24 April 2007

Working in Africa:

Hello everyone. As Laura is writing about our experience in the day to day life, I will write something about working here and try to set some things straight about what a lot of Europeans think about exploiting people here in Africa.

Working here:

I personally love it. There are several reasons for this: The work I have to do is at a level you only achieve in Belgium after 10 years of successful career. I have already full responsibility (budget, people, production, …) of a factory (biodiesel) and I am working in the palm oil mill (POM) at director level. Crazy if you think I’ve only been working for 1 year. Also the people do everything here for you, even if you want a cup of tea, they bring it to you.
But there are also drawbacks and they are not minor. For example the African people are the laziest people I ever met. You say they have to do something and if you turn your back they will almost certainly be sleeping. At the beginning I thought let’s fire them and take other people but you get exactly the same problem. Another big problem is because they don’t have good education and if you want something to be correctly repaired you must give instructions in detail (do that then this followed by this …). If you let them think to much they will come up with a solution and the day after the piece will explode. I don’t want to say they are stupid but they really have a problem here with their education.

Something I need to say:

When in Europe you meet people and see sometimes documentaries on tv (referring to envoyer special: “les forcats du caoutchouts”) that say that European or American Companies are exploiting people here. Well let me say: IT IS ABSOLUTELY FALSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! People working for companies as our, are paid twice what they would get if they worked for an African Company. They also get a house, free electricity, water and rice. They have a medical insurance and free school for their children. They are also treated in a fair way (If you see how rich Africans are treating their people in the factory you will understand). They come from all over the country to try to get work here.
I will end with these words: ‘Le travail que vous les blancs de la société faites est bien mieux que nombre d’ONG. Elle viennent et donnent à manger et repartent. Vous restez et donnez du travail pour la vie a de nombreuses familles’.

That’s what I wanted to say. Greetz to everyone,