In the film 'Blood Diamond', Danny Kruger (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) and his erstwhile employer, the Colonel, coin the acronym 'TIA' - 'This Is Africa' - by way of justifying unjusitifiable events. Murder, corruption, mayhem, slaughter - they are all seemingly inexplicable, except for the fact that 'TIA'.

I was reminded of this when hearing about the Kenyan election debacle. Yet another power-hungry, corrupt African political 'big man' wants to hold on to power and the wealth that goes with it, and in consequence he is prepared to cast his country to the dogs. The inevitable response to Kibaki's stolen election was violence in the streets. One BBC image showed a man being pursued through town; the journalist informed us he had been hacked to death seconds later by his pursuers. TIA.

In a continent that contains Robert Mugabe, we might be inclined to dismiss Kibaki as pretty low level on the corruption scale, but his greed has turned what seemed one of the more successful African nations into another of that continent's typical disaster zones. The Economist have a shrewd leader here, but the fact is no-one can help the Africans except the Africans themselves - and too many of them are unwilling or unable to do so. Roll on more slaughter, tribal violence, poverty and anarchy. After all, TIA.


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