Vancouver Ethiopian Blog

Ethiopian life in Vancouver, BC, Canada

An Ethiopian Blogger’s View: Are all African Presidents/Prime Ministers Corrupt?

A couple of weeks ago, I published a post entitled, “An Ethiopian Blogger’s View: Is Greed Good or Bad?“. That post made me think about all the greed happening with in Africa, especially its leaders.

Why is that the leaders of Africa, once in power, they don’t want to give it up? I don’t really understand what the reasons are, but I suspect that they don’t want to give up the lavish life style they got accustomed to.

Corruption occurs in every nation. African leaders and in fact all the people of Africa are not immune to corruption. But, are all the leaders of Africa corrupt? I agree that the vast majority of African leaders are corrupt, but not all of them. One great African leader, who was not corrupt at all and lived a simple life, and loved by everyone in his country, by all Africans and by the entire world was Julius Nyerere of Tanzania.

Julius Nyerere of Tanzania served his country as a President from 1964 to 1985, at which time he resigned out of his own will. No one asked him to leave the office, he lived a clean and honorable life despite all the looting taking place all over Africa. After his resignation, Nyerere was engaged in many social causes that were dear to him.

Nyerere lived a simple life, and was loved and respected by everyone who knew him. When he stepped down as president of Tanzania in 1985, one of the few African rulers ever to relinquish power voluntarily, Julius Nyerere cemented his reputation as one of the continent’s greatest leaders.

After serving for decades as President, Nyerere retired peacefully, allowing his successor to have an honest and respectful transition.

Medical Attention

When Nyerere needed a medical attention in the 1990’s, it was a Vancouver based Ismaeli businessmen who sponsored his trip and expenses to the Vancouver General Hospital. He did not even have enough money to pay for his own medical needs -a clear self sacrifice on his part. I had the privilege of meeting him in person in Vancouver and he was truly an inspiring and wise man of Africa. He still holds a special place in my heart! I only wish that all of the African leaders were like him! This post is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Nyerere.

When Nyerere was in Vancouver, he did not have a body guard, did not dine in fancy restaurants, no trip to designer stores, nothing. He again showed his true colours and what a down to earth person he was. Just imagine how many of the African leaders can travel abroad (be it in Europe, North America or even with in Africa) with out getting worried about their safety!

If an African leader can actually travel to all corners of the world after retirement by himself with out security officers around him, then it is safe to assume that he was very much liked by the people of his country.

Trust Fund

A Sudanese billionaire businessman, based in London, UK, has set aside millions of dollars to give away to an African leaders, just like Nyerere, who will resign peacefully and transition all their power to newly elected leaders. I am not sure how many of the African leaders have resigned peacefully so far and how much money has been paid out, but chances are the trust money is still sitting untouched, earning more in interest rates.

African leaders – we are in the 21st century … please let your country experience a true democracy.


My next blog entry will be on Thursday December 31, 2009.

Mullkam Samint!

December 24, 2009 - Posted by | Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Proverbs, Ethiopian Restaurants, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] December 24: An Ethiopian Blogger’s View: Are all African Presidents/Prime Ministers Corrupt? […]

    Pingback by Ethiopian Vancouver Blog: Looking at My 2009 Posts « Vancouver Ethiopian Blog | January 6, 2010 | Reply

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