Aw, crap. Screwed up the strikethrough.
Give a man a fire and he’s warm for a day. Set him on fire, Give him a Samsung cell phone and he’s warm for the rest of his life.

Reply to  Jer0me
November 28, 2016 8:00 am

The difference between a joke and hate speech is joke makes me smile.
The difference between erötics and pörn is pörn makes me beep.
More lines to draw?

Reply to  Marcus
November 28, 2016 5:04 am

Use GM to turn a man into a fish and you feed 2 families for a week (big fish).

November 28, 2016 1:29 am

Don’t forget, Mugabe is lauded by the greens. He gets standing ovations at their frequent parties in exotic locations. Maybe because he causes so many people to die, thus saving “carbon pollution”?

tony mcleod
Reply to  Jer0me
November 28, 2016 2:56 am


Reply to  tony mcleod
November 28, 2016 4:15 pm

Hyperbole maybe but the Grauniad, through gritted teeth, says

Critics say the food shortages have been caused partially by land reforms enacted by the president since 2000, when the government oversaw the often violent eviction of white farmers.

Reply to  tony mcleod
November 29, 2016 12:36 am

I can find many reports of these in a few seconds searching

Reply to  tony mcleod
November 29, 2016 7:51 am

Only when it became obvious to everyone of the murderous dictatorship. Before it was obvious, Zimbabwe was the darling example for the left with visits from Illinois Dems and Hillary and often cited by African university students as the shining example of success.

November 28, 2016 1:41 am

Anytime anyone mentions population growth here there are always mutterings about Malthus but let is firmly grasp that nettle.
Here is a very useful population analysis tool for each country. it is set to Malawi
In 1950 Malawi had some 3 million people. today it is around 18 million and by 2050 around 47 million.
Syria also experienced rapid growth from around 4 million in 1950 to some 23 million prior to the exodus. The story is the same with Ethiopia, Iraq, Nigeria and numerous other countries.
Climate change would have to be the most benevolent ever seen for these rapidly expanding and mostly poor countries to feed themselves.
The best thing the west could do is to help poor countries to industrialise and provide better infrastructure as that could help to stabilise the population as wealthier and better educated countries tend to have lower population growth.
Otherwise we will see starvation on a huge scale as populations explode which will invariably be blamed on climate change

November 28, 2016 1:56 am

“Mozambique has a GDP of USD $18 billion per annum. Any suggestion that Mozambique needs economic aid is complete fiction.”
Mozambique has a population of 25 million – so that is USD $720 per person per year. CIA Factbook, says $1200 on a PPP basis which makes it 220th out of 229 countries. Malawi is lower.
Zambia has about 16 million, so that $1.5 million per month is about $9 per person. However, annual GDP PPP per capita is $3000 (shared with of course the mining firms). Zimbabwe is $2000.

Juan Slayton
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 28, 2016 5:44 am

Nick, I’m not sure how you are figuring Zambia. I get 1.5 million divided by 16 times 12 (months) = $1.13.

Juan Slayton
Reply to  Juan Slayton
November 28, 2016 5:52 am

Should have read “divided by 16 million”, of course.

Reply to  Juan Slayton
November 28, 2016 10:16 am

You’re right, of course. And that doesn’t make “rich africans”.

Reply to  Juan Slayton
November 28, 2016 12:34 pm

I think there may be missing zeroes here.
$1.5 Billion/month for Zambia??
Per CIA Factbook:
103 Zambia $62,450,000,000 2015 est. {PPP}
But not, I think, 1.5 million a month.
Auto, hoping to, one day, be one tenth as wealthy as the tenth poorest African President [tenth poorest Watermelon greenmailer is utterly unrealistic!]

Reply to  Juan Slayton
November 28, 2016 1:59 pm

“I think there may be missing zeroes here.”
Yes, I was adding some in, too. 1.5M would be about 9c per person. 1.5B would be $90, which still doesn’t make rich Africans.

