The alleged special treatment accorded to foreigners in Sierra Leone who contract Ebola should be an eye opener to Africa. According to recent reports, an American aid worker who contracted Ebola was swiftly evacuated to a specialized treatment centers in the country run by experts from the West. On the other hand, a Sierra Leonean colleague who developed Ebola within days of the American was first sent to a local treatment unit where roughly 50 percent of all Ebola patients die, as there was “no room” at the specialized British unit.
This should be a lesson to African governments. The West values its citizens and will go to great lengths to protect them. In Africa on the other hand, citizens are mere statistics and voting machines. They can be kidnapped, exposed to danger, or die, without their governments flinching. Africa must recognize that its citizens are its greatest resource. This resource must be valued, developed and given an environment that will make it contribute significantly to socio-economic development.