French president Emmanuel Macron speaks at UN General Assembly in New York
WASHINGTON, D.C., Octobert 12 (C-Fam) The goal of eliminating extreme poverty is among the top priorities of the global community and is the first of the UN’s seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But, according to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, progress toward reducing poverty is threatened by the presence of too many poor people, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
Some global leaders have drawn criticism for their patronizing comments about African fertility, including French president Emmanuel Macron. At a launch event for the Gates Foundation’s Goalkeepers Report, held alongside the UN’s General Assembly, Macron said that Africa’s high birth rate is “not chosen fertility,” and reflects a lack of education. “I always say: ‘Present me the woman who decided, being perfectly educated, to have seven, eight or nine children.’”
Because of the history of coercive population control programs, “population was removed from the development vocabulary altogether,” writes Alex Ezeh in the Goalkeepers Report. “For the sake of Africa’s future, we should bring it back.”
To read more follow this link to the original article at C-Fam.org
get out of the way!! UN & advocacy groups keep Africa and Developing Countries where the entire Preindustrial world was in the past
Much of Africa and the developing world are where the whole world was before the advances in technology and knowledge in the 19th and 20th century; the entire world was struggling, poor and sick, so that even the more well-off people had short lifespans due to preventable and curable diseases, poor nutrition and infections. In the developed world, widespread acceptance of germ theory and the development of antibiotics and vaccines only occurred in the early to mid 20th century. Malaria, meaning “bad air,’ was only eradicated in the developed world, in the mid 20th century due to 20 plus years of spraying pesticides for effective mosquito control, development of anti-malaria medicines and window screens. Likewise, malaria in poor countries could be reduced or eradicated by allowing proper pesticide use and providing malaria medicines.
Even into the late 20th century, some isolated areas in the developed world did not have electricity, purified water or paved roads and some people still lived in drafty shacks or log cabins, sometimes with dirt floors. Before the improvements in infrastructure, large multi-generational families were the norm because of high childhood death rates and the need for surviving children to care for their parents in a world where there was no social safety net for the disabled and elderly. Large families also filled the need for labor in a world where mechanical devices were few or lacking and back breaking work was needed for every job, whether agricultural, industrial or domestic. Without reliable electricity, transportation systems and industrial and agricultural development, we all could be back there now.
This is where rural Africa and underdeveloped countries are now. What will it take for developing countries to catch up with the developed world? First, we need to end counterproductive and damaging interference by international organizations that are working under wrong assumptions from the distant past about supposed overpopulation as a cause of environmental harm. Wrong practices include imposing population control and blocking effective insect and disease control, as well as modern agriculture and infrastructure development while putting cultural and wildlife preservation above the real immediate needs of the people. Poverty, not overpopulation, causes environmental harm. Improving the economy can stabilize the population and preserve both cultural heritage and wildlife. Modern agricultural practices can end slash and burn deforestation and feed everyone.
Africa needs Investment, Infrastructure, Employment, Education and Disease Control.
Education in hygiene can end much of the disease burden, facilitate clean water and sanitation systems, and provide a healthy workforce. Education in agricultural, industrial and technical skills can open opportunities for employment, small business earnings and raise their standard of living. Transportation in the form of improved and extended roads and railroads can end isolation, encourage foreign investment and provide access to markets, employment opportunities, education and medical facilities.
Reliable electricity is important for economic growth and can facilitate the development of transportation systems, medical facilities and industrial investment, all of which cannot run on intermittent and varying power as provided by wind and solar power. Solar panels on huts are a start, but should only be a temporary energy solution until reliable electrical systems can be installed and extended into rural areas. Solar panels should never be used as a substitute for true energy security or an excuse for neglect.
Poor countries cannot afford to skip the reliable types of energy generation that has made the developed world what it is today. The solution should include all means possible, including hydroelectric, geothermal, fossil fuel and nuclear power. Africa has enough hydroelectric potential to supply all of their needs for the foreseeable future. Hydroelectric power is both clean and reliable. In Africa alone, over 200 hydroelectric dams have been blocked by environmentalists. This must stop!