Michael J. Dunn
Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 28, 2016 1:26 pm

The Zambian demographic has the classic bi-modal Third World structure: a very narrow slice of the population is well to do, and the rest are the faceless masses, struggling to survive on a daily basis. This is compounded by the terrible marital abuse of women, which is now surfacing in a wave of horrifying husband-killings. Children are commonly cast aside as burdens or impediments to “finding one’s own life.” Nothing can be depended on. Potable water is hard to find. Electric power is shut off (“load-shedding”) for huge parts of a day. The WaBenzi are evident; everyone else is a cipher. It is no surprise that a growing problem for Zambia is the brain drain of talented and industrious people leaving to find a life in a First World nation. This is a terrible development for a nation with abundant resources…but with a feckless and selfish ruling clique. (Full disclosure: I am married to a Zambian and have 3 Zambian stepchildren.)

John Kingston
November 28, 2016 2:04 am

[snip . . . interesting but off topic . . . mod]

November 28, 2016 2:06 am

Its so true. Change the footings to different countries:
Suppose Russia was to send free food to USA for ten years what would happen to your farms? If they sent their used cloths, glasses etc. what effect would that have?

Reply to  B.j.
November 28, 2016 3:40 am

and what have we been doing to our inner cities for the last 50 years

Reply to  William E Heritage
November 28, 2016 4:26 am

Exactly what I thought when I read Shikwati.

Reply to  B.j.
November 28, 2016 1:48 pm

B.j. We would store the grain away for a rainy day or make booze out of it, and the used clothes would be sent to thrift stores for people who need them of who like vintage Russian designs. Recycle the glass in the glasses?

November 28, 2016 3:38 am

Foreign Aid: Taking money from poor people in rich countries and giving it to rich people in poor countries. Sorry can’t remember the author, an economist I think.

Reply to  Mikeyj
November 29, 2016 8:00 am

Could be as old as foreign aid, but you’ll find attribution to Rand Paul and Douglas Casey.
Peter Thomas Bauer seems (to me) the original author, however.

Harry Passfield
November 28, 2016 3:39 am

It’s often been said that Zimbabwe went from being the bread-basket of Africa to the basket-case of Africa in a generation. Sad but true.

November 28, 2016 4:29 am

The Guardian is neo-colonialist.

November 28, 2016 4:30 am

Foreign aid makes the givers feel good. That’s its purpose.

November 28, 2016 4:35 am

Almost the entire continent understands only fraud and begging. Gimps like Bob Geldof have never been able to grasp this. Giving them stuff only makes them worse! The only thing we can do is to help them change their mindset, to shake off their absurd religious beliefs (all religious belief is absurd), and to start thinking differently. If they don’t, then Africa in 1,000 year’s time will still be the same. Giving them money, food, and clothing isn’t the answer – I wish it was.

TheLast Democrat
Reply to  bazzer1959
November 28, 2016 7:58 am

Bazzer – yes, religion is the problem. Governments should be based on atheism. Like Soviet Russia, China, and the rest of the Marxist nations. We, here in Christian-oriented USA are floundering, while they flourish.

Reply to  TheLast Democrat
November 28, 2016 9:16 am

But I didn’t say religion is THE problem! So why did you choose to say that? Odd. Ah, I know why.

Reply to  TheLast Democrat
November 28, 2016 2:03 pm

There are some very extreme, backwards, witchdoctor type beliefs in many places in Africa. Voodoo and similar beliefs. The basic ideas of morality and respect for your fellow man, etc. that are common in much of the world does not apply in many places in Africa. Even if they do, there is still the undertones, deeply rooted, underlying the more traditional religious ideas of Christianity, “Islam” (without the fanatical parts). In Nigeria, for example, people still hunt for and murder albinos for their bones and body parts for the “power” they supposedly contain. Good Vs, Evil, old, old style.

Reply to  TheLast Democrat
November 28, 2016 2:10 pm

Ps. Regarding respect and morality in my statement above, there are just different ways of perceiving those things in some parts of Africa still. But a lot of it does, sometimes get in the way of foreword progress as bazzer1959 claims. I agree with him.

