On air.. Africa and the economic crisis: Your stories

Meet Alfonse. WHYS will be coming to you live from his little bar this evening. alfonse1

His place doesn’t have a name, and it doesn’t need a name -it’s the only hang out on the coast of Dar-es-salaam. It’s located on the famous Oyster Bay where families lay out picnics by the side of their cars every sunday and young men lounge on the bonnets of their cars to woo the ladies.

Alfonse tells me that people save for weeks to be able visit his bar once a month. It never used to be this way and he’ll be joining us on the programme this evening to tell us more.

dina1And here’s Dina, the local florist. She’s no ordinary florist. From a one woman band, her business is now flourishing throughout Africa. She’s quite star here in Dar. It was after a handful of locals mentioned her name that I decided to track her down to invite her onto the show.

We’ll also be joined by some professionals from the great basketball match we saw yesterday. Here’s what they had to say.

The IMF and some of Africa’s most influential policy makers are meeting here to try and come up with solutions to reduce the impact of the economic crisis on Africa.

But not everyone thinks there is a crisis and I’ve been amazed at how many people here feel that although things may not be ideal, they are getting by, people like Salim who will be speaking on the show. Their struggles are nothing new.

We’ll also be hearing stories from Senegal and Zambia about how the economic crisis is affecting people there.
Nick MoyoNick Moyo runs a few restaurants in Lusaka and will be joining us. He says Zambia is feeling the effects because there are fewer US dollars flowing into the country, and that’s bad news for his businesses.

The good news for Africa is that it has little direct exposure to the credit crisis. African banks have not invested much, if at all, in the problem financial assets at the heart of the crisis.

But the global downturn has undermined demand for many industrial commodities, which are important exports for several African countries. That includes oil in Nigeria, Angola and Equatorial Guinea, and copper in Zambia.

Remittances, money sent home by people working abroad, also look vulnerable.

As the US and Europe pursues a more protectionist approach – is it understandable that each country looks after itself? Will aid budgets have to be cut? Or was it the west that created this crisis and therefore it’s responsibliity to cushion the effects around the world?

14 Responses to “On air.. Africa and the economic crisis: Your stories”

  1. 1 Peter Enoch
    March 10, 2009 at 15:34

    I don’t think that Africa will situate itself now in a much worse position than the rest of the World. Africans already know hardship and poverty, and they are immune to all forms of crisis. Europe, North America and some Asians states should worry a lot more intense than Africa.

  2. 2 sulayman Dauda
    March 10, 2009 at 16:59

    Africa+bad governance+political upheaval=economic crises that has no cure yet.

  3. 3 sulayman Dauda
    March 10, 2009 at 17:18

    if I may disagree with peter is the fact that western aid has its own predicaments to African conteneous crises yet one has to agree that as long as the western economy sneezed over there then ours in Africa will definately catch cold here. the case of Nigeria our politicians are busy enriching themselves through elephant but unimportant project and contract inflation and sudenly the price of oil began to go low thus, left in trouble on how to accomodate their already unplanned practices of resources mismanagement. now nigeria is the only country where us dollar is moving upward unpresidently masterminded by the ruling elites in order to compliment their loses abroad. because by bringing out what have been left for them to combat it into naira will generate huge sum which they can use to buy the masses votes. thank to the new nick name of the nigerian president ‘Umaru Robert Mugabe’

  4. 4 sulayman Dauda
    March 10, 2009 at 17:32

    Africans ooh Africans why are we reluctant to help ourself? the non responses clearly explain how Africans and Africa remain backward to the 21st cc global challenges.

  5. 5 Chelsea Shaw
    March 10, 2009 at 18:01

    We live in a global economy. We all have to adjust to these changes by being more resourceful. As my grandmother says, ” innovation is born out of need.” The world is changing drastically as we try to find new ways to survive and prosper.

  6. 6 Ogola Benard
    March 10, 2009 at 18:10

    In Africa life may seem normal and everybody will go on trying on the daily endeavor as usual. There is general poverty and the lay man wont understand what you mean by economic crisis until you define it or explain. They will talk of why government doesn’t print and put more money in its treasury so that enough is in circulation.
    They will often blame the deplorable economic situation on poor governance and costume politics played by those they elected to parliament.
    In a nutshell Africans will leave the problem as for those in service provided he or she is able to survive on two meals a day! people at least leave on $1 to $2 a day!

  7. 7 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    March 10, 2009 at 18:18

    After the genocide in Rwanda, a number of Rwandans tried to sue the USA for negligence, for not intervening.

    If “The West” doesn’t intervene, it’s condemned as abandoning Africa. If it does intervene, it is condemned for meddling, or, more often, accused of neo-colonialism.

    Us well-meaning Westerners are damned if we do and damned if we don’t.
    Damn me if I have any idea at all of what might be the right thing for “The West” to do with regard to Africa. In the end, I think that Africans themselves are going to have to figure out, and do, what’s best for them all by their own selves.

  8. 8 Carl Goldenberg
    March 10, 2009 at 18:32

    Africans can stand on their own feet when the rest of the world stops exploiting Africa’s natural resources for cheap, and African countries’ leaders and power-brokers stop selling out their own people.

  9. 9 Vijay
    March 10, 2009 at 18:34

    Africa and the economic crisis.
    I think Africa as a whole should be thought of as China and India are at the moment ,a place of future growth and generators of global wealth.

    Is there still resentment among native black Africans against immigrant south asian communities in Uganda,Kenya,Tanzania and Zambia.

  10. 10 Ogola Benard
    March 10, 2009 at 18:47

    According to the world trade organization, people are supposed to focus on protectionism ,patriotism and reservation in order to maintain the infant industries. This will enable economic checks and eventually a prosperous trade!

  11. 11 Patti in Florida
    March 10, 2009 at 18:57

    It makes me feel very sad because I don’t think Africa’s troubles will ever be over because of the corruption of its governments. If it was not for corruption, Africa would be the richest of countries, it has more beauty and resources than most countries.

  12. March 10, 2009 at 21:18

    Too many countries in Africa are thugocracies. They are ruled by strongmen, for the strongman and his friends and families.

    Fear, corruption, violence, and lack of honest policing, in so many African make “helping” impossible.

  13. March 11, 2009 at 15:03

    Helo, my name is Seleman, and i live here in dar es salaam. On my side, I think the IMF should now stop teling us what to do. We can make things on our own, for our own benefit. Setting us the economic conditions is to go on putting us down,,,,,,we are really tired of this!!!!! Africa is not poor……only a group of a few people……who are stupid anyway….make Africa a poor continent!! Pass this message to IMF….tell them that I said they should now STOP the foolishness they have been doing to Africa. Africa can make all the things for her own prosiperty!!!

  14. 14 Luci Smith
    March 11, 2009 at 20:11

    My old sociology professor at the University of Texas said to us that although many black immigrants had been in America longer, they were still at the bottom of the hierarchy in the country. This was in 1977 or 1978.
    When I see how the recession/depression is hitting people in the wealthy countries – like the number of children that are homeless in America rising drastically because their parents are losing their jobs, I think that Africa and South America and parts of Asia will also feel these things too. And children and old people are the ones who often are hit hardest and have the least energy to speak out. The immediate future is going to be demanding for all of us everywhere. We are one world and human beings all of us, regardless of culture and religion and skin color and e-mail access and language. Good on you, BBC!

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