What Africa Should Learn From Russia – Ukraine War
Written by Odhiambo Shem on March 15, 2022
By Simon Onyango:
It’s now 19th day since Russia invaded Ukraine and already the poor African countries are feeling the pressure.
Just to bring a bit of facts of Russia and Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine are major exporters of food globally, with the two exporting almost 12% of total calories traded in the world .
Again, the two countries are also leading producers of wheat which African countries heavily rely on them, with Eastern Africa, which meets most of its wheat demand through imports, get 90% of its imported wheat from Russia and Ukraine.
It really hurts to be an African and boldly articulate such sentiments – am so sorry for myself. Africa is a blessed continent with blessed people, vast agricultural lands, fresh water lakes and rivers, minerals, favorable climate, scenic features, name them – the question is, do we make good use of these gifts given by God?
The food prices are continuing to skyrocket, we do not know when will the war between Russia and Ukraine come to an end – it’s less than a month and we already feel the heat, what if it would go for months or years? (God forbid ) we gonna perish because we depend on everything, we import basic things that can be locally produced.
African Leaders no longer think on how we can be self – dependents, they are corrupt, they are after their stomachs – man eat man society, but for how long? For how long are we going to import agricultural products yet we have vast agricultural lands to sustain us? For how long are we going to depend on western countries? We have everything at hand to salvage ourselves from this mess.
We have best brains in globe, valuable minerals but things happening in Africa are opposite to what we were blessed with.
Just the other day, when Covid-19 rampaged the globe, we had nothing, we depended on everything – masks, testing kits, vaccines , financial aids ( which a few embezzled ) we beg like people living in space – when and where did the rain start “beating” us ?
I think this narrative can be turned upside down. Western countries should depend on us for agricultural products and many more, it should not be the other way round. I therefore urge African Leaders, let’s change the leadership style, let’s major on majors not minors, let’s invest on agriculture and other natural resources given by God, let’s stop individualism, let’s stop draining Africa – Africa is such a blessed continent.