Reply to  TheLast Democrat
November 28, 2016 9:52 pm

This mindset may have a wee tad to do with it.
Listen closely. To the majority in the room, witchcraft is a fact, and if science cannot explain it, abolish science.

Reply to  bazzer1959
November 28, 2016 8:12 am

True evidently but I’d be rather cautious on saying whose fault corruption and tribalism is.
And believe me, poverty is not caused nor stopped by religion per se.
Africa’s problems are mostly or overwhelmingly cultural. What you need is democratic state with employees not willing to be corrupt, or for the dictator and not for people.
Not easy, ask any Russian for confirmation.

Reply to  Hugs
November 28, 2016 12:49 pm

Some people just have to display their personal religious convictions, even when it isn’t relevant to the topic at hand.

Reply to  bazzer1959
November 28, 2016 12:48 pm

I notice you can’t help making a fool of yourself, even when trying to say something intelligent.

November 28, 2016 4:40 am

What on earth in my last post got it sent to moderation?

Reply to  bazzer1959
November 28, 2016 5:55 am

f r a u d

Tom Halla
November 28, 2016 4:52 am

UN bureaucrats helping the same social class in various African countries. As noted, most of the aid goes towards supporting local officials, who interfere with the economy rather than doing anything constructive. Mugabe almost makes Mobutu look like an example of good government.

November 28, 2016 4:59 am

You say “What should we do in cases where the government simply won’t take care of its own people?”
Regime change of course, the one thing the US Establishment is good at.
Of course that will somehow make things worse but hey, they mean well (sure).
It’s good though, that the US can achieve that for itself without a civil war (at least since the 1860s).

Reply to  Jon
November 28, 2016 8:13 am

Regime change should do it.
With any luck the Muslim Brotherhood will take over the country.
Yeah, that’s the ticket.
And my wife Morgan Fairchild.

Reply to  Jon
November 29, 2016 5:48 am

Please note that the war between the states from 1860 to 1864 was NOT a civil war. The Confederate States were not fighting to control the central govt.. To read about civil wars, read English history or Roman history, for good examples.
The historians for the victorious side called it a civil war. And, thoughtless people have called it that ever since. Sorta the same trick they use when they talk about World War II, mixing up several separate conflicts into one grand crusade for freedom.

Tom Halla
Reply to  joel
November 29, 2016 5:57 am

Rather subtle point of language, Joel. If one defines the Constitution one way, an attempted seccession is a civil war, as the US is one country. If one uses the definition used by Jefferson Davis, there was no one country, only separate states, and leaving was the pro-slavers right.
Sometimes it comes down to who wins. The Biafra war is defined as a civil war as the Ibos lost to the rest of Nigeria, while it was a seccession not a total change of government.

Reply to  joel
November 29, 2016 6:27 am

Very good point. It was a war for freedom that was lost to the North. As they say ‘history is written by the victors’

November 28, 2016 5:04 am

“Give a man a fish, and you feed his family for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed his family for a lifetime.”
Give a man a fishing boat, as the EU did in Somalia, and they become pirates!
Drought cycles in Southern Africa are part of natural climate change with little to nothing to do with changes in atmospheric CO2.
I worked on a Southern African agricultural research station in the 1960’s during a period of drought in which period we raised maize production from 200 kg/ha to a potential 6000 kg/ha. Today the average production from farms producing for sale is 3000 kg/ha whereas in the USA plant breeding and improved agronomic systems have taken the potential yield from the same seed line to 20,000 kg/ha. As James Shikwati states the problem is not primarily drought but failure of Governments to use the billions of dollars they have received in aid to promote irrigation schemes – as the Chinese are doing in Mozambique – allied with lack of land tenure that denies farmers the ability to borrow capital for modern farming equipment, seeds, fertilizers and agro-chemicals as well as lack of storage capacity to prevent grain losses from harvested crops. The result, most farmers plow with oxen or hand labour and if the former have to wait for the oxen to get fit from grass following the first rains and so plant too late to achieve adequate yields. Until corruption is curbed and good governance comes to these countries nothing will change and it is the UN and aid from western governments and NGOs funding dictators and despots that is preventing this from happening, especially through the UN program of sustainable development that is causing genocide!

