When U.S. President Donald Trump’s disparaging comment referring to African countries, Haiti and El Salvador as “shithole countries” hit the internet, the world deemed it as racist and several African nations demanded an apology starting with Botswana, one of Africa’s smallest countries.
The unsavoury comment wasn’t disapproved by only Africans but also people outside of Africa. Some Americans have described the comment as shameful having come from their president.
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One would think that all Africans would fume with rage at the comment which was a direct insult. Surprisingly, some Africans both home and in the diaspora are not just in support of his comment, they see nothing demeaning or degrading about it.
For these people, it is a wakeup call for African leaders to provide a conducive environment attractive enough to lure their people to stay in their respective countries instead of migrating to other countries where they are disrespected.
In fact, some Africans are calling for more of such comments as it is the only way to awaken African leaders to be more proactive and work to make Africa a better place.
For some, Trump’s comment is nothing new but just exposes how deep the African problem is, so instead of joining the world to fight him, Africans should channel their energies in working on the continent to attract diasporans to return and contribute in nation building.
Other critics have called on Africans to let go of the comment and be angry enough to want to change its narrative as his (Trump) comment presents an opportunity for Africans to rewrite its story.
Others are of the view that Africa is deserving of such comments because the leaders have woefully failed their people, and the fact that they failed to match up with the rest of the world after decades of independence is telling.
There are a lot of Africans who embark on treacherous journies to seek for greener pastures in Europe because they feel their leaders have failed them.
But can we blame all our woes on our leaders? What happened to slavery, colonialism and neocolonialism? Aren’t these phenomenon fundamental antecedents to our problems?
In Ghana, the world market dictates how much cocoa beans are sold and it often leads to exploitation of cocoa farmers and poor livelihoods for people in cocoa farming communities. This leaves farmers reaping low for their toil.
Another example is how foreigners are destroying African lands through poor mining practices which often leave communities in peril.