Thursday, January 30, 2020

Understanding World Happenings in Africa Essay Example for Free

Understanding World Happenings in Africa Essay When Paul Theroux visited Africa during the 1960s, many African countries were forming their own governments after doing away with colonial rule (An Interview, 2007). Paul taught English to children in Uganda and Malawi during that time. But when he returned to Africa almost forty years later, he was shocked as well as disappointed to see that his good old school library, which used to be the core of one of the finest schools in East Africa, had no light bulbs and all of its book shelves had been emptied by plunderers (Theroux, 2003). Doing away with colonial rule was not so good for the African countries after all. Rather, according to Paul, African countries after the colonial rule â€Å"have fared badly, because of poor leadership, lack of resources, the colonial hangover, the subversion of foreign institutions. † Moreover, corruption is rampant, and the African governments rely on the poverty of their peoples to get foreign aid. Someone besides the African people seems to be using the foreign aid, however, seeing as the African people remain poor and needy. What is more, countless African people whom Paul encountered during his second trip to Africa, reported that they would like to move out of Africa altogether (An Interview). Paul describes poverty as such a big problem in Africa that he almost lost his life because of it. In northern Kenya and on the road known as Marsabit, some â€Å"shifta† or wandering bandits shot at the travel writer. They do not want your life, bwana. They want your shoes, Paul explained in his book, Dark Star Safari: Overland From Cairo to Cape Town (Theroux). Did Paul imagine at the time that he would perhaps have been safe if the land of Africa was still under colonial rule? The law and order situation in the Western world – the colonialists and the imperialists of yesteryears – are definitely seen as safer places on our planet, despite the fact that UNDERSTANDING WORLD HAPPENINGS IN AFRICA Page # 2 they have their own share of violence to handle. And yet, the law and order situation in other parts of the world cannot be compared to what is happening in the Western world. In the non-Western world, a lot of countries have remained poor and needy even after doing away with the colonial rule. As a matter of fact, the colonialists were pushed out of many nations in hordes close to mid-twentieth century. What did the countries that pushed out the colonialists achieve in the name of freedom? – Perhaps only the belief that they are basically separate from others. In actuality, the so-called ‘freedom’ and ‘independence’ gained by the African countries, the subcontinent, and other non-Western regions of the world has not be true freedom and independence from heartbreaking problems such as beggary, sickness, and illiteracy (Theroux). While the Western world grew richer through the Internet and globalization, starting from the latter half of the twentieth century, various non-Western regions of the world remained poor and needy without good use of the Internet and globalization. Even Japan and China continued to believe in economic nationalism without feeling the need to make immense profits through globalization. Paul experienced the difference between the Western world and the non-Western world during his second trip to Africa especially through the word, â€Å"safari. † According to the writer, â€Å"safari† is a Swahili world which essentially means ‘incommunicado’ or being completely out of touch. So, if anybody (like Paul) wants to spend time in a place where there are not many (if any) Internet cafes or means to access mobile phones; he or she must be visiting Africa to get away from it all (Theroux). Technology has not made its way into African countries in a big way. Without technology, the African nations have undoubtedly stayed behind UNDERSTANDING WORLD HAPPENINGS IN AFRICA Page # 3 the Western world in terms of their economies and living standards. They have not been able to encounter progress along with the Western nations that are technologically advanced. Thus, the African countries – like many other technologically backward nations in the non-Western world – have failed to develop. These countries are dependent on the Western world for aid. What is more, although the majority of people of such nations have undeveloped minds because of lack of education, the countries as a whole have shown great arrogance in terms of shunning colonial rule and its likes. In Hong Kong, the British government stayed in power almost until the end of the twentieth century. Today, Hong Kong is very advanced. But Africa and the subcontinent are not advanced at all, the reason being that they pushed out the colonialists before the latter could work wonders for the nations they had probably come to occupy for a good reason. America, too, had pushed out colonialists before the African and Asian countries followed. However, America was backed by another Western power at the time of its independence. Hence, its history cannot be compared to the history of the non-Western world. The fact, therefore, remains: Our world has been divided even after the world wars, and would not easily allow developed countries to take over underdeveloped ones in order to solve the problems of the latter. When and if the developed countries do take over, they must encounter hatred and distrust, which eventually pushes them away and out of the undeveloped nations for good. References 1. â€Å"An Interview with Paul Theroux. † (2007). Book Browse. Retrieved from http://www. bookbrowse. com/author_interviews/full/index. cfm? author_number=886. (11 April 2007). 2. Theroux, Paul. (2003). Dark Star Safari: Overland From Cairo to Cape Town. Boston: Houghton Miffin, 2003.

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