Africa needs Investment, Infrastructure, Employment, Education and Disease Control.
Foreign aid must be replaced by investment in infrastructure. Most of the foreign aid is given to prop up corrupt governments. Leaders become rich while most of the aid is not used for famine relief or to build rural infrastructure and seldom reaches the people in need. Government to government foreign aid props up corrupt leaders, makes them accountable only to their donors, not the people, and prolongs poverty. Leaders that depend on foreign aid, not the tax base, are less likely to want to attract investment in new businesses or to invest in infrastructure that facilitates economic growth. As long as the problems are not solved, foreign aid money keeps coming, so corrupt leaders benefit from keeping their countries poor and controlled.
Foreign aid, other than temporary disaster relief, must be replaced with investment in infrastructure including extended electrical systems, powered by all means available, and improved and extended roads, railroads, airports and bridges, as well as education and medical facilities, and industry. The aim is to raise the economy so that poor countries no longer need outside help, but rather are net contributors to the world economy, or at least are self sufficient. It can be done and you can help.
What can you do? Lots! Here are a few suggestions from my book. Start by contacting government officials and elected representatives to demand that perpetual government to government foreign aid be replaced with accountable infrastructure investment, and that abuses by the UN and other organizations be eliminated and better practices be implemented ASAP. Donate to charities that help build infrastructure such as World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse. Volunteer to go and work with these organizations in poor countries. Invest in businesses/industries that are selling or buying African goods or are locating new businesses in Africa, or are offering real infrastructure assistance, or are improving medical and educational facilities.
My new book, Saving Africa From Lies That Kill: How Myths about the Environment and Overpopulation are Destroying Third World Countries is now available online and in book stores everywhere. In print and eBook through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million. Note: some bookstores may not have it yet, but asking for them to order it for you will help to get it on the shelves faster.
African Economic Development through Foreign Investment
Rand Merchant Bank report, “Where to Invest in Africa,” among other business information services, ranks African countries for their business environment including ease of doing business and a corruption index to help foreign and domestic investors identify good investments. Most of the data comes from UNCTAD, UN Conference on Trade and Development, or other public sources but is compiled to help potential investors. Rand Merchant Bank is an investment bank headquartered in South Africa. RMB “Where to Invest in Africa” brochure can be downloaded without charge by those seriously interested in learning about investing in Africa at https://www.rmb.co.za/where-to-invest-in-africa-2018-edition/
African Development Bank Group is another source of economic and investment information, among other sources. You can download the brochure “African Economic Outlook 2018” for free at https://www.afdb.org/en/knowledge/publications/african-economic-outlook/. In addition to private investment and business information services, you can find financial information about any countries or regions through the International Monetary Fund, IMF, at www.imf.org, the World Bank, at www.worldbank.org and UN Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD, at http://unctad.org, which publishes an annual World Investment Report. Most of the information in the private investment and financial databases are summaries from one of these public sources.
Personal remittances that immigrants send back home are an important cash flow into the economy for most of the countries in Africa. Remittances to families in the impoverished areas benefit the most from it, but it helps the overall economy. Let me give you an example closer to home. Mexico officially receives $26.1 billion in remittances sent back to families by Mexican immigrants, mostly from the United States. That’s roughly 2.5 percent of Mexico’s GDP, which is a significant contribution to the country’s economy. Generally, remittances have been on the rise since 2000 worldwide due to increased migration from poor countries to developed countries. For this reason, it is beneficial for developing countries to encourage migration.
Table 1: Top Ten Recipients of Foreign Direct Investments in 2016
Percent of Total Foreign Direct Investments
Year Over Year Percentage Change
1 Angola (US$14.4bn)
2 Egypt (US$8.1bn)
3 Nigeria (US$4.4bn)
4 Ghana (US$4.4bn)
5 Ethiopia (US$3.2bn)
6 Mozambique (US$3.0bn)
7 Morocco (US$2.3bn)
8 South Africa (US$2.3bn)
9 Congo (US$2.0bn)
10 Algeria (US$1.5bn)
77.2 percent of all FDI in Africa is included in these top ten countries. Countries suffering from violence and political unrest account for the reductions in the table above.
