The MOST brilliant idea yet to save Africa’s infrastructure
On my most recent trip by land from Lagos/Nigeria through Cotonou/Benin, Lome/Togo, Accra/Ghana to Ouagadougou/Burkina Faso in September 2008 – by public transport (“travelling with the people”) - I was made aware AGAIN that
many of the overland roads, financed since 1960 by the World Bank; Arab donors and the EU, are in a sorry state.
Many stretches of road have either completely disappeared or wear thousands of pock-marks, some dozens of inches deep, and thus represent real hazards both in the dry and the rainy seasons. This being so, those roads cause immense delays and wreak havoc on cars, busses and lorries, causing deaths and injuries.
NOWHERE – and I repeat: NOWHERE ! – have I ever seen a single road repair team at work!, as we used to know them in the good old days of the ‘Public Works Departments’ or PWDs.
I have therefore come up with what is - undoubtedly - the most brilliant idea to save – at least - this part of Africa’s infrastructure:
As soon as the relevant department of the EU has found the necessary funds (not difficult to find, so I am sure!), I shall
Then and therefore embark on a tour of Africa’s major overland roads, starting from Mauritania in the North to Namibia in the South, and then backwards from South Africa to Egypt.
- a very common car, NOT a 4x4 ! Registered and insured
- fuel, unlimited
- a digital camera , to document the damages visually
- a digital recorder to record interviews where necessary
- a GPS, to exactly locate the stretches involved
- a lap-top to document descriptions
- 10 man-months per annum
- salary on D 1 (EU scale) level
- per diem according to EU levels
- hotel expenses – same
I have been travelling (and living) in Africa since 1962,worked as a correspondent for German, Swiss, Austrian, French, Dutch, Irish and US radio stations; Newspapers in same countries since 1965 Recommendations from relevant persons will be supplied upon request Among others from Wole SOYINKA, formerly head of Nigeria’s ‘Road Marshalls’ (!!!)
as from January 1st, 2009
first copies for information to:
Kurt Gerhardt – formerly DED chief in Niger
Dr. K.P. Schipulle – formerly DED chief in Burkina, also BMZ
Mr. Enno Bussmann – radio adviser in numerous African countries
Others to follow…
And then I got an e-mail from one Eva Krumm, sister-in-law to that delegué. She is trying to set up a new party called “Newropeans”, and I told her about my job application. Her reaction on March 4th , 2009:
you will need an assistant, won't you? I'd like to apply for that job.
I haven’t heard from the Délégué yet,
But I DO know where he plays golf in Kin-la-Poubelle…