Nigel S
Reply to  peterazlac
November 28, 2016 5:36 am

Or fund this behemoth and really mess them up.

Reply to  Nigel S
November 28, 2016 12:45 pm

Thanks. A huge machine for killing fish.
The tragedy of the Commons – and of nations whose political and functionary class is persuadable . . . .

lower case fred
Reply to  peterazlac
November 28, 2016 6:22 am

“Give a man a fish, and you feed his family for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed his family for a lifetime.”
Teach a man to fish and he’ll sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

Reply to  peterazlac
November 28, 2016 6:49 am

And provide more employment to the pirate-hunters.
Mugabe should get a big grant from the birds-of-a-feather Clonton Foundation.
Some friends recently visited … I think it was Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa… to teach statistics to some college ag students, but doing some tourism, as well. Lots of fresh water stored up along the eastern side of the continent in lakes and swamps/marshes. Nothing wrong that a little education can’t improve.
😎Maybe we could send a few instructors to Zimbabwe to teach the benefits of respect for natural human rights…and the costs of trying to violate the rights of peopke able and willing to defend themselves. Just a few educational missionaries…or one of the fine portable, express delivery, electron or nuclear energy systems — under 45 minutes from our store to your roof. No refunds. All deliveries final.😎

Nigel S
November 28, 2016 5:39 am

I wrote an essay on this topic for my professional engineer’s exams 37+ years ago, not much changes and mostly for the worse.
Change and decay in all around I see;

lower case fred
November 28, 2016 6:16 am

“The Guardian is screaming out for rich donor countries…”
Rich countries, i.e. those still able to borrow money.

Reply to  lower case fred
November 29, 2016 5:48 am

Very excellent point.

November 28, 2016 6:25 am

But this was always at the root of the CAGW game. A transfer of money from the poor in the First World to the wealthy in the Third World.

Reply to  PaulH
November 28, 2016 12:53 pm

And to themselves

Michael J. Dunn
Reply to  PaulH
November 28, 2016 1:30 pm

For the sake of acquiring entire or controlling interest in the Third World nation’s resources. Money to the ruling elite? A trifle. A kickback. A cost of doing business. The greed of the rulers is a pip in the face of the greed of the “donors.” A poor person in Zambia has no way of knowing if he will have electric service that day. The mine owners do not even contemplate the problem.

November 28, 2016 6:42 am

Why in the world would they spend their own money when they can spend someone else’s?

November 28, 2016 7:06 am

Another lesson from this story: the Law of Unintended Consequences is as inexorable as Murphy’s Law. Liberal/progressive social guilt and the bleeding heart compulsion to throw money at ‘unfortunate’ people to assuage one’s own conscience does far more harm than good in the long run.

Bernie McCune
November 28, 2016 7:20 am

Data from the UN projects a possible outcome in the next 85 years that indicates that Africa will be the focus of a major demographic disaster. I have never tried to post a table so this may turn out to also be a disaster. Hopefully it will be readable (if not at least I tried).
UN Global Population Mean Numbers for 2020/2050/2100
Region Expected Pop. 2020 Projected Pop. 2050 Proj. Pop. 2100 ∆ to 2050 ∆ to 2100
Africa 1,400,000,000 2,000,000,000 4,400,000,000 600 mil 3 billion
Asia 4,800,000,000 5,000,000,000 4,900,000,000 200 mil 100 mil
Europe 750,000,000 750,000,000 649,000,000 No change -101 mil
N. America 380,000,000 490,000,000 500,000,000 110 mil 120 mil
Latin Amer 600,000,000 850,000,000 730,000,000 250 mill 130 mil
Oceania 45,000,000 50,000,000 71,000,000 5 million 26 mil
Total 7,975,000,000 9,140,000,000 11,250,000,000 1.165 bil 3.275 bil
The African population will possibly increase from 2020 to 2050 by 600,000,000 while all the rest of the world’s population will increase by only 565,000,000 in that same time period. Africa makes up over 90% of the population gain from now until 2100. The African population increase will likely be predominantly in Central-West-East Africa. Regions of North and South Africa are already showing signs of a sort of leveling off trend in population because of a clear increase in economic development. With any population growth predictions, the nature of a broad spectrum of initial conditions are of extreme importance in determining outcomes. Also any major changes in any of these conditions during the period predicted, of course, can make nonsense out of the numbers. If the nations in the central belt of Africa can change by shaking off their poor leadership and begin to develop on their own, the picture could change drastically.

