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William M. Gumede

South Africa

William M. Gumede is a former deputy editor of The Sowetan, Johannesburg. He is the author of the bestselling Thabo Mbeki and the Battle for the Soul of the ANC. His new book, The Democracy Gap: Africaʼs Wasted Years, will be released in the U.S. in May, 2009. Close.

William M. Gumede

South Africa

William M. Gumede is a former deputy editor of The Sowetan, Johannesburg. more »

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Africa Hungry for Better Leadership

Blame autocracy and poor local leadership for Africa's latest food problems.

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All Comments (12)

JOAO DA ROCHA:

Está realmente faltando ao mundo, lideranças que se preocupem com a vida de mais de 6,5 bilhões de seres humanos que habitam o nosso planeta.
Está havendo muito individualismo, demagogia e pouca credibilidade na competencia das pessoas que nos governam. A corrupção está se alastrando imediatamente e os país que formam o G-15 poderiam se unir para planejar e eleger prioridades para o Mundo.
O capital especulativo internacional está cada vez mais cartelizado e os governos cada vez mais individualizados e enfraquecidos.
Os países do BRIC poderiam e podem muito bem, se unirem em uma pauta de interesse da Humanidade. Está faltando isso e urgentemente. O mundo tem que conservar as conquistas e corrigir os erros.
FMI e ONU não podem deixar que a especulação perversa, continue concentrando riquezas e criando mais pobreza.

Michael:

Lots of run around the bush retoric, and the old blame game. Perhaps some of you so smart people should consider a new thought (a somewhat obvious one). Population.... Quit breeding and hold population levels to what is sustainable by the land. It is not the western worlds duty to provide food for an increasing, un-learned, unskilled, population with dubious belief systems.

JOAO DA ROCHA:

WE NEED SOVEREIGNTY, HOWEVER, TO FEED.

A retrospect of last the ninety (90) years in the ones of the one dimension of the advantages that the capitalist system left to provide to the world, on the contrary of the clamorous disparity that created between rich and poor, with the increase of the concentration of wealth.

Little more than 50% of the world-wide wealth are being usufructed for less than 3% of the universal population. A billion of people is almost living in state of subnutrição and malnutrition. The feeding always was relegated to a secondary plan, while world-wide the financial speculation did not leave to extend its jointed powers, in the oil, the Stock exchange and the Comodities, through the Tradings that more than control 80% of the Warehouses and Silos, in Brazil. E the world-wide governing still continue passive and tolerant with as many irregularities that they directly affect the daily life of billions of citizens. The speculators, unquestionably, are great responsible for the generation and the management of the crisis that some poor countries and in development are facing desumanamente.

In 1918, Vladimir Lênin, ahead of the Petrograd Soviet, worried about the abusive financial speculation, as she is occurring today, mainly with foods, suggested its abates impious, as she was facing herself and abating terrorist in a war field.

In recent interview, the president of Germany and former-president of the FMI, Kohler, charges of the agency that demands of the World-wide Central bankings, a more rigid regulation for financial the speculative system, as she charged Lênin has 90 years behind.

“For Kohler,” the wild search for profits, became the financial market in a monster that it quickly needs to be rank in the coleira'. Little capital and easy profits, without measuring consequences, for being if putting into motion freely, privatizing profits and socializing damages, and with immunity to any type of fiscalization, regulation or efficient control of the State, the monster comes growing and devorando the economy and the finances of the countries weakkest and becoming the stronger forts each time. Alert of the German president the sample that really is in the alias process of the governing to organize the Cartel that widely defends the primary interests of more than six (6) billion human beings. E the feeding is the main item. As it is is that the world cannot be.

We are seeing that until the proper general secretary of the OPEP, in well recent declaration, it condemned the speculators for the unjustifiable increases in the prices of the Oil. Germany, exporting greater and one of the five bigger world-wide economies, also have a great abyss between rich and poor and more than 20% of its population alone escape of the poverty because it receives I assist of the State.

Countries as Brazil, that has the biggest agricultável area of the world and responsibility with 184 million people, could never leave to lack, in abundance, the basic Rice and Beans and other foods in the table of the Brazilians. E we are seeing that on behalf of these two products, that can quickly be produced in entire Brazil, the Brazilian Central Bank justified the increase of half porcentual point (0.5%) in the Selic tax, causing, in nominal values, a cost the greater of more than R$ 6.000.000.00 (six billion) in the consolidated debt of the National Treasure.

