We are not as united as we care to think. Take it from Sierra Leoneans,Liberians and Guineans,who have had to watch Cubans,Chinese,Americans,British,French,etc,basically everybody else,come to their aid and help in providing assistance during this dreadful Ebola outbreak…and wonder…”but where are our own ‘brothers and sisters’ “. This should be a wake up call that we are only “brothers and sisters” when the going is good,when it comes to successful African teams on the World Cup,Olympics, and beautiful Angolan/Nigerian women who win Miss Universe/Miss World contests…and Lupita…and Obama.
Not until very recently(last week),did a few African business magnates like as Patrice Motsepe and Strive Masiyiwa,pledge approximately $3.4 million in total to fight the Ebola outbreak,after being invited(or begged rather) to do so by the African Union,long after Bill Gates gave a donation of $50 million dollars,long after Mark Zuckerberg had pledged $25 million and long after the Ebola crises had crossed lines beyond devastation.
Meanwhile, what where African leaders doing?
Apart from brief “solidarity visits”( courtesy of President John Mahama)so far,it is only the South African government that has made any progressive efforts, with the creation of an Ebola Response Fund-we will remember that.
It is true,that some countries do not have the financial or technical means to help,and some others are in crises .It will be hard for me to call out Goodluck Jonathan(when he is battling Boko Haram),or the President of Burkina Faso( oh wait…they don’t have one at the moment).Of course,many African leaders have their own national drama to deal with,but one would think that with such a terrifying disease,that has such devastating consequences and no respect for borders and human life, would attract more effective action from African governments. As Dr. Oyewale Tomori said in an interview,there are many Africans who want to help fight this disease;from health workers ,to technicians and experts:”if the African team, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, and the West African Health Organisation all get their acts together, there are more than enough people in Africa—health care workers from Gabon, DRC, Uganda, Sudan—who have experience with this”
I am all for African agency and “Africans can build our own continent”,but how can we effectively and legitimately criticize the White Savior Industrial Complex, and claim that we can stand on our feet, when we leave these huge gaps where Africans can step in and help each other out?
Pan Africanism seems to be taking own a new definition: “Each to his own,and China for us all”.
Doctors Without Borders