RE: “African nations need to do due diligence on imports” (The New Times, September 22).
The only aim of Western countries, in my view, is to sell you anything, irrespective of quality. And if you are not knowledgeable enough to distinguish the effects carried within those Trojan Horses, you alone will suffer the consequences.
In my recent observation, nowhere in Africa do we have experts in product critique, analysis, and development. I may be wrong but there is no place where such experts can be trained on the continent.
Considering our dependency on imports – almost in everything – and yet most of the time, these imported products not at all suitable or adapted to our tropical living conditions, I guess that is where all our development policies and efforts should be focused.
I beg to disagree with Mr Francois-Xavier Nziyonsega. There are Government websites where you can go and check about any product, just like you can easily find out about a car that has a manufacturer’s recall on it.
You can easily find out if a product is even authorised to be sold in the country of origin. Safety controls exist in most Western countries.
Problem number one is that, even if a product is banned in those countries, the manufacturer can still continue to export it to developing countries without anybody noticing.
Problem number two is that manufactures are so powerful in terms of lobbying even Western countries cannot stop them from producing some dangerous products.
One example is Monsanto. Farmers in Europe have been complaining, in vain, about the effect Monsanto fertilisers have on their health.
I recently watched a documentary about French farmers who have become ill due to fertilisers made by Monsanto and yet the same products were still in use both in France and other neighbouring countries as I was typing this.
Monsanto has now been sold to Bayer. It will take a long time for African countries to even realise that that same dangerous products Monsanto was producing are the same products bearing Bayer’s label.
With respect to dangerous products being imported in Africa, I believe more control efforts need to be directed towards products from Asian countries instead.