18 January 2010

Most generous offer to Haiti ever?

The Senegalese President has offered a large sum of aid for helping in Haiti, but that's not abnormal. Even the most poverty-stricken countries have done that.

However, President Wade is even offering land in Senegal for displaced Haitians to start over, and is talking about creating a new state in West Africa for Haitians so that the whole country can start over. He's describing it as "repatriation," a way of making up for the number of people forcibly taken from West Africa and sent to Haiti to work.

Wade is a self-described pan-Africanist, which includes African descendants in the New World. As long as he follows through with the promise of the land not being the crappy desert land near the Sahara, it's quite a generous offer. (There is some debate as to whether the rest of the country will accept it.) But it is the idea of the new country that is most interesting. The current AU would have to oppose it, on the basis of it involving redrawing borders (which is completely forbidden on a continent of completely arbitrary lines, where one small change could lead to widespread chaos and attempts to redraw them all). In all likelihood nothing will come of this, but it's an interesting look into the future of African relations.

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