Agape: In Search of Universal Love
from the novel, The Lodging for the Rose
Rolf. A. F. Witzsche

Story 14 - Mission Africa.
page 88

      "And what is the world doing about this crisis in Africa, even to rescue itself?" I asked. "You know the answer, Tony. The answer is: Nothing!"
      I told him him about a recent emergency appeal by the U.N. World Food Program. The appeal was to help save the lives of close to twenty million starving Africans. "They requested sixty-nine million dollars in emergency aid, and all what the whole world was willing to give, was three million. That's less than five percent. It's the same with everything, Tony. The U.N. requested ten billion annually for the treatment of AIDS, and the world responds with a pitiful half a billion. It's a pittance, Tony. It's crumb too small for a mouse, compared to what is really needed."
      I explained to Tony that this failure is not an African problem. Africa has been destroyed and prevented from redeveloping itself. A starving and dying people can't rebuild a continent. "We are facing a global, human problem. Africa is a mirror in which we see the face of our own humanity, and what I see is ugly."
      I told Tony to wake up. Rescuing Africa, is synonymous to rescuing ourselves from the consequences of our actions, that have allowed Africa to be destroyed. This rescue task can never succeed on the basis of a small scale effort. The whole continent needs to be rebuilt, not just people's health. Steve had been right in what he said to Nicolai about the Eurasian Land Bridge development project. It needs to be built, and it needs to be linked up to Africa; and for that the Middle East Problem needs to be resolved, which is the gateway from Asia to Africa; and for that the attitude of whole of humanity towards one another, needs to be uplifted. "That's what needs to be done," I said to Tony, "and that is precisely what we are going to do."
      I told Tony that we were going to Africa to start something meaningful for the whole of humanity. I told him that a global 'sea change' is needed for humanity to survive, and that we were about to make that happen; to start a 'sea change.'
      Tony just laughed. "What's that supposed to mean? We are going empty handed, man. Do you want to change all of Africa with nothing at hand?" he asked and continued laughing.
      "Alright, Tony," I said quietly. "How much money did you spent on medication last year to get rid of your ulcer?" I asked him to answer this question seriously, because that contains the answer to the question he asked.
      "What has this got to do with anything?" he came back.
      "How much did you spend, Tony? Tell me! Did you spend five hundred? Maybe more? You may have spent one percent of your income? Am I right?"
      Tony nodded.
      "So, you agree with me that it is worthwhile to spend one percent of ones income to keep oneself healthy. Most people are prepared to spend a great deal more, if required, and a lot more than this when their life is in danger. This means that a one percent expenditure is actually quite small, isn't it?"
      "What are you getting at?" Tony asked again.
      "Isn't it obvious what we must do, Tony?" I asked him. "Africa is dying. It has become the bleeding ulcer of mankind, and a lot more than that. If we don't treat it and nurse it back to health we may all die as the result of the biological holocaust that we have set in motion by looting Africa to the breakdown point. What is happening in Africa in terms of the continent-wide biological breakdown in the population, has become an unfolding crisis that Africa can no longer prevent out its own resources. This means that Africa is everyone's problem, especially our problem, since we have the means and the authority to do something about it. The bottom line is, Tony, that humanity, and I mean the entire world, needs to spend a reasonable portion of its income to nurse Africa back to live. Nothing less than one percent will do. And since the Gross Domestic Product of the world amounts to something in the order of forty trillion dollars U.S., we should be spending a minimum of four-hundred billion a year on getting people's health back in Africa, and redeveloping Africa. That adds up to one percent. Is one percent too much to ask, to turn Africa into a viable continent again, that can survive and prosper, and enrich the world in return, in this in a meaningful manner? Am I asking for too much?"

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 (c) Copyright 1998 - Rolf Witzsche
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