Thursday, December 11, 2008

Greece, Zimbabwe, and Ghana

Hi folks,

Riots in Greece, cholera and starvation in Zimbabwe, and a peaceful, albeit undecided, election in Ghana.

What a difference a vigorous civil society can make in a country! Ghana is the shining example that Africa can be a place where democracy thrives. And Ghana is one of the healthiest countries on the continent because civil society groups, the churches/mosques, and many international agencies have been able to work there unhindered by interference (for the most part) by the government.

Zimbabwe is an example of the opposite: civil society organizations have been harrassed, international donors have been driven away, and corruption has ruined any chance of success in developing the country--at least for a long time to come. Not to mention the racial tensions that have underpinned the ridiculous policies of the Mugabe government. What a basket-case. One of the most beautiful countries in the world has been driven into total chaos by one man and his cronies. Hmmm....1939 anyone? A few meridians of latitude to the north....I just pray Zimbabwe's troubles don't spill into the neighborhood the way Germany's did in the 30's.

I remember when Zimbabwe gained indepedence and changed its name from Rhodesia in 1980 or so. My brother and I were singing some song about the name change with our uncles. We had no idea what we were singing about, but the uncles had picked up the song somewhere, from a news broadcast or who knows where. And the words sounded cool....And, if you read history, Mugabe started out on a pretty good track after the white dictatorship of Ian Smith....but alas, absolute power....

And now we have Greece.....the most corrupt country in the EU. Young people are outraged by police brutality, lack of employment opportunities, and degradation of national pride because of political neglect and greed. I guess I don't have to say more about this....anyone who reads this regularly knows how I feel about what's happened to our beautiful country.

God bless Ghana, and let the next round of elections go as smoothly as the recent one!

Love and Peace to all!

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