To me, having friends with benefits, is a bit like being on benefits and having no friends.
Perhaps this comparison also works when we think of the relationship Africa has with the West.
This week 192 leaders of nations gathered in UN Headquarters to discuss the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Brief history for those who aren’t familiar with this agenda – In 2000, every member of the United Nations adopted the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – the most broadly supported, comprehensive and specific development goals the world has ever agreed upon. There are eight measurable goals to be achieved by 2015: (you can read the sub-goals for each one here)
Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
Goal 4: Reduce child mortality rate
Goal 5: Improve maternal health
Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development
Good work is being achieved thanks to the MDGs. No doubt. Still, there are huge challenges ahead particularly in reaching the goals in the areas of hunger, maternal health, child mortality, education and gender equality. Furthermore, despite the goal for economically advanced countries to donate 0.7% of GDP to the poorest countries yearly, only five have actually done this; Sweden, Luxembourg, Denmark, The Netherlands and Norway. The UK has contributed a lousy 0.48% and the US an even more shameful 0.22%.
If you’d like to read a full summary of the summit, you can download one created by the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation.
To mark International Peace Day, I attended a Voices of African Women seminar on Tuesday, where we discussed the African Women’s Decade 2010-2020 (which was part of the inspiration for launching the MsAfropolitan Boutique) and the likelihood of the MDGs being met in regards to African Women.
Several noteworthy topics were raised. Watch out for those in a future post, but as a quick note, each one of these eight goals directly affect African women.
When you follow in the path of your father you learn to walk like him ~ Ghanaian Proverb
. . .perhaps we should consider this proverb when pondering whether the West will ever stop treating Africa like a friend who comes with benefits and get into a real relationship?
Maolasi Masilo , writes in Pambazuka Press:
“The Millennium Development Goals initiative is yet to fail Africa.
Africans must focus on their own agenda and leave out the Western propaganda that is bent on infiltration by their media mediation of our social issues.
They are once more blaming our governments by what is purported as lack of transparency and human rights abuse by our leaders, while actually is their lack of commitment to have our interests at heart.
In fact the West should be considering reparations for the continent they robbed of its wealth, land and people for centuries.
As for you Africa, you must know, you’re on your own.”
Indeed, one or both persons tends to get hurt from casual sex and the only remedy is to stop having it. Africans need to really understand that we are on our own, we need to erase that number from our speed-dial, and to stop selling our soul with one hand and blaming with the other.
To blame or to shame? Sound off!
& don’t forget to sign the petition for the African Women’s Decade!—
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Hi! I’m Minna Salami. I’m a writer, blogger, columnist, lecturer and speaker and the founder of the feminist blog, MsAfropolitan, which connects feminism to contemporary culture from an Africa-centred perspective. I’ve been listed alongside Michelle Obama and Angelina Jolie as one of “twelve women changing the world” by ELLE and my work has been used as a resource and case study at universities around the world. Like what you just read? Sign up above to receive new posts directly in your inbox.