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Thursday, June 05, 2014

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Africa? - UKIP paper #3

   I disagreed with the estimable, but sometimes wrong, EU Referendum on the subject of illegal immigration from, mainly, Africa. Dr Richard North there said that deaths of boat people trying to enter Europe are a tragedy (true) and that several times as many must die trying to cross the Sahara (also true). The problem is that tragedy, as Greek tragedy constantly showed, was not avoided by good intentions.

   Allowing increased immigration would simply encourage more and do nothing to fix the problem. A problem for the entire human race is that demographic growth is fastest in failed states and cultures and exporting people exports failure to the more successful.

   So what can we do to make Africa less of a failure? We have poured trillions into it in "aid" without success and it has tended just to reinforce divisions and kleptocracy.

So here are   some ideas, mostly ones I have written on before, and mostly very inexpensive compared to our annual £12bn a year "aid" budget, now collected in 1 place:

1 - Quit the EU. Getting out would allow us to buy food, which Africa can produce. Outside the EU trade barriers we could buy cheap (by our standards) food from them at high (by their standards) prices. By encouraging market solutions this would, alone, almost certainly do far more than our entire "aid" budget now does.

2 - Use our international influence to support the greatly increased use of DDT. The DDT ban has killed more people than Hitler and Stalin combined (app 1 1/2 million a year) - yet before the western campaign started deaths were down to 50,000 a year.

3 - Use our international influence to support Golden Rice. Genetically modified rice with extra protein, which ends the protein deficiency diseases that leave survivors intellectually stunted. The eco-fascists have been responsible for obscene suffering simply because of their Luddite opposition to science.

4 - Support construction of a massive geosynchronous satellite in orbit over Europe/Africa (2 others should follow) able to provide virtually unlimited telecommunications traffic. It is believed that a, probably the, major reason for economic growth in Africa is that mobile phones have allowed people to negotiate trade with each other.

5 - Once such a system exists it will be possible to create a computerised teaching system able to provide a basic but good (QandA) education in the remotest village.

6 - Use the satellite to photo record all land and make computerised records of land ownership. Poor or no title to land is one of the major factors preventing the raising of investment capital across the 3rd world.

7 - Keep a record of speech, pictures and video footage of crime, sent up by mobile phones. I don't expect this to end corruption and brutality quickly but it will provide pressure. Who would have thought starving Africans could have mobile video cameras but such is our modern world.

8 - Where there are guerrilla wars against moderately sensible governments provide drone aircraft to hunt them down.

9 - Use this same network as a banking system using a non-national virtual currency exchangable through mobiles. A prudent banker can make this inflation free simply by not inflating the quantity of money beyond demand (and still make a vast profit).

10 - I have said we should be building a factory mass producing small nuclear reactors. If maximum production exceeds demand we should give/auction excess ones to 3rd world countries. This has the advantage from our point of view that we are guaranteeing they will all sell, even if only at cost prices, rather than making the market entirely subject to political bans.

11 - Build Aquarius style floating islands powered by OTECs. One spin off is deep ocean water that can be used to grow protein rich algae which can, in turn, be supplied as a protein additive.

12 - Lifestraws - a way of cleaning water that the PC brigade hate. These, if mass produced in the hundreds of millions, would have very low marginal cost.

13 - Cut a tunnel under the Chad mountains and divert most of the water from the Congo's tributary, into Lake Chad and from there, through canals and other tunnels, across the Sahara creating lakes (2 virtually inland seas) along the way. My guess is it would be a century before it reached Tunisia but by then the Sahara would be revitalised by a century worth of water and as fertile as it was during the "catastrophic global warming" of 7,000 BC when we have cave paintings from the centre of the, now, desert, showing hippos.

14 - Open the Qattara Depression to seawater - make electricity and use much of it to refine Manganese and other minerals in sea water.

15 - Build a linear accelerator good space launcher from the top of Kilimanjaro (Bifrost here).

16 - A major programme of disease eradication. Africa is subject to a much greater disease reservoir than almost all the rest of the planet. Tackling them needs a continent wide programme. Matt Ridley  gives a number of examples here - for example:
There are 2,500 species of mosquito in the world and only one of them — Aedes aegypti — is responsible for carrying dengue fever, a disease that currently afflicts nearly 400 million people and rising.... Last month the Brazilian government gave an Oxford-based company called Oxitec a licence to release into the wild genetically engineered male A aegypti mosquitoes. They carry two extra genes that render their offspring incapable of breeding. Release enough of them in an area and the species all but dies out locally. The beauty of this scheme is that the rarer the species gets, the better the chance that the genetically engineered males you release will mate with any available females, so the technique becomes more effective, not less, as local extinction approaches
     There are a lot of diseases there. This plays to our strength of technological knowledge. It should not be allowed to play to our weakness - ecofascism. The "Greens" would certainly oppose curing disease that way but they, in turn, must be opposed.
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I would also, like the crime videoing programme, have a programme of recording all the languages, songs, dances, religions and perhaps most important, ballads of every tribe in Africa through the mobiles programme. The brothers Grimm did a little of that for Europe but we don't know how much we have lost, and in a few generations Africa will have suffered the same cultural loss.

I would also like DNA records (ie frozen blood) to the same extent. It may be 50 years before we know what it all means, but we will still have it then.
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     Most of these are relatively inexpensive (quitting the EU) or have spin off benefits (guaranteeing sale of small nuclear reactors/space craft). None of them involve more than the minimum direct interaction with local governments. Thus none of them rely on money we pay being passed on successfully. None of them have the obscenity of us telling locals that if they want us to provide power it will only be the most expensive and unreliable windmills, to satisfy political parasites and their friends back here, rather than attempting to maximise any benefit to "aid recipients".

     However, even if all this saves millions of lives and makes it far better for a billion, it won't make life in Africa as good as here so it won't stop attempts at economic immigration. The only thing that can do that is stopping it. Japan and South Korea have immigration rates of 0.00% so it can be done, but only if the will is there.

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Comments:

Hernando de Soto Polar, a Peruvian economist, has written a number of books on how 3rd world entrepreneurs are already lifting people out of poverty but are hampered by a lack of a proper "legal" framework of property rights to put their dealings in. I think he is naïve in trusting govt scum to involve themselves in this but he is on the right track. As well as your ideas, not instead of them of course.
 
Indeed. I don't trust our government scum let alone Mugabe. But, from orbit, you can identify land to the foot and if people register it it can all be recorded. There is a legal maxim that there is no judge so corrupt that they are willing to be seen to be so in front of the world. That is probably a bit optimistic, but not so many of them, particularly when computers have long memories.
 
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