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Third World debt
19-06-2005, 03:00 PM
Post: #1
Third World debt

Have made minor progress with getting my flatmates (10 of which are going to be teachers) to think of something other than that fit bloke off tv.

We were having tea when the subject of third world debt came up and one of the girls said we should wipe third world debt to save africa (we had been talking about the live8 concert). Anyway I stated that third world debt is a symptom of the problem and wiping away the debt won't make much difference, its the political systems in the country that are the problem. For example Zimbabwee used to feed not only its country but export food to other countries, it now is facing famine due to bad leadership. So she turned around and said that she was the wrong person to have this debate with because she was right as her step dad was the something to do with a charity and so she was right (still need to work on debate skills with flatmates).

So I wondered what everyone thought about it, is debt relief and fairtrade like sticking a plaster over a broken leg?

My opinion is that although these important issues until we deal with the underlying causes then it wont work.
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19-06-2005, 03:09 PM
Post: #2
Third World debt
I think cancelling the debt will have no effect at all. Ultimately most of Africa's problems come from corrupt tin pot leaders who have no respect for the countries they govern at all or the people within them. I work with several girls who have come here from various parts of Africa and not one of them thinks cancelling the debt will help in the long term.

I believe it will just encourage the already corrupt to become more corrupt, safe in the knowledge that their own people won't turn against them so long as the West steps in to sort out the mess. It seems we are more than happy to spend billions on a pointless war in Iraq, but no one thinks military action in the worst affected regions of Africa is required. So the regimes go on and on, and the poverty and deprivation escalates.

Africa is rich in natural resources and can be run profitably as we have seen in the past.
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19-06-2005, 03:58 PM
Post: #3
Third World debt
Becks Wrote:So I wondered what everyone thought about it, is debt relief and fairtrade like sticking a plaster over a broken leg?

In a way, yes, but if someone has a potentially fatal cut that has gone septic, unless you treat it immediately the patient might die, even if once he's better he goes on to injure himself again.

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19-06-2005, 07:09 PM
Post: #4
Third World debt
Ceridwen Wrote:I think cancelling the debt will have no effect at all. Ultimately most of Africa's problems come from corrupt tin pot leaders who have no respect for the countries they govern at all or the people within them.

I'm ashamed to say that I haven't paid as much attention to this issue as I probably should, but I do know that not every country in Africa who has a debt to the West will have that debt cancelled. There will only be 18 (I think) countries benefitting.

The main reason for this is that the debt relief is conditional - and the main condition is that the leaders of the countries must somehow demonstrate that they are not corrupt and will use the additional revenue to benefit their countries socially and economically. I would be very surprised if Zimbabwe was one of the 18 countries included in the debt relief - Robert Mugabwe would have a hard time convincing his own mother that he wasn't a corrupt dictator.

There are some other conditions to which I don't fully understand. Apparently, despite the fact that Nigeria is almost crippled with debt, it does not qualify for debt relief as it is oil rich. Which is a shame as its current leadership is apparently one of the least corrupt in Africa.

Anyway, as to whether it will help or not - well, I don't see why not provided the relief does only go to those countries who leaders will not cyphon off vast amounts into their own Swiss Bank Accounts, and there are proviso's in place to penalise those who prove to be untrustworthy. At the very least, is better than nothing and will free up allocated revenue to be spent elsewhere. Sending cash directly hasn't worked, neither does providing food and welfare, as there are too many "middle men" involved. This is one way of providing aid without 3rd party interference.

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21-06-2005, 08:40 AM
Post: #5
Third World debt
If I am brutally honest I am not interested in Africa at all. It may not be the most politically correct opinion but it is my own.

What others think and say about you is none of your business. :ohmy:
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