Dolomites for Africa: 6000 people in the mountains

From the 8th to the 10th of July, the eight most industrialised countries of the world, also known as the ‘G8’, would be meeting in L’Aquila (Italy) and should they wish to forget the often forgettable African continent, more than 6000 concerned individuals went to register their voices yesterday at the high mountains of Dolomites, one of Italy’s most famous range of mountains.

It was only last two weeks that the United Nations formally enlisted the mountains of Dolomites into the World Heritage Sites. The nine Dolomite mountain groups, with a total area of 231,000 hectares, extend to over five provinces in the Northern Italy: Trento, Bolzano, Belluno, Pordenone and Udine.

Therefore a better place could not have been sorted out for the historic project about Africa.

Daniele Gianffredo wearing the t-shirt 'Le Dolomiti abbracciano l'Africa' (Dolomites embrace Africa)

Daniele Gianffredo, ‘insieme si può’, is one of the organisers of the event which attracted a lot of people from all walks of life. In a short interview with the, he explained the main objective behind the gathering.

“Our politicians have been able to show us the problems and difficulties of the African people and they have equally made numerous promises to reduce the hardship in the South of the world, but those promises have never been kept. Now that they are again going to gather in L’Aquila, we all came here to raise our voices that they should keep their promises and not forget the sufferings of the African people.”

As to whether he was encouraged with the turn of event so far, he added:

“With these 6000 people around these three huge mountains, as a symbol of solidarity for the African people, we are confident that a change towards the South of the world will come. Our leaders have everything it takes to make things better and they have no excuse to fail. Africans are our brothers and our sisters; we want to see them live better lives.”

Paolo Pobbiati speaking to the crowd of "Dolomites for Africa"During the press conference held at some minutes past ten in the morning, one of the numerous speakers, Paolo Pobbiati, former president of Amnesty International (Italy), stressed that the ordinary African people are in serious need of assistance from the rest of the world.

He went further to affirm that it was rather unfortunate that African leaders do deliberately condole or collaborate with criminals who continuously reduce their people to extreme poverty and inhumanity. In pinpointing some examples, he mentioned the Niger Delta of Nigeria where the oil companies have turned the lives of the local people to a complete mess, and the government incessantly prostitute with the multinational oil companies to the detriment of their own people.         

Amnesty International recently decried the unjustifiable abuse of both ecological and human right in the Niger delta, one of the richest oil depots in the world.

From oil spillage to the exploitation of the local people, the oil companies in the Niger Delta are very famous. A claim the Nigerian government rejected, saying that the people are responsible for the degradation of their own land, by vandalising the oil pipes and turning the area to environmental disaster.

In 1995, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others were hanged by the Nigerian military government and the actual reason was for voicing out against the criminal activities of the oil companies. 

Moni Ovadia speaking to the crowd with a microphone in his handIn handling the microphone to the last speaker, Moni Ovadia, all eyes were focused at him. He started with a short preamble that humanity is and like a family, and every good family always defends its weaker ones.

Africa is our weaker one.

Africa was sucked dry by the West; therefore they should take up a bigger responsibility in remaking it.  The able bodied men and women were first taken away, and the land was left in shamble. Now the natural resources is also been consumed in anger. Development is not about crippling one part of the world and strengthening the other. There should be equity and justice for all human beings.

I was still a child then when the Chinese used to be descried as little yellows and the Indians, dark people dying of hunger, but today they are the first people in the world, economic wise.

In Africa, there is an incredible energy and sooner or later, they would rise to the top. If we assist them now that they are in their moment of difficulties, it will be good for everybody in the time to come but if we refuse, it will be a bad news.”

In conclusion, he said: “We also have Africans here with us. We have Africans who are struggling everyday to survive in our land. We cannot look the other way while they suffer in our country. We are all part of the human family, we need to demonstrate it.”


Ewanfoh Obehi Peter

le Dolomiti abbracciano l’Africa

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