Insights of a Motswana in Belgium

Thobega
Thobega

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: Europe, a close neighbour of Africa, often serves as a yardstick of democracy and upholding peace and security to the African diaspora. It’s one of those things that one has to experience to better understand.

Coming from sub-Saharan Africa, a region of Africa still besieged by political corruption, unemployment, poor water and sanitation services and general low-level quality infrastructure and policies that end up on paper, I can assert that Africa still has a long way to go to create progressive countries. In my view, in current times, Kenya and Rwanda are the two countries that are doing well in terms of governance in Africa and other African countries could do well to learn both countries. I have visited four European Union (EU) countries – Germany, Italy, Denmark and Netherlands, and Belgium has had a more enticing aura for me, personally (yep, I love culture, good healthy food, green spaces, architecture and lifestyle). It’s a conservative country and the administrative and political hub of the European Union (EU).

I studied European History as part of the IGCSE curricula in secondary school and developed an interest in modern Europe and its influence on the world and its dominance over Africa. However, the Modern History text had little information on African and European relations. There is more to the two continent’s ties than colonialism, land grabs and raw material control. What has been most interesting has been learning about new-age democracy and the modern trade partnerships and development exchanges between the EU and the African Union (AU). Being caught in the election fever and euphoria has been quite interesting. It was not planned – it just happened that I would be here around election time. The EU countries (more than 20) went to the polls on 9 June. A new Parliament is expected to be elected by July and already, the Parliament, which I had the privilege to visit, is already undergoing grand renovations and refurbishments, for the grand occasion. Voter apathy is a global challenge and to counter this in Europe, there is an interesting initiative to try and encourage and motivate civil society to vote, dubbed, Together.eu, an elections campaign carried out online through social media and through free public videos for those not active on social media. The campaign aims to target audiences and tap into the civic conscience and inculcate values of civic consciousness and cognitive dissonance. The campaign highlights the importance of leadership for all and not partisan political parties. The EU Parliament is an interesting medley of different political parties and ideologies, from conservatives, socialists, democrats and left and right-wing

Editor's Comment
Stop the children killing madness!

The incident comes on the heels of a similar one where a father murdered his two toddlers in Francistown. As we grapple with the shock and sorrow of this loss, it is essential to address the underlying issues that led to such a horrific outcome.Our hearts go out to the innocent victims, the three boys aged 13, 10, and eight who lost their lives in circumstances that defy comprehension. Their deep cuts and untimely demise have left a scar on the...

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