TV Debate: Lands and Natural Resource Grabs in Africa
View debate at YouTube.
My colleagues and I went to India to speak directly to the good people of India, who have themselves thrown off the shackles of colonialism only 65 years ago, to asked them to join with Ethiopians and other Africans in confronting the hundreds of Indian companies who are now at the forefront of colluding with African dictators in robbing the people of their land, resources, lives and future! As either prospective buyers or simply as justice-loving Indians, the good people of India deserve to have full disclosure regarding the nature of these Ethiopian“business deals,” the impact it is having on “real people” on the ground, and the risks of “doing business” in Ethiopia with the current dictator of Ethiopia.
We Africans have been the target of colonialization, slavery and exploitation in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and a target of African dictators and their foreign cronies in the 20th century.We have had enough and will not tolerate this new onslaught of exploitation and dehumanization in the 21st century! Many people and countries want to keep us Africans poor, disenfranchised and vulnerable only to more easily take advantage of the pillaging of our continent.
My questions to the people of India was:
Will the good people of India help work within India to bring greater transparency and compliance with whatever protective laws and safeguards are in place in India? Will Indian individuals, social justice groups, the media, policy making groups, religious groups and all other stakeholders join us in our struggle for freedom from a dictatorial regime robbing us of our future?
The good people of Ethiopia are ready for their liberation and they will slowly, but surely claim it, but we Ethiopians ask the Indian investors or companies not to be a roadblock to our freedom. Africans know that when two elephants fight, the grass in the middle is trampled. Right now, the people of Ethiopia and Africa are in the middle of a giant struggle for African resources. Many who are profiting want Africans to stay just as they are—struggling for survival so they “do not get in their way.” Yet, behind the scenes of these business deals, real people are suffering.
Gandhi said, “Non-cooperation with evil is a sacred duty.” What does this mean today? As investors, companies and nations seek opportunity; let none of us forget the shared humanity of our brothers and sisters both near and far and our God-given responsibility to live “humanely” among each other. Only then will we have reason to hope for greater peace, harmony and cooperation among peoples and nations, for “No one will be free until all are free"!
Thanks so much for your never-ending support. Don’t give up. Keep your focus on the bigger picture and reach out to others and listen! Care about those who are suffering. Think about our family of Ethiopians and humanity throughout the world—they are YOU! There is no “us” or “them.” This is at the heart of the SMNE.
Executive Director, SMNE