Quotes by: George Ayittey
||1945 (age 71–72)
||University of Manitoba
University of Western Ontario
University of Ghana
The richest persons in Africa are heads of state, governors and ministers. So every 'educated' African who wants to be rich - and there is nothing wrong with wanting to be rich - heads straight into government or politics.
In a banana republic, one might slip on a banana peel but things do work - now and then for the people, albeit inefficiently and unreliably.
Just because a group does not take its decisions by voting does not mean they have no understanding of the essence of democracy.
The reason why Botswana has done very well is because it's the only black African country which went back to its roots and built upon its own indigenous institutions.
Dictators are allergic to reform, and they are cunning survivors. They will do whatever it takes to preserve their power and wealth, no matter how much blood ends up on their hands. They are master deceivers and talented manipulators who cannot be trusted to change.
What you and I understand as a government doesn't exist in many African countries. In fact, what we call our governments are vampire states. Vampires because they suck the economic vitality out of their people. Government is the problem in Africa.
Personally, I regard myself as an intellectual 'rebel,' kicking against the 'old colonialism-imperialism paradigm' which has landed Africa in a conundrum.
Virtually all of Africa's civil wars were started by politically marginalized or excluded groups.
Unlike their Western counterparts, Africans take elections very seriously - rising up early to queue patiently in line for hours under the hot sun and cast their ballots. Any misguided attempt to nullify or steal their votes will evoke a strong reaction from them.
African history is filled with experiences of people shooting their way to power and then splintering into factions, like in Somalia and Liberia.
Western-style multi-party democracy is possible but not suitable for Africa.
There was free trade in Africa. There was free enterprise in Africa before the colonialists came.
The 'Cheetah Generation' refers to the new and angry generation of young African graduates and professionals, who look at African issues and problems from a totally different and unique perspective.
If NATO goes in and solves the crisis in Darfur, when the next one comes along Africa's leaders will just sit back.
In the West, the basic economic and social unit is the individual; in Africa, it is the extended family or the collective.
When Uganda got debt relief in 1999, the first item President Museveni bought was a presidential jacket for himself.
The solutions to Africa's problems lie in Africa, not in Live Aid concerts.
Africa's salvation doesn't lie in begging and begging for more aid, and as an African, I find it very, very humiliating.
Mugabe's become a disgrace to Africa. And I must say this because I am an African and a lot of us looked up to him back in the 1980s when he was the liberation hero. But he's now turned himself into a murderous despot.
Getting rid of the dictator is only a first step in establishing a free society. The dictatorship must also be disassembled.