Begging where there is no donor?!
IOG (Piggy) avoided skin-of-teeth of becoming the laughing-stock Head-of-State when the African Union, summoned its 54 member states to an emergency summit on the continent’s worst famine in 60 years, just four – that’s right, four – heads of state bothered to turn up.
Of those, one was the prime minister of Ethiopia, where the AU is based. The summit was in Addis Ababa so he didn’t have far to go. Another was from neighbouring Somalia, where tens of thousands of people have died and 12 million people are in dire need. The third was from Equatorial Guinea, whose despotic ruler is the current AU chairman, so he had to be there. And the fourth was from the postage-stamp-sized Djibouti, which is also in desperate need of help.
There was more embarrassment, too, when it was revealed that the entire African continent has answered the global UN appeal for $2.4 billion to deal with the crisis in the Horn of Africa by pledging a paltry $50 million. This is in addition to $300m pledged by the Tunis-based African Development Bank for long-term projects in the Horn of Africa. Since the bank’s funds come substantially from the US and Europe, it’s hard to see that as Africa rallying to the call.
The host nation of the emergency summit Ethiopia, is the number one International Aid recipient, it’s also gets the lion-share of the US’s $500m, the EU’s $228m and individual European countries’ $630m pledges.
As one of African ruler, Piggy has to have the ability of understanding the political mind-set of his colleagues, when they say “AFRICAN solutions for African problems” that they don’t necessarily mean what they say in public for PR.