Gambia

Africa – The Side Note

Africans, the people that never really matter unless the situation can’t be ignored.
The people whose opinions matter when it comes to Africa’s economies seem to disappear when tragedy strikes.
For far too long, successive African governments have looked outside for approval in African affairs.
Whenever tragedy hits other parts of the world, we see the reaction and response from the world. In terms of sheer numbers and impact, symbolic significance aside, Africa suffers worse tragedies on a daily basis that somehow doesn’t seem to matter to the world. Loss of any human life is a tragedy and should be mourned by all, but some lives are more valuable than others it seems.
From the solidarity marches in Paris to the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack, to the recent terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of over a hundred people, the world stood in solidarity with France, rightly so. But if it is truly about the horrors of terrorism and the innocent human lives, then what about the victims of Boko Haram, or those of Al-Shabab, the massacres in Nairobi, the kidnapped chibok girls, the tragedy of the Africans lives lost trying to cross the Mediterranean into Europe for economic reasons? Double standards at play? What about the tragedy of the hundreds of women raped daily in the Congo, the conflicts in Chad and Niger; or the struggles of the people of Western Sahara?
Truth is, to the major players of the world, Africa can be ignored. Recall the world’s response to the genocide in Rwanda? It can also be said that the situation in Africa is hopeless, so why bother? When Facebook came up with the France filter to show solidarity with the french in the aftermath of yet another terror rampage in France, a lot of Facebook users got on board. Added to this was a safety check feature that helps people let their relatives know they were safe. Some on the social media didn’t take it so well essentially posing the question why France, how about the other countries who are also victims of terror attacks, some at the same time as those in France? Facebook’s response essentially stated that such things don’t always happen in France (by extension the West) and that it is essential to keep families at ease knowing their loved ones are safe. So basically these things are common place in the rest of the world, so it is pointless.
Seems tragedies in the rest of the world, and Africa in particular are too far removed from anything the Western world can relate to, and we shouldn’t expect them to shed the spotlight on those issues. All it is to the rest of the world is at best a side note. 
Now contrast that to the scare of Ebola making it’s way to the part of the world that matters by travelers from Africa. It seemed for weeks to have been the only thing happening in the world when it broke out. It mattered not the Africans suffering, but that it poses a threat to public health in the West. 
For far too long, everyone seem to see that except the African leaders and the so-called intellectual class; or are they just oblivious to that fact seeking to entrench their positions and influence hiding behind the guise of political correctness? Until that fact fans in Africans that the West doesn’t approve anything unless it’s in their interest in some way, we’ll continue to get dragged along like puppets on a string just to serve the Western imperial ideals. 
The players may have changed but the game is the same: take from Africa as much as possible at as little a cost as possible. Its all about profits and dominance, period. It is true that Africa’s problems are multi faceted and blaming colonialism wouldn’t change that fact, but for as long as we keep that mindset and believe that Africa’s interest is what motivates her so called allies and partners in the West and far east, then the story shall remain as is.

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