Trump’s ‘shithole’ comment, bitter truth African leaders must accept – Sarfo-Kantankah


    African leaders have been urged to accept the comment by the United States President, Donald Trump, describing Africa as a “shithole” as the bitter truth which should propel them to do more to change the African situation.

    Dr Kwebena Sarfo Sarfo-Kantankah, a Political Analyst, who made the call said the comment should encourage African leaders to put in place pragmatic and immediate innovative solutions that would save the masses from endemic poverty, corruption, unemployment and create wealth for all.

    Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Dr Sarfo-Kantankah, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), urged African leaders to provide the needed leadership that would redeem the continent from the quagmire of problems that made the place unpleasant for its citizens.

    “If Africa is so pleasant to live, why are many of its people running away. A lot of her energetic youth trek on the Libyan desert for days while others die on the Italian coast every year just to flee from the unpleasant conditions in the continent,” he said.

    President Trump is reported to have referred to Haiti, Salvador and African countries as “shithole countries’” while discussing immigration issues with a bi-partisan group of senators at the White House last week.

    President Trump has since denied using such vulgar language, tweeting that “the language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for DACA!”

    Dr Sarfo Kantankah said although the comment from President Trump was derogatory and distasteful, African leaders should tread cautiously, not to do anything that would affect the bilateral and multilateral relations between America and the Continent.

    He identified some of the major challenges facing the continent to include unemployment, hunger, displacement, environmental degradation and humanitarian crisis amongst others.

    He said the continent had enough quality and qualified hands to move it forward but required good leadership.

    Dr Sarfo-Kantankah also bemoaned the increasing levels of corruption which was fast eroding business confidence and destroying the basic fiber of the Ghanaian society.

    “Ghana is gradually drifting to the tipping point of irredeemable corruption. Is there some salvation on the horizon? Not if you listen to the political class and the debate in the media. For them, corruption is not the issue.

    “The issue is who is better at it, which Party has been more corrupt. It tells us that we are in danger of coming to accept the inevitability of corruption as our way of life. And there is plenty of evidence that points in that direction,” he added.

    Dr Sarfo Kantankah stressed that the alarming level of corruption was destroying business, undermining national governance, frustrating individuals and above all, eroding international confidence in the country.

    “We must accept that it is part of the problems afflicting the economy today and while we ponder over policy options, we must cry out for some act of courage to tackle the scourge of corruption, not on the peripheries, but at the top,” he stated.

    Dr Sarfo-Kantankah charged Africans to begin to look inward for solutions to the myriads of problems confronting the continent, adding that “they must stop the blame game and collectively seek ways to solve various challenges militating against their progress”.