With an immediate availability of appropriate areas for the plantation of the rice, the beans and other agricultural products, the Government never will decide the problem of the production of foods and other goods, if to continue adopting the politics of raised interests to contain the access to the consumption of a population that in its majority already is poor. The United States, countries of the European Union and Asia, on behalf of the world-wide crisis, are paying to never superior agios 1% for the clod roller of its debts and here, without crisis, the agio that we pay is of 7%. Statistical data of the Brazilian economy in show them clearly that in last the 30 years, the Brazilian government used the primary surplus of many billions of Reals, generated with the sacrifice and sweat of millions of Brazilians, to feed world-wide the financial speculation, in detriment of the production, the job and the income.

With all the billions of Reals of primary surplus, with the increase of the US$ exportations 73 billion in 2003 for US$ 160 billion in 2007, the Movable debt of Brazil passed of US$ 734 billion, in 2003 for more than R$ 1,200. trillion in 2007. Soon, the prescription of the highest interests to contain the inflation, stimulates the speculation, it sacrifices the production and it comes benefiting the concentration of wealth and becoming the poor persons poor and the IPEA it can and it must show this reality in last the 30 years. We are seeing the growth of the indebtedness of the Nation and that it is not reflecting directly or indirectly benefits in more roads, hidrovias, more railroads, ports, urban collective transports of quality and a infinity of other services, as education, health and basic sanitation and job for the young.

Soon, before if divulging the importance of the creation of a Deep Sovereign, to guarantee job, income and consumption in other countries, we must think seriously about amortizing and reducing the financial incubencies on our debt, that must pass of US$ 180 billion Reals, to the year, coming back part of these resources toward the financing of the industry, the production of the Rice, the Beans and too much products that never must lack in the table of all the Brazilians. After all, Brazil, of continental dimension, not yet has alimentary sovereignty much less, resources sobrando to apply in a Deep Sovereign.

JOAO DA ROCHA:

WE NEED SOVEREIGNTY, HOWEVER, TO FEED.

A retrospect of last the ninety (90) years in the ones of the one dimension of the advantages that the capitalist system left to provide to the world, on the contrary of the clamorous disparity that created between rich and poor, with the increase of the concentration of wealth.

Little more than 50% of the world-wide wealth are being usufructed for less than 3% of the universal population. A billion of people is almost living in state of subnutrição and malnutrition. The feeding always was relegated to a secondary plan, while world-wide the financial speculation did not leave to extend its jointed powers, in the oil, the Stock exchange and the Comodities, through the Tradings that more than control 80% of the Warehouses and Silos, in Brazil. E the world-wide governing still continue passive and tolerant with as many irregularities that they directly affect the daily life of billions of citizens. The speculators, unquestionably, are great responsible for the generation and the management of the crisis that some poor countries and in development are facing desumanamente.

In 1918, Vladimir Lênin, ahead of the Petrograd Soviet, worried about the abusive financial speculation, as she is occurring today, mainly with foods, suggested its abates impious, as she was facing herself and abating terrorist in a war field.

In recent interview, the president of Germany and former-president of the FMI, Kohler, charges of the agency that demands of the World-wide Central bankings, a more rigid regulation for financial the speculative system, as she charged Lênin has 90 years behind.

“For Kohler,” the wild search for profits, became the financial market in a monster that it quickly needs to be rank in the coleira'. Little capital and easy profits, without measuring consequences, for being if putting into motion freely, privatizing profits and socializing damages, and with immunity to any type of fiscalization, regulation or efficient control of the State, the monster comes growing and devorando the economy and the finances of the countries weakkest and becoming the stronger forts each time. Alert of the German president the sample that really is in the alias process of the governing to organize the Cartel that widely defends the primary interests of more than six (6) billion human beings. E the feeding is the main item. As it is is that the world cannot be.

We are seeing that until the proper general secretary of the OPEP, in well recent declaration, it condemned the speculators for the unjustifiable increases in the prices of the Oil. Germany, exporting greater and one of the five bigger world-wide economies, also have a great abyss between rich and poor and more than 20% of its population alone escape of the poverty because it receives I assist of the State.

Countries as Brazil, that has the biggest agricultável area of the world and responsibility with 184 million people, could never leave to lack, in abundance, the basic Rice and Beans and other foods in the table of the Brazilians. E we are seeing that on behalf of these two products, that can quickly be produced in entire Brazil, the Brazilian Central Bank justified the increase of half porcentual point (0.5%) in the Selic tax, causing, in nominal values, a cost the greater of more than R$ 6.000.000.00 (six billion) in the consolidated debt of the National Treasure.

