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[rpd] Some thoughts...

Andrew Alston Andrew.Alston at
Tue Jun 27 19:47:09 UTC 2017


I debated sending this offlist to each person I feel is affected - or sending this publicly - I have opted to actually do both in certain cases.

To start with - what I have seen on this list today from certain members of this community has disgusted me - and sickened me.  The reality is - we have foreign companies doing business on this continent - and they are investing money, they are investing resources, they are creating jobs.  They are not the enemy - indeed - the enemy is often ourselves - and remarks that insult people based on nationality and could effectively deter foreign investment coming into this continent are dangerous, they are short sighted, they are economically damaging, and they amount to a form of blatant xenophobia.

And so - I want to say - very publicly - to the foreign companies on this list - I, and others on this list, value your contributions.  I have argued with many of you on many topics - and we debate, and we discuss, but your contributions are useful, and they are appreciated, and they stimulate thought and debate.  We here in Africa are not an island - this is a global world - with global players - and global ideas.  We as African's, have ideas we need to export to the rest of the world that the world could benefit from, and skills, and knowledge, and equally, the rest of the world has much to offer us - but in order for this symbiotic exchange of information and ideas to happen, we have to change our mindset here in Africa, to embrace those with differing opinions, hear them, consider them, and then, once adequately considered based on the merits of what is being said, THEN and ONLY then decide what should be accepted or rejected.

This list has degenerated into a series of attacks and honestly what I see here has NOTHING to do with the policy at hand - it is downright disgusting.

So, to end - I say this to every foreign company on this list - and I say this in a personal capacity - I may be on this list- I may be part of this community - and I may have been a board member - but I totally, without exception, without reserve, and without apology condemn the xenophobic style remarks I have seen on this list today, and I know there are many others who join me in these sentiments. Know this - Africa is open to do business with the res to the world - and please - do not be discouraged by a few small minded individuals intent on disparaging remarks - they do NOT represent the majority of the views on this continent.  On behalf of myself, and all of those who condemn the style of attacks and emails on this list today that I have spoken to, I apologise for what has been happening here, and I ask you please, don't let it discourage you from keeping participating - your contributions are valuable to us on this continent.


Andrew Alston

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