Saturday, February 22, 2014

Africa under the Bintus

Back when I was a bright-eyed keener in Professor Jorge Neff's International Development class he used to talk a lot about the Bintu tribe. Took me awhile to catch on, but he was referring to local elites who had been to the west for their education.

As in "been to" Harvard.

Been to the LSE.

Been to Oxford, been to MIT, been to Columbia, etc.

The Bintus.

I was reminded of this while reading about the latest attack on the Presidential Palace in Mogadishu. The al-Shabaab hit team managed to create a minimum of mayhem but missed both the president and prime minister. One of their victims was an Ottawa man, and the article revealed that PM Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed was also from Ottawa.

In fact, he is a graduate of the University of Ottawa, a bit of trivia that the school could capitalize on by featuring him in their recruitment literature.

He is also an alumnus of multiple international finance and NGO outfits. He has drank deeply from the cup of western wisdom. He's a man who knows what the west expects, knows how the power game is played.

He's one of us, in other words, which is why he's deemed suitable for a leadership role in Africa.

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