I'm not saying that helping a family member is bad. What's bad is the choice of promoting the family over following economics. If a family member sells a product, but a competitor offers better quality at a lower price, buy from the competitor, especially when foreign aid is paying the bill. Capitalism works. Support quality, and quality will improve.
Reading your reply, I truly, really wonder what u were doing during your 6 month stay in Ghana?
That time was obviously not spend learning about the local way of life.
So you say that for a few $ in savings I am supposed to snub a family member who would gladly lay down his life to get me out of trouble?
Maybe you should spend less time reading Adam Smith and more time walking the streets of the slums and shanty towns of Africa.
If my very existence depends in my brothers, cousins and Aunties being there for me on a moment's notice, then I would rather consult a witch doctor before I would follow your advise
Capitalism works you claim?! EVER FOLLOWED THE ECONOMIC NEWS LATELY?
People complain about the havoc your kind of capitalism has created in the western world. Can you even imagine the devastation it has caused in sub-Saharan Africa?
Capitalism doesn't work, its just the best non-working form of economics currently available to us - but that still doesn't mean you should even try to enforce the rules of Wall Street and Wal-Mart in the badlands of Africa.
I've seen Socialism first hand and it works even less than Capitalism. But that still doesn't make Wall Street the savior of the poor and downtrodden.
By the way, when I travel back home, I will *always* prefer the taxi service one of my Aunties owns.
Because I know that with her driver at least I won't end up robbed and clubbed to death in a ditch along the road.
Something that happens quiet frequently to single passengers in taxi cabs - the other reason (besides saving money) why people prefer to share a ride when using a taxi in many parts of African.
You can call that anything you want, I call it "common sense".
Choosing economics over family is also a contributing factor to the public's confidence in a leader.
OK, that does it. IMHO you got NO CLUE about Africa and the Africans.
Taking care of ones family, or even giving them preference in private purchasing decisions, is not the same as corruption!
And in Africa *no* government leader will *ever* win the respect of his people, if he/she does not respect family first.
The equal application of rule of law is the cornerstone of a real democracy.
WRONG> One (wo)man one vote is the cornerstone of Democracy.
The ancient Greeks, who invented Democracy, also had slaves and the British who developed the Western Style Democracy people in the West use as a template today, also have a Monarchy to this very day, where Lords and Nobles are given rights and privileges not offered to anyone else within the realm.
On the other hand, Prussia's Frederick the Great is called "great" amongst historians, because he insisted in the equal application of the rule of law within his domain.
Even in matters affecting the king himself.
You should stop trying to apply dry text book "knowledge" to real life places like Africa and listen to what the Africans tell you.
What the people of Africa (speaking mostly of "my part" of Africa here, as different peoples have different preferences) want from a leader is stabillity and self-restraint.
They don't want a government that changes all the time, but they don't want a tyrannical despot you just can't get rid of either.
Mr. people who are not part of the elites in Africa are STARVING, each and every day.
Education is the answer you claim? Geez, have you ever visited an African school?
A place where most teachers are so poor that they threaten to beat up the children if they don't bring them extra money.
A night watchman has to feed his entire family of an income that is barely enough for 2 sacks of rice per month.
And for that he has to sit in a sweltering palmbody hut all night long.
And then he still has to pay his ruthless landlord the rent from his income - and then comes the school money and the bribe money for the teachers.
You've got an awful lot of butterflies flying around in your head, but not much sense for the harsh reality of African living.
Democracy works well for that. What the leaders actually do is often a moot point.
Democracy at work in Africa:
1) Elections are being called out - most common folks neither understand the party platforms (as they can't even read the damn ballot), nor do they care.
2) Poverty is rampant, power failures are as common as the flies on the meat sold along the streets.
3) The most corrupt politician with the deepest pockets gets to purchase almost all the meager resources that are at hand (including journalists). Leaving everyone else stranded.
4) The frustrated opposition starts to resort to violence. Harsh reprisals follow immediately.
5) As closer it gets to election day, as more unsafe the streets become. Gangs of hoodlums march through the small streets of downtown, threatening anyone who doesn't support *their* candidate with an array of unpleasant retributions.
6) Finally election day has come and gone, and most commoners are just glad to hope that the violence may now stop.
7) The loosers start to scream "rigged election" almost immediately.
8) The guy now in power plays deaf, makes some high & mighty speech about "Democracy and the rule of law", heads for the Presidential Palace and plans to spend the next few years forgetting that he was ever part of all that misery and poverty in the slums.
9) The loosers swallow down their pride and keep accumulating their stock pile of weapons until they think they've got enough to take a closer look at that Presidential Palace themselves.
10) Folks like you find yet another occasion in the news to lecture Africans about their supposed shortcomings and how to cure them.
It doesn't always work out that way, but in my experience it works more often this way than the other one around.
Regarding the inflammatory statements about various atrocities, what's your point?
Do you think it took too long for 197 disparate countries with different views to agree on what to do?
Those were not inflammatory, but historically accurate to the point.
And we are not talking 197 countries here, because last time I checked the list of countries whose people can afford to buy blood diamonds is a lot, lot shorter.
The same goes for the plundered raw materials of the Congo basin, the Sudan or whatever other place in Africa is devoid of the rule of law and still manages to export massive amounts of goods, as if Warren Buffet himself would be financing the operation.
Its Western Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and now also China who are the prime customers for Africa's stolen treasures.
All they have to do is to apply the damn law and stop looking the other way when goods arrive at their shore which could not possible have been exported legally.
But then of course, that would hurt their own pocket book. Giving smart alek advise on the other hand is free of charge.
The UN is not, and should not be, an empire. I don't know anybody who views genocide as "little children quarreling",
Educate yourself on the subject, damn it!
Read up on Charles Taylor of Liberia, Foday Sankoh and the RUF wars of neighboring Sierra Leone.
Foday Sankoh was a bona fide war criminal, forced out of jail by UN negotiators who, as usual, refused to accept the notion that Africans know damn well who the bad guys are amongst them and instead always approach each and every conflict there with the notion that "everybody is equally guilty".
Just as if arbitrating between quarreling children in kindergarten.
In "my part" of Africa UN "peace keepers" are notorious for the prostitution they promote, their trafficking in little children, donated aid and the corrupting influence their presence has on the whole of society.
The UN is a corrupt, broken institution which is only good for cheap, ineffective PR stunts.
They want to help fix problems which in many cases wouldn't even exist if the UN had kept their promises in the first place - RWANDA ANYONE?!!