With an immediate availability of appropriate areas for the plantation of the rice, the beans and other agricultural products, the Government never will decide the problem of the production of foods and other goods, if to continue adopting the politics of raised interests to contain the access to the consumption of a population that in its majority already is poor. The United States, countries of the European Union and Asia, on behalf of the world-wide crisis, are paying to never superior agios 1% for the clod roller of its debts and here, without crisis, the agio that we pay is of 7%. Statistical data of the Brazilian economy in show them clearly that in last the 30 years, the Brazilian government used the primary surplus of many billions of Reals, generated with the sacrifice and sweat of millions of Brazilians, to feed world-wide the financial speculation, in detriment of the production, the job and the income.

With all the billions of Reals of primary surplus, with the increase of the US$ exportations 73 billion in 2003 for US$ 160 billion in 2007, the Movable debt of Brazil passed of US$ 734 billion, in 2003 for more than R$ 1,200. trillion in 2007. Soon, the prescription of the highest interests to contain the inflation, stimulates the speculation, it sacrifices the production and it comes benefiting the concentration of wealth and becoming the poor persons poor and the IPEA it can and it must show this reality in last the 30 years. We are seeing the growth of the indebtedness of the Nation and that it is not reflecting directly or indirectly benefits in more roads, hidrovias, more railroads, ports, urban collective transports of quality and a infinity of other services, as education, health and basic sanitation and job for the young.

Soon, before if divulging the importance of the creation of a Deep Sovereign, to guarantee job, income and consumption in other countries, we must think seriously about amortizing and reducing the financial incubencies on our debt, that must pass of US$ 180 billion Reals, to the year, coming back part of these resources toward the financing of the industry, the production of the Rice, the Beans and too much products that never must lack in the table of all the Brazilians. After all, Brazil, of continental dimension, not yet has alimentary sovereignty much less, resources sobrando to apply in a Deep Sovereign.

JOAO DA ROCHA:

WE NEED SOVEREIGNTY, HOWEVER, TO FEED.

A retrospect of last the ninety (90) years in the ones of the one dimension of the advantages that the capitalist system left to provide to the world, on the contrary of the clamorous disparity that created between rich and poor, with the increase of the concentration of wealth.

Little more than 50% of the world-wide wealth are being usufructed for less than 3% of the universal population. A billion of people is almost living in state of subnutrição and malnutrition. The feeding always was relegated to a secondary plan, while world-wide the financial speculation did not leave to extend its jointed powers, in the oil, the Stock exchange and the Comodities, through the Tradings that more than control 80% of the Warehouses and Silos, in Brazil. E the world-wide governing still continue passive and tolerant with as many irregularities that they directly affect the daily life of billions of citizens. The speculators, unquestionably, are great responsible for the generation and the management of the crisis that some poor countries and in development are facing desumanamente.

In 1918, Vladimir Lênin, ahead of the Petrograd Soviet, worried about the abusive financial speculation, as she is occurring today, mainly with foods, suggested its abates impious, as she was facing herself and abating terrorist in a war field.

In recent interview, the president of Germany and former-president of the FMI, Kohler, charges of the agency that demands of the World-wide Central bankings, a more rigid regulation for financial the speculative system, as she charged Lênin has 90 years behind.

“For Kohler,” the wild search for profits, became the financial market in a monster that it quickly needs to be rank in the coleira'. Little capital and easy profits, without measuring consequences, for being if putting into motion freely, privatizing profits and socializing damages, and with immunity to any type of fiscalization, regulation or efficient control of the State, the monster comes growing and devorando the economy and the finances of the countries weakkest and becoming the stronger forts each time. Alert of the German president the sample that really is in the alias process of the governing to organize the Cartel that widely defends the primary interests of more than six (6) billion human beings. E the feeding is the main item. As it is is that the world cannot be.

We are seeing that until the proper general secretary of the OPEP, in well recent declaration, it condemned the speculators for the unjustifiable increases in the prices of the Oil. Germany, exporting greater and one of the five bigger world-wide economies, also have a great abyss between rich and poor and more than 20% of its population alone escape of the poverty because it receives I assist of the State.

