When looking at aspects of Africa in Radelet’s, Emerging Africa: How 17 Countries Are Leading the Way, there is a lot of talk of cheetah’s and hippo’s in society and how their actions are effecting parts of Africa. He is not talking about actual cheetahs and hippos that are in the wild he is talking about two totally opposite groups of people. A cheetah is explained by Radelet as, “new generation of young Africans who look at Africa issues and problems from a totally unique perspective. [They are] the cheetah generation. They do not relate to the old colonialist paradigm, the slave trade, nor Africa’s post-colonialist nationalist leaders.” The cheetahs are those in Africa who see the country as an opportunity for growth and improvement rather than the poor and under privileged country that many see Africa as.
With this mindset, many thought that the best solution to break the chain of Africas poverty and dictatorship that they should break away from the large countries and leaders and make their own independent countries with democracy. Even though the new thought of leadership that the cheetahs have seems like an improvement and in the future it may be an improvement. However, it was those leaders of the independent counties were the heart of Africa’s problems. The people are trying to be leaders and lead their people in the right way but have been under such strict dictatorship they don’t have the knowledge or tools to be great leaders yet.
Africans are tired of being seen as they have been for generations and millennial’s are trying to change the reputation.Leaders are asking for those who have left and have gone abroad to come back home and help the country become great. Many Africans are leaving their comfortable lives in other countries to come back home and help make a change. Many are doctors, lawyers, activists, and all around educated people. There are numerous success stories of Africans who go to other counties and get educated and qualified to something and come back to share that knowledge with their fellow homeland people. It is amazing to see that Africas will leave their life that they worked so hard to create to come back home and help others do the same. “The Cheetah generation means many things, but five stand out: ideas, technology, entrepreneurship, market power, and the push for good governance and accountability.” (Radelet)
After reading Radelet’s thoughts on hippos in Africa I decided to do some more research on my own. I found a great CNN article that explained what that group of people were like and what thoughts they had on Africa. “Intellectually astigmatic and stuck in their muddy colonialist pedagogical patch. They can see with eagle-eyed clarity the injustices perpetrated by whites against blacks, but they are hopelessly blind to the more heinous injustices they perpetrate against their own black people.” (Ayittey) I learned that these kinds of people don’t want to see change or see others take on leadership roles. They want to control Africans the way that they have for generations. This kind of leadership will make Africa stagnant in civilization and growth if they keep this mindset. Hippos are nearsighted and only want what they think will keep control where it has always been.
In Poor Economics, a book by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Deflo I read about hunger with the poor. It questioned whether the poor are truly hunger, if they spend their money on the right things, and if they have enough knowledge to know whether or not they are eating the right amount or things. Being poor can effect many things that leads to hunger.
In the book Peter Singer a philosopher wrote about the moral imperative to help the poor even though we don’t know them. He said that he observes that most people would willingly sacrifice a $1,000 suit to rescue a child seen drowning in a pond and argues that there should be no difference between that drowning child and the 9 million children who, every year, die before their fifth birthday. 9 million people. It is hard to even comprehend that many people being hungry. This book has many different perspectives and one point that I found very interesting was that with as much food as there is in the world, there shouldn’t be one person who is hungry; yet there are 9 million. It is said in the book that, “starvation exists in today’s world, but only a result of the way the food gets shared among us.” I believe that if more people were more giving with their time and resources that this number would decrease tremendously.
Countries like Africa are not very stable so when something tragic happens in a community or area they are panicking. Witch hunts are something that occurs when there is a crisis they start to kick out anyone who may have contributed to the problem or who is not helping the problem. They think that beating the people or kicking them out is the best way deal with crisis in the areas.
Namibia is on the cost of South Africa and is the oldest desert in the world. There is a population of about 2 million and has grown tremendously in the past 100 years. Since gaining their independence they have been able to get better healthcare and education. This improvement has made their fisheries and mining increase in business and their economy improve. This is a country who has a great attitude about the future and is willing to do what ever they can to make a change.
Banerjee & Duflo. Poor Economics, Ch 1 & Ch 2 pp. 1-40
Steven Radelet Emerging Africa – How 17 Countries are Leading the Way (on Bb-SDG&Africa-Africa): read Chapter Six and Seven
Ayittey, George. “Why Africa Needs Cheetahs Not Hippos.” CNN. Cable News Network, 06 Sept. 2010. Web. 07 Feb. 2017.