Source: UN Conference on Trade and Development, (UNCTAD)
“A number of emerging and developed markets acquired a keen eye for African assets in 2016, with capital investments from the Asia-Pacific region firmly outpacing traditional markets . . . Egypt, South Africa and Tanzania were among the largest destinations for Chinese and Japanese investors seeking strategic investments in technology, media and telecommunications (TMT), diversified industrial products (DIP), and the automotive and business services sectors.” — Rand Merchant Bank, Where to Invest in Africa, 2018
Table 2: Top Ten Investors in Africa in 2016
US$ 66 billion
US$ 64 billion
5. S. Africa
Source: UN Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD
Table 3: Top Ten Most and Least Corrupt Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa
Table 6: Intended use of selected sovereign bond issues in selected African countries
Côte d’Ivoire, 2014
Public investment, especially in health care and education
Côte d’Ivoire, 2015
National Development Plan (NDP), which focuses on infrastructure, education, health care, and poverty reduction
Infrastructure, notably the Renaissance Dam
Capital expenditure and refinancing of public debt to reduce the cost of borrowing
Infrastructure projects and repayment of a $600 million loan that matured in August 2014
Projects in the electricity sector, which is undergoing privatization, and support of the shift from domestic borrowing toward cheaper foreign credit
Construction of a 28-megawatt hydropower plant, construction of a hotel, and payment of some state-owned RwandAir debt
Construction of a major highway and the upgrading and repair of energy infrastructure
Source: AfDB compilation, based on various sources.
“African Economic Outlook 2018,” African Development Bank
The new hope for Africa involves improving infrastructure, attracting foreign and domestic investment, and ending internationally funded government corruption that discourages investment and permits interference by international programs that keep populations low and the rural poor isolated, ignorant, sick and helpless. Governments that rely on taxes from a growing economy are more accountable to the people, so that they will be prompted to develop infrastructure, such as roads and electricity, and maintain political and economic stability, all of which will encourage increased investments and grow the economy. Corruption is the number one deterrent to global investment, so it is important to end foreign aid that props up corrupt politicians, clean up the government and stabilize the economy.
The book: Saving Africa from Lies that Kill: How Myths about the Environment and Overpopulation are Destroying Third World Countries is available in print and eBook online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million and in bookstores. If you like the book, please leave a review online at Amazon.com.
Uber-organic campaign enshrines primitive agriculture and malnutrition as human rights
Paul Driessen and David Wojick
Friday, July 20, 2018, 11:11:47 PM
Not every poor person in impoverished places around the world aspires to the modern living standards they see and hear about: indoor plumbing, electricity for lights, a refrigerator and stove, a paucity of disease-carrying insects, top-notch schools and hospitals, their children living past age five. But many do.
Not every poor African, Asian or Latin American farmer wants to give up his backbreaking, dawn to dusk traditional agricultural practices, guiding his ox and plow, laying down meager supplies of manure to fertilize crops, surviving droughts, repeatedly hand spraying pesticides to battle ravenous insects – to reap harvests that often barely feed his family, much less leave produce to sell locally. But many do.
Unfortunately, they often face formidable foes. An absence of electricity, roads and other infrastructure. Corrupt, kleptocratic governments. Nonexistent property rights and other collateral to secure loans. Powerful, well-financed eco-imperialists whose policies perpetuate poverty, malnutrition and disease.
Banks and other carbon colonialists glorify limited wind and solar energy for poor villages, while denying financial support for fossil fuel electricity generation. Anti-chemical fanatics promote bed nets and narrowly defined “integrated pest management,” but bitterly oppose chemical pesticides and the spatial repellant DDT to kill mosquitoes, keep them out of homes and prevent deadly malaria.
