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White Elephants of Africa

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Mister-G, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. M

    Mister-G Member

    #1
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    So now we have it the $200m spanking new HQ of AU in Addis fully comp by China.

    Some where it is writen that in economics there is nothing known as 'free lunch'.....it feels that some lessons are really hard to learn.

    We have this building in a country which from time to tome suffers from famine and it makes you wonder that at times we have situations of poverty that are by design.....it is trully baffling

    Let us now wait for the tourists to come and wonder at this 'wonderful' mavel that we now have to show for....

    A country that is one source of the river Nile has only 4% of its agricultural land under irrigation and we say we can not feed our selves?

    Where are our priorities?

    Sad very sad
     
  2. FaizaFoxy

    FaizaFoxy JF-Expert Member

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    What is your point? of course there is no free lunch!
     
  3. Mchambuzi

    Mchambuzi JF-Expert Member

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    You do have a point, but do you think this project deserves to fall under 'white elephant....?' Unless you mean it's not worth the investment, otherwise in terms of usefulness, it is, in my opinion.
     
  4. M

    Mister-G Member

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    ....The point I am trying to highlight here is as follows:

    With such levels of financial commitment by China to the tune of $200m what will it cost Africa as a whole?
    From the Chines is it?
    a) A gift....?
    b) A loan....?
    c) An investment.......?

    Alll three scenarios above point to one thing only resources resorces resources gained cheaply for the benefit of......we know who.

    Many a time the African continent has been here before..........but we never seem to learn anything.

    I dare ask...at this point in time was such an extravagant scheme the real priority for AU...........?

    Like said this is a country which has suffered famine a number of times yet we have this behemoth now standind in Addis, hope those who shall be occupying the top floors will have a better view on the horizon of poverty that aflicts the people of Ethiopia....
    shame on us all.

    I then ask of what exact benefit will this have to the rest of Africa............I wonder and would appreciate some enlightment on this!
     
  5. FaizaFoxy

    FaizaFoxy JF-Expert Member

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    Mister G,

    Why going to great extent in trying to figure out the benefits or the not so beneficial ventures, may they be from Chinese or in this case Africans themselves?

    Resources? what resources are we talking about? if you have resources which are sought after by who ever is in the list of the most powerful today, do you think you have the ability to recourse them? Mawee!

    The resources sought will either be taken willingly or unwillingly, who are you, in this matter "we" to stop the powers? The only choice we have is "you're either with us or you are against us". Where do you stand?

    I strongly suggest you listen to this "thinker" when you have time, there is a lot to contemplate:

    [video=youtube_share;JJFZzvSdNk8]http://youtu.be/JJFZzvSdNk8[/video]

     
  6. Mphamvu

    Mphamvu JF-Expert Member

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    poor lady.
     
  7. FaizaFoxy

    FaizaFoxy JF-Expert Member

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    Mphamvu, this is not the league of your size, you had better be in the best of your behavior and learn something.
     
  8. M

    Mister-G Member

    #8
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    Faizafoxy....

    So do we then just sit/stand by and watch our continent and the rest of the world go down the river..........

    Such perseived generosity comes at such a huge cost but unfortunately they have forecusted way into the future when they will not be able to feed them selves since their land will have been so poluted by huge levels of industry, urbanisation and changes to their demography such that there will be a huge demand for large expances of land that will be needeed to feed them and guess where that land is?

    So then do we wait for this scenarion to befall us if not in our living generation the comming one? Is this the level of legacy we shall leave behind for our future to inherit?

    Here is something to ponder on......if you were to go into a hospital that was full of brain surgeons and you have a chest infection what would you do?

    We do have choices on many things that are facing our continent but at times we do not seem to focus far ahead, we tend to deal with issues that are aflicting us in the current terms which have strong presedents from the past......

    So I stand on the point of we can choose what we deem is of importance to us in the current circumstances we are in, for sure we do have the brains and minds to see this, it is how we make use of this resource that exposes us on to such behemoths that are placed upon us.........or what do you think other wise?
     
  9. Chamoto

    Chamoto JF-Expert Member

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    We have this problem of prioritizing things in Africa (e.g in Tanzania, we buy a presidential jet instead of using that money to solve our energy problem) until the day we're able to look at the big picture, to know these people don't give a dang about us, they will continue to use us as a stepping stone to get ahead.
     
  10. FaizaFoxy

    FaizaFoxy JF-Expert Member

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    Mister G,

    Our only way out is to learn, from whom? from those who have at least tried to entangle themselves and semi succeeded, as there is no evidence of one who has been 100% successful as yet. Once success is on your side, all the invented bad and scary names will be upon you. Think.

