Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Heart of Humanity Speaks in the Congo

The BBC World Service has done the world a great service by a report on the Congo election via the internet. Here is the link:

Reporter Joseph Winter set up a live laptop link from a market place in Democratic Republic of Congo's second city, Lubumbashi, connecting local people with others aroung the world.

Today, as I came across this exchange and read it my heart leapt with joy to hear the authentic voices of people who cry out for the shared truths of life: a good life with family, work, and an honest government.

In the USA we get so much distorted news about Africa that we think the African people are somehow as corrupt ats their leaders. Here, we hear from the people themselves who share the concerns about corruption in government and wish only for people to be elected with good ideas for their nation.

What this report shows is that people around the globe share the desire for true democracy and that democracy is only threatened by corrupt leaders, not by the aspirations of the people.

Here's an example of a question and the answer from some of the locals:

Question from Charlotte, Edinburgh to the voters, 0947 local time (0747 GMT / 0847 BST)

Q: What do the voters think is the most important thing that a new government should deliver on?

Ikos: We want the government to encourage investors to rebuild our country.

Schadrac: Rehabilitation of Congo's economic-social-cultural tissue.

Viviane: Self-sufficiency in food.

Demaman: Rebuild schools.

Chinabu: Good governance and a strong currency.


The reason I find this so moving is that from the generalized picture painted by the media in the USA there are no such people as Ikos, Schadrac, Viviane, Demanan, and Chinabu on the streets in Africa.

I hope that these dear people will have some success with their election and that the people of the USA could be half as intelligent as these voters in understanding the role of the USA and multinational corporations in fighting democracy in Africa and keeping places like the Congo poor and in political unrest.

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