Countries as Brazil, that has the biggest agricultável area of the world and responsibility with 184 million people, could never leave to lack, in abundance, the basic Rice and Beans and other foods in the table of the Brazilians. E we are seeing that on behalf of these two products, that can quickly be produced in entire Brazil, the Brazilian Central Bank justified the increase of half porcentual point (0.5%) in the Selic tax, causing, in nominal values, a cost the greater of more than R$ 6.000.000.00 (six billion) in the consolidated debt of the National Treasure.

With an immediate availability of appropriate areas for the plantation of the rice, the beans and other agricultural products, the Government never will decide the problem of the production of foods and other goods, if to continue adopting the politics of raised interests to contain the access to the consumption of a population that in its majority already is poor. The United States, countries of the European Union and Asia, on behalf of the world-wide crisis, are paying to never superior agios 1% for the clod roller of its debts and here, without crisis, the agio that we pay is of 7%. Statistical data of the Brazilian economy in show them clearly that in last the 30 years, the Brazilian government used the primary surplus of many billions of Reals, generated with the sacrifice and sweat of millions of Brazilians, to feed world-wide the financial speculation, in detriment of the production, the job and the income.

With all the billions of Reals of primary surplus, with the increase of the US$ exportations 73 billion in 2003 for US$ 160 billion in 2007, the Movable debt of Brazil passed of US$ 734 billion, in 2003 for more than R$ 1,200. trillion in 2007. Soon, the prescription of the highest interests to contain the inflation, stimulates the speculation, it sacrifices the production and it comes benefiting the concentration of wealth and becoming the poor persons poor and the IPEA it can and it must show this reality in last the 30 years. We are seeing the growth of the indebtedness of the Nation and that it is not reflecting directly or indirectly benefits in more roads, hidrovias, more railroads, ports, urban collective transports of quality and a infinity of other services, as education, health and basic sanitation and job for the young.

Soon, before if divulging the importance of the creation of a Deep Sovereign, to guarantee job, income and consumption in other countries, we must think seriously about amortizing and reducing the financial incubencies on our debt, that must pass of US$ 180 billion Reals, to the year, coming back part of these resources toward the financing of the industry, the production of the Rice, the Beans and too much products that never must lack in the table of all the Brazilians. After all, Brazil, of continental dimension, not yet has alimentary sovereignty much less, resources sobrando to apply in a Deep Sovereign.

Kimemia Maina:

While this article states the obvious and undeniable fallacy of the leadership across much of the continent he fails to factor the overwhelming influence of over-subsidized and overproducing farmers based in some western countries on global crop production making very difficult for even the handful of leaders who genuinely care for their own farmers to shape policy in a way that the small landholders can survive and even thrive in their own markets.

Given the long standing issues of Western countries using their financial leverage over the economies of third world nations to impose opening up of their food markets to the wanton abuse by their own farmers (think cheap Nestle milk powder, American subsidized corn and rice)at the expense of protecting local producers who are unable to compete with the 'dirt cheap' foreign imports. Is it not very obvious that the recent spike in the cost of food prices would hit these the hardest?

zeravan barwary :



It is an interesting isusse , the lack of leadership , i agree with writer and i said , yes the lack of leadershipe make the diffrent crsis in all aspecats , so if you see in any countries the lack of democracy and the dictatorisam authorities it is simply mean the hungry and deases and also black future for new genrations , but although we have problem in Middle East concern the bad leadershipes , in this area the human lose everythings , freedom of expressing , rights ,,,, . finally , i hope the people in this area wake up as soon as possible to save their new genrations and removing the extreme government who run people by power .

andrew:

i think that claiming african leaders have failed to divert food to the most vulnerable is an over judgementy of issuess,it should be put in mind that african countries gain alot out of exports that is still crutial to the african people,i think african leaders directing more esports is a very important matter to care more for the african people. african goverments are suffering from huge corruption where resources are embezzled by the ruling governments at the expense of feeding its own people

Sir Dies Alot, Old Forge PA:

I take issue with the 'climate change' issue which is played in the final paragraph. The article says:
"Climate change has caused increasingly poor environmental conditions in Africa. Decreasing food yield is just one example of this."
However no support is given to this statement. How have you arrived at the conclusion that climate change causes the decreasing yield? Are there not many other factors to consider? Is it not true that in the name of saving the world, development is sometimes stifled in developing countries?
Don't you essentially say exactly that with this statement:
"The climate change policies of Western countries, for example subsidizing and promoting the rapid conversion of sugar cane, corn and other food into replacement for oil, also fuel the current food crisis in Africa."
This does not say that climate change is depriving Africa of much needed resources, it is in fact saying that policy in aid of 'climate change' is depriving Africa of much needed resources.
Yet your conclusion is that more wrongheaded hurried policy will fix everything.

