29th September 2011
Lessons from Senegal and why the Leadership is Comfortably sleeping in Power.
I am seated in Hotel La Resident Restaurant reminiscing my experience of Dakar. The other day I took a walk to the local shopping and what struck me was the amount of imported merchandise that the Country gets as local supplies.
A country surrounded by the sea, yet all it consumes is very foreign products.
I have been sneering at the fact of the local cuisine comprising of fish and rice meals repeated all over the day. That is nasty.
The country does a lot of fishing, however the amount of catastrophic danger that the country is undergoing is so humongous that one wonders how the populace will survive generations to come.
Now, the city of Saint Louis is an old colonial former Senegal’s capital before Dakar. The city has been abandoned with no caution. The streets are littered,the river is dirty with garbage from human activity, the cities transport system occasioned by very old junky locomotives (read taxis and one other matatu like moving structure). The amount of filth and stench that is in Saint Louis City is insurmountable and not tolerable at all for a tourist attraction.
One good thing is the people are jovial French Wolof speaking lot. Their mannerisms are good and I haven’t experienced any form of violence or muggings or even hooliganism common in many of the world capitals.
The buildings are colonial and 90% very old models and no one is thinking of revamping them. If the city council whose Mayor I have met before could concentrate on sanitation and other urban planning concepts, Saint Louis would be a very lovely place to come and wind away your worries.
So if you are planning to visit Senegal, prepare your French skills early in advance especially if you are English speaking. Also prepare for a strict French Cuisine in most of the eateries. However food is very cheap and pocket friendly, challenge is there is very limited choice.
I am however glad that I am training a group of 16 youth leaders known as the Green Teams, on green enterprise development and climate change mitigation measures. It is my hope that they will be equipped with the necessary skills to distinguish them from the rest of idle youth in the city and that a few years from now their businesses will thrive and be the drivers of the economy in a sustainable Saint Louis City.
The young people of Senegal must wake up now and save their country from foreign invasion by both the East and West. There is no excuse whatsoever for the people of Senegal with such beautiful climatic conditions to be taking tea imported from China. it is unacceptable the amount of comfort derived from deplorable conditions of living. the current Leadership of President Wade has failed and the people need to realize that the future depends on them.
A better Africa is possible.