Ebola And Inept Leaders: Africans Must Save Africa

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AFRICANGLOBE – The Ebola crises in West Africa is another occasion where the whole world gets to see inept leadership in many African countries.

There have recently been many postings on social media critical of the United States for deploying military personnel and medical workers to West Africa in response to the Ebola crises. A estimated 6,000 or so people have already infected in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea and deaths approach 3,000.

Liberia is one of the hardest hit country. And an estimate by the Centers for Disease Control now suggests that at the current trend rates more than one million people could ultimately be affected.

Critics of the U.S response –it comes with pledges that have already been made of more than $100 million– still ask why military personnel when tiny Cuba is sending doctors?

Is this another round-about-way for the U.S. to secure a foothold for the African Command (AFRICOM) based on the continent, something most African leaders have rejected? After all, the U.S. has already significantly deployed on the continent, including supposedly to help fight: the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels; the Islamic insurgents in Mali; and more recently Boko Haram in Nigeria.

Is this U.S. taking advantage of every crises in Africa as an excuse to escalate military deployment?

The criticism, even if valid, are misplaced.

Whenever there is a vacuum in countries, regions, and continents — an outside power will fill the void. After all this was one of the main causes behind colonial penetration and conquest.

It’s hard to imagine that African leaders would fail to rise to the occasion –at least in terms of providing strategic and visible leadership — if men of the caliber of Kwame Nkrumah or Julius Nyerere were alive today.

So the criticism is misplaced.

Africans should direct their ire at some of the incompetent, corrupt and morally bankrupt leaders in several African countries.

A calamity like this should provide young Africans with even more inspiration to do their utmost best to eject such leaders; especially unelected tyrants or those in office through rigged or sham elections.