Thats rich...

Sir Dies Alot, Old Forge PA:

I take issue with the 'climate change' issue which is played in the final paragraph. The article says:
"Climate change has caused increasingly poor environmental conditions in Africa. Decreasing food yield is just one example of this."
However no support is given to this statement. How have you arrived at the conclusion that climate change causes the decreasing yield? Are there not many other factors to consider? Is it not true that in the name of saving the world, development is sometimes stifled in developing countries?
Don't you essentially say exactly that with this statement:
"The climate change policies of Western countries, for example subsidizing and promoting the rapid conversion of sugar cane, corn and other food into replacement for oil, also fuel the current food crisis in Africa."
This does not say that climate change is depriving Africa of much needed resources, it is in fact saying that policy in aid of 'climate change' is depriving Africa of much needed resources.
Yet your conclusion is that more wrongheaded hurried policy will fix everything.

Thats rich...

John Mulumba:

Gumede is a black South African journalist. Honestly, as black African, I am beginning to be concerned by the reasoning of black journalists and intellectuals in South Africa. Why concerned? Because very South Africa may be asked to be a permanent member of the UN security council representing Africa. Are South Africans fit to do this? Should we now look to Nigeria?

I maybe wrong here but it seems to me that black South Africans define intellectualism as endorsing everything said or done by Europeans. So to be an intellectual you have to endorse everything Europeans say.

How is it that of all hundreds of black journalists in South Africa, none (at least from reading the press there) seem to think Mbeki's approach is right. In any group of normal intelligent people there are a divergent of ideas. Why is it that black journalist and intellectuals in South Africans just happen to think just like the BBC, Guardian, etc?


Mbeki's policy on Zimbabwe is not horrible at all. Whatever you think, the Zimbabwe crises started with the land issue. Mugabe maybe wrong this far, but the British shares a big part of that blame. Has any of those journalists in South Africa considered the implications of SADC dealing with Zimbabwe by critising Mugabe without saying anything about the British?

Sometimes in international politics long-term security and dignity override short term goals. If a group of terrorists kidnap British nationals today demanding Britain to do something before they release the captives, the British government will not burge an inch even if it will mean death of their nationals. Why? Because when you start negotiating with terrorists you lose. They will exploit you again and again.


Since Britain started this current crises by unfairly breaking a promise with Mugabe, is there any implication in Africans closing an eye to the British role and condemn Mugabe only? I fully understand that it requires a large dose of intelligence to answer this question.


It may well be that one of the consequences of apartheid is that black South African have been brainwashed so much that they do not see these things properly.

Maybe it is time Africa started looking to Nigeria for that permanent UN security council seat.

John Mulumba:

Gumede is a black South African journalist. Honestly, as black African, I am beginning to be concerned by the reasoning of black journalists and intellectuals in South Africa. Why concerned? Because very South Africa may be asked to be a permanent member of the UN security council representing Africa. Are South Africans fit to do this? Should we now look to Nigeria?

I maybe wrong here but it seems to me that black South Africans define intellectualism as endorsing everything said or done by Europeans. So to be an intellectual you have to endorse everything Europeans say.

How is it that of all hundreds of black journalists in South Africa, none (at least from reading the press there) seem to think Mbeki's approach is right. In any group of normal intelligent people there are a divergent of ideas. Why is it that black journalist and intellectuals in South Africans just happen to think just like the BBC, Guardian, etc?


Mbeki's policy on Zimbabwe is not horrible at all. Whatever you think, the Zimbabwe crises started with the land issue. Mugabe maybe wrong this far, but the British shares a big part of that blame. Has any of those journalists in South Africa considered the implications of SADC dealing with Zimbabwe by critising Mugabe without saying anything about the British?

Sometimes in international politics long-term security and dignity override short term goals. If a group of terrorists kidnap British nationals today demanding Britain to do something before they release the captives, the British government will not burge an inch even if it will mean death of their nationals. Why? Because when you start negotiating with terrorists you lose. They will exploit you again and again.


Since Britain started this current crises by unfairly breaking a promise with Mugabe, is there any implication in Africans closing an eye to the British role and condemn Mugabe only? I fully understand that it requires a large dose of intelligence to answer this question.


It may well be that one of the consequences of apartheid is that black South African have been brainwashed so much that they do not see these things properly.

Maybe it is time Africa started looking to Nigeria for that permanent UN security council seat.

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