Reply to  Bernie McCune
November 28, 2016 12:55 pm

First off, the population growth projections are absurd. Way, way too high.
Second, Africa’s problem is not and never has been too many people, it’s that corrupt governments make it impossible for farmers to feed the people they do have.

Bernie McCune
November 28, 2016 7:21 am

Kinda knew that would happen.

November 28, 2016 7:53 am

A good read that touches on many of these subjects is “Out of America” by the then WAPO African bureau chief Keith Richburg.

November 28, 2016 8:05 am

60+ years helping starving africa.
I am done

November 28, 2016 8:36 am

Wonderfully “Liberal” piece here from the Guardian.
Some of the comments are very interesting, and not what you would expect.

Paul Penrose
November 28, 2016 9:28 am

Another really good example of a country destroyed by foreign aid (mostly US) is Haiti. Compare that country with the Dominican Republic which shares the island with Haiti. All these countries need to be weaned off of foreign aid and forced to fend for themselves, much like that 40 year old that still lives with his parents. Tough love is not easy, but dependence is always destructive.

Reply to  Paul Penrose
November 28, 2016 12:56 pm

Try telling that to the Democrats. For them dependence is very profitable. Especially if they can convince the dependents that if the other side wins, they are going to be cut off.

Brett Keane
November 28, 2016 4:39 pm

@ Hugs
November 28, 2016 at 7:51 am: Too easy to say that Hugs, at this distance; when everywhere the ‘nDbele came, they came to conquer..

old construction worker
November 28, 2016 6:50 pm

“Rich Africans Scrounging for “Climate Famine” Funds” Let me fix that.
Rich Africans dictators Scrounging for “Climate Famine” Funds. There fixed

Reply to  old construction worker
November 28, 2016 7:12 pm

Good one old construction worker
Here’s another
“West applies “Trickle-down” economic aid to 3rd world. Expecting as much success as in the West”

Peter Arnold Lord
November 28, 2016 9:18 pm

El Nino/La Nina cycles are weather phenomenon related to Pacific Ocean currents and have no effect on South Africa. The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is a 5-8 year weather cycle that effects southern and eastern Africa, as well as Australia and India. Australia has experienced a wetter than average winter this year (2016) while South Africa is in drought. About three years ago Australia was in drought and Zambia for instance recorded a record grain harvest due to extraordinary rains. This weather cycle was only discovered in the early to mid 00s and has now been identified as the main influence on seasonal weather in the countries surrounding the Indian Ocean. These are weather cycles and have nothing to do with climate change.

November 28, 2016 10:23 pm

Generally when the Guardian leads walk the other way . Preachy, preachy and arrogant are a bad mix . . African leaders have a RICH tradition of screwing their own people and outside investors . Tribal traditions and infighting are worse than Chicago and unfortunately the poorest and least connected are trapped . Direct donations to individuals and families at least minimizes the crooked politicians and bureaucrat take .
Shoving the global warming con-game at African countries instead of ensuring people have access to electricity , clean water and proper food is arrogant western genocide . A politically correct global warming
con-game . The real deniers are CNN talking heads types who would rather promote a massive scam than solve real problems .

November 29, 2016 12:40 am
November 29, 2016 2:37 am

A lot of Africa’s ecological problems are caused by Mankind’s out of control population. The country where I live, the USA, has weather problems of our own. We are a very poor nation with a huge National Debt, huge annual deficits, and huge annual trade deficits. We need rich nations to come and help us.

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