Radical organic food groups battle any use of genetically engineered crops that multiply crop yields, survive droughts and slash pesticide spraying by 75% or more. They even vilify Golden Rice, which enables malnourished children to avoid Vitamin A Deficiency, blindness and death.
Now poor country families face even harder struggles, as a coalition of well-financed malcontents, agitators and pressure groups once again proves the adage that power politics makes strange bedfellows. Coalition members share a deep distaste for fossil fuels, chemical pesticides and fertilizers, corporations, capitalism, biotechnology, and virtually all aspects of modern agriculture.
Their growing social-political movement is called “AgroEcology.” While the concept is studiously vague, it essentially asserts that indigenous, traditional farmers must be shielded from market forces and modern technologies, so that they can continue using ancient, primitive, “culturally appropriate” methods.
AgroEcology is anti-GMO organic food activism on steroids. It rejects virtually everything that has enabled modern agriculture to feed billions more people from less and less acreage and, given the chance, could eliminate hunger and malnutrition worldwide. It is rabidly opposed to biotechnology, monoculture farming, non-organic fertilizers and chemical insecticides – and even despises mechanized equipment like tractors, and the hybrid seeds and other advances developed by Dr. Norman Borlaug’s Green Revolution.
AgroEcology advocates tortured but clever concepts like “food sovereignty” and the “right to subsistence farming by indigenous people.” It promotes “indigenous agricultural knowledge and practices,” thus excluding the vast storehouse of non-indigenous learning, practices and technologies that were developed in recent centuries – and are readily available to anyone with access to a library or internet connection.
Or as they put it: “Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies, rather than the demands of markets and corporations.” Food sovereignty also “focuses on production and harvesting methods that maximize the contribution of ecosystems, avoid costly and toxic inputs, and improve the resiliency of local food systems in the face of climate change.” (The 2007 Declaration of Nyéléni, the first global forum on food sovereignty. In Mali!)
AgroEcology has the financial backing of far-left foundations like the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, which collectively have committed more than $500 million to a raft of like-minded NGOs.
Its precepts and policies are approved and actively promoted by the Food and Agriculture Organization, World Bank and other UN agencies at their taxpayer-funded international conferences. These agencies are even beginning to demand adherence to über-organic practices as a condition for receiving taxpayer funding for agricultural development programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America. (But taxpayers and legislators who provide the funding have been permitted little substantive input on any of this.)
It’s all justified – and often accepted without question in government agencies and universities – by reference to the politically correct, virtue-signaling terminology of our era: sustainability, sustainable farming, dangerous manmade climate change, social justice, indigenous rights, self-determination.
Also typical, anyone opposing these ideologies, policies and demands is vilified as a “willful supporter” of violence against women, “land-grabbing” by multinational corporations, peasant farmer suicides, “mass expropriation and genocide” of indigenous people, and crimes against humanity.
Imagine how intolerant AgroEcology ideologues would react if a farmer wanted to assert his or her food sovereignty and self-determination – by planting hybrid corn, using modern synthetic fertilizers or (heaven forbid) planting Bt corn (maize), to get higher yields, spend less time in the field, spray fewer pesticides, or improve the family’s living standards by selling surplus crops. And yet many want to do exactly that.
“By planting the new Bt cotton on my six hectares [15 acres], I was able to build a house and give it a solar panel,” Bethuel Gumede told the late Roy Innis, then chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality, during a trip to South Africa. “I also bought a TV and fridge. My wife can buy healthy food, and we can afford to send the kids to school. My life has changed completely.”
“I grow maize on a half hectare,” Elizabeth Ajele told him. “The old plants would be destroyed by insects, but not the new biotech plants. With the profits I get from the new Bt maize, I can grow onions, spinach and tomatoes, and sell them for extra money to buy fertilizer. We were struggling to keep hunger out of our house. Now the future looks good.”
