Sunday, June 12, 2005


I support debt cancellation. But there is a condition to my support. And no, l am not biased. I am only realistic.

I like it that the Prime Minister Tony Blair is all out on this one. I like it that he is championing an African agenda. I like it that he is doing it with a passion. But l know he has thought of this. I just want to make sure that the G8 is thinking straight.

First, l don't like it that some African leaders are already crying foul. It was not a must that debt cancellation take place. It was totally an option.That some leaders are saying there is discrimination, is a cause for speculation. Secondly, l want the G8 to adapt some of the ideas by some of it's members on board. Countries in Africa that will get debt cancellation will be those that display or will display a willingness in eradicating corruption from their societies and they actually do it.

I am a proud African woman and a Kenyan at that. Kenya is working on it's corruption status. We are not doing so well but we are trying. But until we are all in agreement that we are doing something for real, the G8 should hold it's horses as far as debt cancellation and Kenya are concerned. I am worried when l hear someone, one person (please note), has swindled the Kenyan tax payer of millions of shillings. To make it worse, the person cannot be traced. What, are they aliens or do they live in space? Last time l checked no millionare from Kenya had applied to tour the land that few have visited,space. So surely, this person can actually be found.

I back the members of the G8 who say it should be a case by case consideration. Yes, l know this will have implications. But have you given someone a gift and watched as they mishandled it? Yet, if the same person worked for the same thing, they tend to handle it with care? What is the difference? Simple. Someone worked for it and understood it's value through the pain of sacrifice they went through to acquire it.

The G8 is not doing us any favors if they cancel the debts without allowing the African governments to work on eradicating the corruption vice.

But even as they hold the carrot for this hungry rabbit, standards should be monitored by the international community so that we don't have the impossible being asked of us.

To tell you the truth, this is one of the best ways the international community will help the mwananchi keep the government on it's toes.


WM said...

Hmmm, you have a point, but I still cringe when I think about how much of the GDP goes to servicing our debt...It works out to 45,000 KShs per person in Kenya!

WM said...

I'm the other one, before you ask.

What cracked me up was a sentence to the effect that Kenya is not yet among the list of Highly Indebted Countries, but we hope to make it next year.
What, we're complaining because we're not poor ENOUGH? Only in Kenya!
More seriously, I agree with my double there. some obscene % of our GDP..something like half, goes to debt servicing and payments. That is ridiculous.

Irena said...

Well isn't it a little bit too little, too late. So the G8 suddenly have felt pity on Africa which is wallowing in poverty and AIDS. By all means that is a good gesture and yes eliminating debt of some countries who are improving their human rights and aping on the western democracy including Ethiopia whose government just gunned 24 people for opposing the new government( how ironical)should be hailed! However,what I didn't and have not understood yet is so they have forgiven debt for these chosen countries? What next? Are they willing to improve the balance of trade between Africa and with the rest of the world. I do not mean to write another blog here so let me stop but to me I do not see that as long term solution to the problems facing Africa. To me even though the debts are forgiven but there is still no sustainable devt and the countries fiscal policy does not have any surplus in their economies, then I guess the countries will have to go borrowing again high interest rates loans from the World Bank and will there be another round of debt forgiveness?

P.S I didn't think Kenya would make the list for the obvious reason - corruption.

karoki said...

it did not surprise me one bit that we were not included in the debt relief.. i wrote something on that in my corner. ulimately its our responsibility not the G8

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