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Alex Gallafent
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BBC reporter enquiry: Have you worked in Africa or are you planning to?
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Hi everyone,Curtis has generously allowed me to post this enquiry here. I'm a reporter for PRI's The World, which airs across the United States on public radio, and online. We're co-produced by the…Continue

Tags: africa

Started this discussion. Last reply by Brad Blayone Feb 4, 2013.


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Brad Blayone replied to Alex Gallafent's discussion BBC reporter enquiry: Have you worked in Africa or are you planning to?
"HI all,  It is good to comment to each other the places we worked or traveled and the countries which are good and the bad.  I think any ex-pat who has experienced working away from their home country and saw the ugliness in some countries…"
Feb 4, 2013
Alex Gallafent posted a discussion

BBC reporter enquiry: have you worked in Africa or are you planning to?

Hi everyone,Curtis has generously allowed me to post this enquiry here. I'm a reporter for PRI's The World, which airs across the United States on public radio, and online. We're co-produced by the BBC World Service. Much of our content airs on the BBC to many more million listeners across the globe. I'm working on a story related to the terrible stuff that went down in Algeria recently. I'm not trying to pry into the lives of those who lost family members--they should be left alone--but I am…See More
Jan 22, 2013

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At 3:12am on January 23, 2013, Andre' Richter said…

The continent of Africa is full of life in all its many forms.  Competition for resources in Africa is as it has been since the dawn of life.  Today the numbers of people populating Africa are searching farther for the needs to survive than ever before.  Life in rural Africa is struggling, while all possible resources are consumed by the urban centers.  The rural environments are forced to migrate closer to the urban centers to feed off the urban excesses. 


I feel fortunate to have worked and visited many countries.  I first visited Africa in 1981, and my travels have returned me to Angola for the past 3 years.  Angola in 1981 was in civil war, Congo was under Communist rule, and the BP had just been kicked out of Nigeria, apartheid still ruled South Africa, and the atrocities of Rwanda had not yet darkened the center of the continent. 


For those that enjoy meeting real people of different walks of life, those who seek the adventure of a distant horizon, those that appreciate the bar scene in Star Wars, Africa and the world in general can be a fabulous experience.  If frustration comes easily when things get weird, close to home offers the best Karma.


Today Angolans, like so many others want what they see advertised on the many new media that have only become available in recent years.  This situation exists elsewhere, but by comparison, the present generation in Angola is far more informed, has far more choices and sees opportunities in a global environment that could not possibly be imagined during 30 years of civil war. 


Where industrialized nations have ingrained various work ethics in elementary teaching, rural Africa has not required and seldom developed similar teaching.  Young people, acquiring necessary knowledge and skills to acquire all the world is advertising often miss acquiring the necessary work ethic to compete globally.  This is not their fault, nor is all even aware because the move to nationalize work opportunism, has rushed many into work for which they are not fully prepared.   At some level of industry and government this is an acceptable cost of development.  The result is a growing system that strives for excellence, and accepts that necessary to just get by.


The comments of your other contributors are all valid and well taken.  Angolans are committed to peace and do tolerate foreigners.  They acknowledge the need for foreign capital and influence to improve their environment, but I imagine they see a shelf life to the current degree of foreign influence.   At heart all people can connect on a human level.  In Africa, a land with once abundant resources, and now abundant population, that connection can still be made.  While African countries work to become self-sufficient, they continue to import food and create economic disparity. 


African nature is awe inspiring to witness and once immersed, difficult from which to extract oneself.  The best approach anywhere is to offer a smile, a handshake, and a kind word.  It is immensely rewarding to travel in foreign speaking environments getting along on just common courtesy.  There are many things about which one can be frustrated in Africa – especially commercially, but it is much healthier to joke and laugh than to imagine immediate change.    

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