Equally relevant, how can agricultural practices that barely sustained families and villages before the advent of modern agriculture possibly feed the world? As Dr. Borlaug said in 2006: “Our planet has 6.5 billion people. If we use only organic fertilizers and methods on existing farmland, we can only feed 4 billion. I don’t see 2.5 billion people volunteering to disappear.”
AgroEcology promoters like Greenpeace, Food & Water Watch, Pesticide Action Network, Union of Concerned scientists and La Via Campesina (The Peasant Way) pay little attention to any of this. They’re too busy “saving people” from “dangerous” hybrid seeds, GMOs, agribusiness, farm machinery and chemicals. Not that any of them would ever want to toil on any of the primitive farms they extol.
Greenpeace frightens Africans by claiming “some researchers think DDT and DDE could be inhibiting lactation” in nursing mothers. So families are afraid to use DDT, and millions die from preventable malaria, while still more millions suffer permanent brain or liver damage from the disease. Would it also oppose cancer-curing chemotherapy because it causes hair loss and reduced resistance to infections?
Modern instruments can detect chemicals in mere parts per billion (the equivalent of a few seconds in 32 years) or even parts per trillion (a few seconds in 32,000 years). That’s hardly a threat to human health.
But Luddite eco-imperialists and über-organic food activists stridently oppose any manmade fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, while saying “natural” pesticides commonly used by organic farmers are safe. In reality, copper sulfate can kill humans in lower doses per kilogram of body weight than aspirin, and exposure to rotenone causes Parkinson’s Disease-like symptoms in rats and can also kill humans.
UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, US and EU government agencies, and real human rights advocates should challenge and denounce AgroEcology agitators and their financial enablers for advancing fraudulent claims that perpetuate malnutrition, poverty and human rights abuses in the world’s poorest countries. They should also cut off funding to any government agencies that support AgroEcology nonsense.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and author of books and articles on energy, climate change and economic development. David Wojick is an independent analyst specializing in science and logic in public policy.
A project begun nearly 15 years ago is finally coming to fruition, as Nigeria is poised to become the first country to release a genetically modified variety of insect-resistant cowpeas to farmers.
“The cowpea growers have been very supportive. They like the GM crop. They have seen it perform and they are ready to grow it,” Issoufou Kollo Abdourhamane, the project’s manager at the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), told me.
Cowpeas, known as black-eyed peas in the United States, are a key source of protein for over 200 million people, mostly in West Africa. However, the destructive pod borer insect can cause yield losses of up to 80 percent, and conventional breeding methods have been unable to help.
The GMO crop has shown strong resistance to the pest in field trials so far. Scientists used genetic engineering to insert a single gene from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a soil bacterium commonly used as an approved natural insecticide and sprayed on crops by organic farmers.
Several crops now utilize the Bt technology to protect against insects, including corn and soybeans in the US, cotton in the US and India, and eggplant in Bangladesh. Monsanto developed the first Bt crop, corn, in 1996. Today, over 75 percent of the corn grown in the US is Bt.
The intellectual property for the Bt gene was provided by Monsanto to the project royalty-free. This, along with initial funding from the Rockefeller Foundation and sustained funding for the past decade from the US government’s Agency for International Development (USAID), will allow the seeds to be distributed to farmers at no cost. Monsanto has also provided Bt traits royalty-free for other development projects, such as eggplant in Bangladesh and corn in Africa.
Africa is two worlds: the cities, which are growing economically at a fast pace, and the rural poor who lack infrastructure needed for raising themselves above poverty and disease. Between these are fairly prosperous market agricultural areas and unemployed job seekers who inhabit substandard housing encircling cities.
Poverty is prolonged by long-standing wrong attitudes and practices that are so entrenched in our world view that many do not see any other way. The colonial powers failed to develop the needed infrastructure for development except marginally in the cities, so the rural poor remained isolated and stuck in poverty, disease and unemployment. Upon independence, communists or their puppets replaced colonialists in most of these countries, but continued the same bad practices and attitudes.
