The Africa Rising Debate: US and Africa Compared

Published on 31st December 2019

Lest we forget, a short history of water in the U.S. America received its independence in 1776. However, the first running water tap was invented in 1840, some 64 years after independence. It should be noted that Christopher Columbus arrived to America in 1492 some 284 years earlier.

America then developed its first sewer in 1850, 74 years after its independence. And later its first sewage treatment was developed in 1890, some 114 years after America's independence.

In fact, by 1940 and 164 years after America's independence, America lacked hot piped water, bath tub or shower, or a flush toilet in 50% of its households.

Fast forward to 2019, more than 2 million people in the U.S. 21st century lack running water or basic plumbing. Many of them are poverty stricken black folks. This is America and not Africa.

It is important to note that every nation grapples with poverty. In contrast to America, most African nations received their so called independence between 1960 to 1970, some 49 to 59 years ago. While there may not be sewer systems and waste water treatment plants all over Africa, many do have running hot and cold water and toilets in their urban buildings of which it took America some 64 years to accomplish.

Let’s keep in mind that African nations are baby nations in terms of getting their independence to develop on their own. It takes time to build a nation. Many Most of these countries are still heavily influenced by foreign powers and the worlds billionaires who made their fortunes on Africa's back and are still doing it. Intentionally blocking access to global capital that would help build upon Africa's resources, rather they want to keep contributing millions in aid in order to keep Africa on its knees, while they continue to make themselves wealthy, while not giving a damn about Africa.

Lastly, looking at the disrespectful picture of those defecating in Africa in the open air, because they are stricken by poverty and have no choice, I would like to leave you with this, streets are covered with human poop in America, in fact in some cities it is a crisis.

Please be wise. America shares many of the problems of African nations, but in different ways. America also has corrupt leaders much like Africa. The kind of attitude that Okpa so frequently displays about his people and African Americans makes him the same kind of "Lackey."

I applaud P Kofi Baah-Arhin and Isaac Sebakijje for standing up for Africa. It is the Global Green Development Group mission to help develop and teach self-reliance for all Diaspora's no matter where they are in the world, and I encourage all Africans and African Americans to look past our oppression and continue to focus on solving our problems for the future.

We are a strong and talented race of people who are beautiful and diverse in our backgrounds due to our history. Let’s work together and make our diversity work for us, rather than against us.  The subject of Africa with 54 countries and over 2 billion people is bigger than any single opinion, rather it needs creative development by many. Let us start talking about real solutions rather then back biting those that have real suggestions on moving forward.

By Mary Flowers

Africa Rising: US and Africa Compared: A Response

Anyone who is comparing occasional defecating with no water and wastewater system is an airhead. Mary Flowers is clueless on many fronts. In US cities, where is public pooing allowed??? They still have water and wastewater systems.

It is height of stupidity to justify Africa’s lack of water and wastewater systems by saying, oh no, in America people poo-poo on the streets. One reason why Africa is backward when it ought to be ahead is because Africans sooth their misery by justifying malfeasance. There is corruption in God's own country US America, but with that, things gets done. Corruption in Africa is where one gets the contract but nothing is done and the money is paid. Now justify that.

Many sub-Saharan capitals and cities do not have water and wastewater systems, and will not have such infrastructure in the next 50 years – I like to be proven wrong. Water and wastewater systems are civil engineering work that will take redoing the land use pattern on many African cities before such can be done. Africans do not have appetite nor tolerance for projects that requires major decision and acquisition of right of ways for easements and dedications. They want quick fixes – septic tanks, water tanks and bore holes.

Whether folks like it or not, it is factual and objective comment that does mean one is negative. For Mary Flowers and her in-tow apologists and sympathizers, when one is objective about a people who are self-destroying, it is negative. Africans are their own worst enemies allowing the things that happen to keep happening.

I have many pictures showing Nigeria of 21st and Nigeria 3 years after the colonial administrators left.

The country that claims to be the Giant of Africa – does not have 5000 miles of well build highways. Technically, in 105yrs of its existence, she has been unable to build 50 miles of highways each year.

Nigeria is a country that once had a national carrier until the late 80s when a Nigerian pilot was arrested in NY for smuggling drugs and the airways was banned from flying into US. By then the airways was already on its last days. In early 2000 – Richard Branson during President Obasanjo`s government (1999-2007) got in and structured a partnership with Nigeria – Virgin Nigeria; it went out of business shortly thereafter. Mr. Branson swore never to do business again in Nigeria – google it.

Lagos 3 years after independence was a clean city with beautiful streets. Civil war started in 1967, because Nigerians could not handle tribal sentiments to live peacefully together. Note – Nigerians drove on the left hand side of the street. That changed in 1972 to driving on the right hand side. Since then, road infrastructure has diminished.

During colonial rule – Nigeria had PWD – Public Works Departments and Maintenance Yards positioned every 30-50 miles. One was near my father's compound which was placed in his village because before he became Chief, he served as Councillor for Works in then Awgu Division, in the 50s. In 21st century, PWD does not exist and roads built in Nigeria hardly survive heavy rains – they get washed off. Meanwhile, Nigeria has more civil engineers per country than most African countries. Paper Engineers. Julius Berger, Nigeria's premiere civil works company, is just as bad in the quality of roads and highways they build. Furgerole, was a French construction that built Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway in the early 80s; a distance of 145 miles. Today, that expressway barely exists and it takes about 10 hours to make that distance.

The population of 54 African nations is not 2 billion as Mary Flowers puts it. In the ECOWAS community made up of 15 countries; the largest group of countries in Africa, the population of 14 countries, does not amount to half of population of Nigeria which is dubiously put at 180m. Africa has barely 1 billion people.

I challenge Mary to a debate on economic development solutions in black America and Africa.  If she is confident in her knowledge, let's share solutions in a formal audience, and I will give her $10,000, if she outperforms me. Isaac Sebakijje ran to Uganda and now is back in US trying to catch up. If Uganda is all that, how come he came back? Because the ghost of Idi Amin and President-for-life – Yoweri Museveni who has been in power since 1986, holds sway in this one-time Pearl of Africa.

If the black race is as strong as Mary wants to portray, how come the so called enlightened African-Americans are not championing a new and improved Africa? They cannot because for them to show and tell, they should show their mettle in black neighborhoods.

Can one give what they do not have – maybe if they are Mary Flowers.

By Ejike E Okpa

Dallas, Texas.


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