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Live 8 opening our eyes

6.20.2005

Over at slugger, its back to africa and the point being made across the board by development commentators that resource wealth needs to be fairly distributed if poverty is to have any chance of being abolished. I thoroughly agree with the point that Live 8 has opened our eyes to the problem but on a deeper level, i am again drawn back to the arguments over CAP etc.
As i stated earlier the issue of Africa requires a wholistic solution, none of the propsals to alleviate poverty will work on their own. For real progress to be made, many of hte peoples of Africa need to feel ownership of their systems and states. the biggest hinderance ot the spread of democracy in the region and the cultivation of democratic thought is the interest of big business. the reason signing off on debt is easier than aid/trade is because the issues of aid/trade require us to explore the state of governance and ownership of resources. Africa is a hugely wealthy continent which is riddled with corrupt leaders opening the floodgates to big business resource interests. they profit in the meantime and the loser is the people at large. an excellent article on moves toward a phase of 'humanistic enlightenment' and democratic spread is located here.
The major point i am making is that in everything we do in the west we are prescribing solutions uni-laterally and not giving fully what is desired or needed by those on the ground. Similarly in abolishing CAP we are likely to benefit big business far more than we are small farmers. The global price system will again fall and unless tariffs are lifted, which is unlikely, the effect will be to make it easier and more profitable for big organisations to force privatisation on us all and move most small farmers along the poverty line. I am wholly convinced of the need to reform CAP to the advantage of the poor in both the EU and Africa but i will not support the mindless and directionless abolition which opens up the vacuum into whihc jumps private interests.
Africa needs help from all corners and EU farmers should do their bit, tariff reduciton and active competition as well as resource owenership reform and stronger democratic governance is a good start. Corruption indeed is right. And solutions are hardest for the most corrupt.
It is about Fair trade not free trade. Protection for economies that are not comptetitive on a global scale and openness for developed countries. However recent policy moves by EU and USA suggest the idea of Panacea global free markets have been dropped in the national interest. France will not share CAP funding. Ever. Moves to reform are essential but cannot be dictated or motivated by corporate interest or big business profit.
RR

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