“Africans Develop No Feel for Logical Thinking”

Diversity Macht Frei!, February 27, 2018

Two Germans, Thomas Lehn and Constanze Kühnel, have spent years travelling in Africa. They return to Germany and can’t believe how everything just works.

After four years non-stop in Africa, what is the biggest difference from your old home?

Lehn: That everything works here. After our landing for example. And the cleanliness – in Africa you are drowning in garbage. For about 80%, there are no toilets. Here, in Germany, it’s another world.


Lehn: We spoke to more than 1000 people, from poor farmers in the Congo to multi-millionaires in South Africa. Our knowledge would be a treasure trove for the GIZ (Germany Society for International Cooperation) or similar organisations. But they don’t want to hear.


Lehn: {snip} It’s funny that African presidents are the richest in the world but their peoples are dirt poor. That makes us angry and sad.


Lehn: In a village, development workers built a thermal oven. It uses solar radiation and saves the women from having to perform the communal millet grinding. The idea was that this would give the village women time for other things. But they don’t have anything else to do, because efficiency isn’t a factor in Africa – the millet grinding was the daily social event, and that was taken away from them. At some point the oven stopped working, no one took care of it, they just went back to living as they had in the time before the oven.


Lehn: Education is the key to progress but there is scarcely any in Africa. That starts with the small children – no one plays with them, they’re just left to themselves.  School is just rote learning with the result that most Africans develop no feel for logical thinking. They have no interest in it. They don’t plan. {snip}

Lehn: The 1.1. billion inhabitants will be 5 billion by the end of this century. 60% are already younger than 15, but there are no jobs or schools for them. This means that every project is wasted, even feasibility studies for desalination plants that allow drinking water to be recovered. But they would never work because the power stations have rotted away and the power supply doesn’t exist. Ultimately, it means there’s going to be a huge migration of peoples – compared to that, what we’re seeing in the Mediterranean every day now is mere child’s play.


One thing is certain: the European population, which for decades has grown used to being born in the “right” place in the world, and enjoyed this privilege, must now make room for others.


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