Foreign aid has been a disaster for these countries because of the lack of accountability and corruption of local governments. Country leaders kept/keep most of the money and grew/grow extremely wealthy, while at the same time, failing to build roads, railroads, electrical systems, education systems and health facilities, and to develop job opportunities by encouraging investment. Corrupt leaders were/are only accountable to donor nations/organizations and unaccountable to the people. Relying on foreign aid and not the tax base of the country meant there was/is no incentive to encourage investment and to develop infrastructure that would support business expansion and job opportunities.
Communist attitudes toward free markets and propaganda against foreign investment only deepen the tendency to keep these countries poor and under top-down control. At the same time, this situation has fostered violent resistance by factions not favored by the government, which had to be strictly controlled and squashed as it arose. Violence and unrest in any form and government corruption serve to discourage foreign investors as well as charitable organizations that could help raise the health and economy of the rural poor.
Investment and infrastructure are key to economic development and ending extreme poverty. Government to government foreign aid should be stopped immediately except for short-term emergency assistance during disasters, and only with complete accountability about how the money is spent, as well as assurances that the distribution is done fairly. Any foreign assistance for infrastructure projects should involve paying engineering firms directly, not funneling funds through corrupt officials who might pocket most of the money and promise but never deliver results.
African economies have historically been based on agriculture and extraction industries. Most of Africa’s agricultural businesses have been based on small to medium farms, but are profitable only in areas where transportation infrastructure permits access to markets. Development of roads and railroads is important to expand agricultural opportunities and markets. With improved crop varieties and modern agriculture Africa can provide much needed food for the world, but only if markets and ports are accessible.
The exploitation of natural resources by colonial powers without just compensation has been used as an excuse to discourage foreign investment in mining and extraction activities. It is only exploitation if the country and its people do not benefit and profit from the activity. Communist propaganda confuses the two approaches, so that businesses that could benefit the economy are discouraged. Agricultural and extraction industries with their associated infrastructure development can help to raise economies and standards of living by providing jobs and putting an end to high rural unemployment.
In the cities, manufacturing, banking, service, technical and communications industries are rapidly developing in areas where governments have improved business opportunities and practices. Ease of doing business, stable governments with low corruption levels and adequate infrastructure encourage investment that can raise economies. Opportunities and workforce availability make African countries a good place to invest and open new businesses.
The global MICS programme was developed by UNICEF in the 1990s as an international household survey programme to support countries in the collection of internationally comparable data on a wide range of indicators on the situation of children and women.
Slow Sand Filters for water purification
Slow sand filters are one of the easiest ways to clean water of pathogens and colloidal particles. Building a slow sand filter for home use requires little beyond local materials. A good manual I found that explains the finer points of operation and construction is “Biosand Filter Construction Manual” through CAWST Center for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology that can be downloaded as a pdf file at https://resources.cawst.org/construction-manual/a90b9f50/biosand-filter-construction-manual
UV purification of drinking water
UV from sunlight will kill most bacteria and parasites in six to ten hours in clear plastic one to two liter soda or water bottles if the water is clear. Prefiltering is recommended. Laying bottles on a reflective surface will enhance purification. Larger bottles are not recommended because UV from sunlight is reduced by traveling through a greater depth of water. The larger the bottle, the longer it takes to purify. Source of the image is UNICEF
Additional water filtration and purification information is available in my book Saving Africa from Lies That Kill on Amazon and on this blog site.
A surge in cases in 2016 prompted WHO to announce that progress against the disease had stalled. More resources must be invested in the fight, leaders and experts say. Elsewhere, community health workers recruited in their own remote communities have seen great success Zimbabwe was honoured on January 28th for leading the way to a […]
Business between the US and Africa just took a step forward. Easy to miss amidst the partisan din of the approaching election, the US Senate passed the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act, and it was signed into law Oct. 5. Despite the strong bipartisan support (93 of 99 senators voted for it) the act has its critics, in particular among libertarian conservatives.
In my view, the BUILD act brings the US-Africa business relationship from underground to above ground and may yet bring it to the cloud.
… to continue reading go to the original article at Quartz Africa