    The only one I can think of is Mahathir Muhammad, and do you know that he was name called in any ways you can imagine, he stood firm, how? by playing it wise, by inviting them to invest and make use of cheap labor and other attractive facilities. Still, he was not good enough to most of them, but he managed to manipulate them and make them benefit in one way while his people benefit in the other way.

    The most important thing he made, was to educate his people. The only way to change Africa is to start by investing huge on education, of which we lacked since Independence. Our only setback is, we are ignorant.

    When arguing with our so called engineers they come and tell us "we are not into shapes", Mahathir Muhammad on the other hand, to encourage his peoples, he made a team and told them go climb the Everest, he told them I want Malaysia to be on top of the world, indeed they made it, he did not stop there, he asked the team of his engineers to construct the tallest building in the world, not because they needed it, it was to encourage them and tell them "we can". To make them understand that those who can be on top of the world are like us, if they can, we can do better, his twin towers were once the tallest in the world and Malaysians never looked back after that. They made it to the top of the world, what is there to stop them now?

    I would have been prouder today if Africans were the ones who built their HQ themselves, no matter how poor they are, it would've encouraged them a million folds, rather than waiting for handouts which keeps on diminishing them to the size of beggars. Beggars indeed we are.
     
  11. J

    Jasusi JF-Expert Member

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    Kilichonistua ni kwamba sisi wenyewe wanachama wa AU tumeshindwa kuchangia angalau hata nchi moja moja kutoka dola milioni kumi? Angola wana mafuta. Wameamua kuwekeza Ureno. Sisi tuna dhahabu. Tumewaachia wazungu wajichimbie na kujitajirisha. Kuna Gabon, Equatorial Guinea ambako nasikia mwanamfalme kanunua makasr ya mabilioni Ufaransa na USA. Kuna Afrika kusini. Kweli tumeshindwa kuchangia angalau kiduchu kwa hili jengo ambalo litakuwa kumbukumbu ya umuhimu wa umoja wetu? Aibu.
     
  12. FaizaFoxy

    FaizaFoxy JF-Expert Member

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    Matatizo yetu huanzia nyumbani, pale tunapowapa watoto zetu "pesa za shule". Tukibadilika hapo tutegemee kuwa tutajenga taifa la wanaojitegemea na sio wanaotegemea.

    Tuanze kwa kuwafundisha watoto zetu kuwa hakuna "handouts", fanyia kazi utengeneze, hakuna cha bure. Akiosha vyombo kama anavyopangiwa ategemee malipo yake kwa wiki au kwa mwezi na ajuwe namna ya kuyatunza hayo malipo yake. Na malipo yasiwe "favor" iwe ni haki yake, na sio msaada kwake, na kazi anayokufanyia iwe ni wajib kwake kwa kuwa analipwa na si kwa kuwa inambidi.

    Tubadilike kuanzia majumbani, bila hivyo? maaaweee!
     
  13. Zakumi

    Zakumi JF-Expert Member

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    Mkuu Jasusi,

    Kuna uaibu wa kiasi fulani. Lakini kutokana na report zangu, position ya waChina katika ulimwegu wa kidunia inazipa nafasi kubwa nchi za kiAfrika kupumua.

    Tatizo linalokuja ni nchi za kiAfrika kushindwa kujipanga na kuweza kutumia nafasi hiyo. Ujenzi wa Makao ya AU ni juhudi za waChina kukuza nafasi zao za biashara barani Afrika.
     
  14. Zakumi

    Zakumi JF-Expert Member

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    Nadhani White Elephant umeitumia tu lakini hai-fit definition. White Elephants ni miradi ambayo inakuwa mizigo kwa mpokeaji. Sidhani kama ujenzi wa makao haya ya AU ni mzigo kwa AU.
     
  15. J

    Jasusi JF-Expert Member

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    Zakumi,
    Unachosema ni sawa. Lakini ningefurahi zaidi kusikia nchi za Kiafrika zenyewe zimechangia angalau hata 40% ya bajeti. Huo uwezo najua tunao. Hapo ndipo ninapomkumbuka Qaddafi. Yeye bila shaka hata milioni 30 angetoa. Sasa hivi tutaendelea kujengewa mpaka lini? 50 years after independence? Inatia aibu.
     
  16. Zakumi

    Zakumi JF-Expert Member

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    Jasusi;

    Nakuelewa mkuu. Kuna sehemu tumezubaa tu. Ningekuwa na muda ingebidi tuchambue ujenzi wa Tazara. Kwa sababu ilikuwa ni project kubwa ya kwanza ya China nje ya nchi.

    Kuna document naipitia inayoonyesha kuwa Nyerere hakuwa na choice. Kwa kizazi cha sasa chenye choice inabidi tubadilike.
     
