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How to Starve Africa: Ask the European Green Party

Posted by Josh

I read this today on

There is a commonly shared neo-colonialist expression: The Europeans have the watches; the Africans have the time. Today, the European Green Party, with the support of countless environmentalist NGOs, proposed an initiative in the European Parliament to make Africa wait for at least another generation to be able to lift itself out of poverty.

It's a shocking read and ends:

A sad day for Africa

Today, in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, MEPs voted “overwhelmingly” by 577 MEPs, with only 24 against and 69 abstentions to accept the Green Party’s Heubuch Report and demand that the European Union stop funding the G8’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. It is with great hope that the world ignores this unfortunate act, considering it as a narrow-minded gesture towards appeasing a backward looking European green constituency.

In 2015, after 30 years of residence in the Brussels area, I became a Belgian citizen. Today, for the first time since officially becoming a European, I was ashamed of what ill-guided people in the European Parliament had done in the name of Europe. This act of selfish science denialism (with the potential for massive negative consequences) is no way for reasonable Europeans to act.

We need to let Africa have the chance to develop, not on our terms or demands, but on theirs. It is time to give Africans the watch and let them manage their affairs on their time, not ours.

Shame on Maria Heubuch and her band of eco-religious missionary zealots.

Shame on our MEPs too.  Read the whole thing here.

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Reader Comments (156)

People are already moving to urban areas in Africa in their millions and abandoning subsistence farming, have been for decades. Why are we talking as if they're all in rural villages?

Subsistence farming is horribly inefficient and unreliable.

The best thing we can do is buy their products at market rates without the fixes implied by EU protectionism and "Fair Trade" or deliberately skewing their development toward wasteful "renewable" technologies in order to placate our domestic Green tendency.

Jun 16, 2016 at 8:49 AM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

"They were starving. The rains had come too late to prevent what pitiful crops they grew withering away. They still grew the same poor varieties that came out of Mesopotamia thousands of years ago; none of your GM drought resistant seeds for them. That stuff wouldn’t be in their best interests, their betters in far away foreign lands had decided for them."

The big green killing machine: They sit with God in paradise.


Jun 16, 2016 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

Kellydown. This thread is about the EU government opposing a measure that deals with agriculture in Africa. So that's why we not discussing the problems resulting from the population shift of rural peoples to the cities. Agriculture doesn't happen in the cities.

If you compare subsistence farming on good agricultural land with what can be achieved, there is no question that, as you say, it is inefficient (and unreliable?). Zimbabwe's experience shows this when large efficient farms belonging to people of European extraction were broken up and distributed to Mugabe's followers. Zimbabwe changed from being a food exporter to a state dependent on foreign aid for its basic foodstuffs.

However, if we examine subsistence farming in poor agricultural land (commonly because of low and unpredictable rainfall) only subsistence farming works (and then poorly). Only large investments have a chance of any success in localities where groundwater irrigation might be possible (very few) and usually this investment is not available.

The problem might be made worse by protectionism, but its far from being the main one.

Jun 16, 2016 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

I would be a lot more 'down' on the 'greenies' if in fact they did not share interesting information on the downside of GM 'foods' of which is that crop yields do not come in as advertised and weed control fails dramatically within a few planting cycles.

Jul 5, 2016 at 7:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Farnham

Is this the sort of thing you are thinking of ?

Jul 7, 2016 at 6:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Farnham

The cause of African under-development isn't Europe. That's just as vacuous as blaming Catholics for AIDS in Africa; it's too easy, and is based on the bigotry of low expectations and that Africans have no agency. Yes, the First World ENABLES underdevelopment, but does not cause it.

The problem of African under-development is Africans themselves, and their corrupt, Marxist leaders. We need to stop throwing good money after bad. Every time we throw money at Africa we enable the world's biggest welfare state. Cut the funding so that they are forced to stand on their own feet and develop.

But, of course, keeping the welfare flowing, and enabling a culture of dependency, is the whole point.

Sep 9, 2016 at 8:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid, UK

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