  17. FaizaFoxy

    FaizaFoxy JF-Expert Member

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    Choice ya nini?
     
  18. Mabagala

    Mabagala JF-Expert Member

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    nitarudi baadae, ngoja nimalize mwisho wa mwezi kwanza
     
  19. Askari Kanzu

    Askari Kanzu JF-Expert Member

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    Wachina wametucheza! Jamaa anasema mjengo ni kama bakuli lililofunikwa.
    The-New-AU-Building.jpg
    Beggar's banquet: The new African Union headquarters

    This article is run courtesy of Daily Maverick.

    It's not every day that one gets to inaugurate a building with some of the most murderous mofos in the not-so-free world. Welcome, then, to the new African Union headquarters, a very shiny building that came wrapped in a bow. On 28 January, we learned how proud we should be of this wonderful facility. Indeed. It has taken the African art of begging to new heights.

    - RICHARD POPLAK


    When one walks into the new building of a major institution, be it a bank or a government office or a multi-lateral body, one parses
    the structure for a narrative. Very often, the architect will have that narrative at the ready, brandishing it in interviews, in dry PBS documentaries or on a website created by a Swiss think tank. The building will be loaded with symbols, its form reflected by its function. In an era of star-chitects like Frank Gehry and Daniel Liebeskind, this can all feel like a little much. Shut up and build, we think.

    How refreshing it is, then, to go for a stroll around the new African Union headquarters in dusty Addis Ababa. Here is a structure in which form perfectly marries function - the building means nothing, and nothing will ever get done inside it. Or, looked at from another perspective, the building doesn't need to symbolise anything further than its existence, wherein it becomes a staggeringly articulate representation of Africa's greatest skill: begging.

    Yup, the new African Union headquarters are a 52,000 square meter ode to the art of the ask. The first thing we notice is the tiled silver dome that acts as the building's centrepiece. This reminds us of nothing so much as an overturned beggar's bowl, left in the street after a solid day of mewling at the feet of passers by. The dome reaches the height of 99.9m, which is a reference to the great day in multilateralism's history, when the OAU dropped a letter and became the AU. One gets misty-eyed just thinking about it.

    Then there's the tower. Stretching up 20 storeys to tickle God's chin, what does it resemble? A beggar's outstretched hand - the beggar who's such an adept that his entreaties reach heaven.

    Or, in this case, China. The building is, of course, the result of a massive Chinese handout, to the tune of about $200-million - but really, who knows how much it cost? (One does not get straight answers from this bunch.) On inauguration day, we heard how thankful Africans are for this largesse, along with all the technical skills and materials and engineers and expertise that were similarly imported. The continent that brought you the pyramids and Great Zimbabwe is now reduced to begging for help to erect a complex that would be routine anywhere in the mildly developed world.

    All of that help came from China. Even the furniture. Chairman Jean Ping told us yesterday that although chairs and desks were not included in the original provision, they were later added so that the complex would be “functional immediately”. The Chinese know us well - had they not given us what to sit on, we would have sat on the floor. We've fallen so far that we can't even go to Game and stock up on some trimmings. The credit card would bounce.

    The idea for the compound took shape at the Forum on Africa China Cooperation, or Focac, in 2006. Chinese president Hu Jintao loved the concept so much that he decided to “donate” the building, and “assist” in its design and construction. The land was offered up by the government of Ethiopia, along with tax exemptions on all the materials imported from China, and a willingness to look the other way when it came to hiring locals to help out with all the “assistance”.

    Work started in January 2009, and it was completed late last year. The building now replaces the old headquarters, 40 years in the making, completed by the Germans and inaugurated in 2003 by South Africa's own Thabo Mbeki. That space, in which less than nothing got done, could use a lick of paint. It's crowded and grubby and very 1987. We needed a new one. All we had to do was ask.

    Mission accomplished. One thing that must be said about the new spot - it's shiny. It looks like something you'd find in one of China's second cities, like Chongqing. It is simultaneously flashy and banal, easy to notice and even easier to ignore. There are strange decisions - an outdoor amphitheatre that suggests openness even though we know there won't be any. Doors that feel a little shaky on their hinges. A helipad, in case any of our martinets should have to suffer through Addis's traffic. A large outdoor screen emblazoned with the Xinhua news service logo.

    None of this could we have achieved by ourselves. Instead, in order to raise this fine structure - this symbol of continental unity - from the bare African earth, we used the one skill that unites us all. We stretched out our collective hands, batted our eyelashes, looked simultaneously cute and hungry.

    The Daily Maverick
     
  20. Zakumi

    Zakumi JF-Expert Member

    #20
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    Ni vitu deep vinavyotaka reading ya mambo yaliopita.
     
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