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  We are here: News - THE GIFTED CONTINENT rises to the call for commercial beekeeping, where everyone wins: ApiTrade Africa's 20 year monologue

Friends, Africa has many gifts that it can give to the world, but Africa is in agony, Africa is in anguish; Africa is suffering from poverty, from malnutrition, from all sorts of ghastly things imaginable. Africa also suffers from one of the most horrendous human rights records. And it has got nothing to do with the politics to say that we cannot afford this situation. We cannot see children going without food for weeks, and say that if it's not my children there is no problem. You have to say if they feel hungry and helpless there, then it concerns you. Unfortunately, many of us don't want to take responsibility, arguing that they are not directly responsible for such predicaments.

Retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a renowned and an ardent anti-apartheid fighter and human rights advocate, once said, "Africa, if we are not careful, we will die. And we will be answerable before the judgement seat of God, who will ask: what did you do, when you had the opportunity while on earth?"

In 2005, as a few African representatives at the 39th edition of Apimondia, which took place in Dublin, Ireland, we felt so deeply distressed when we from the continent did not know each other, we all looked strangers to each other. Meanwhile, back home, hundreds of thousands of rural beekeepers kept bees and harvested natural honey; they looked for markets; they asked for improved skills and know-how on beekeeping; they looked for processing and packaging kits; they looked for bee smokers to harvest their honey and keep it clean. They searched for solutions no one was offering, because the national governments allocated very little or no funds to develop the apiculture sector, which mainly falls under forestry or livestock sectors. We could not pretend there was no problem, friends.

The Muslim greeting is "Salaam", which means peace - in the positive sense, meaning that as humanity we strive for prosperity, for wholeness, for goodness, for compassion, for love, for caring, for sharing. If you do not, then you are not a good Muslim. If you do not strive for the establishment of the Kingdom of God here on earth, if you are a Christian or Jew, you are not a good Christian, not a good Jew. No one should mistake this text to be religious: it is about humanity and the struggle to be free from economic oppression: poverty. Some people have oil and gold, but we have bees. How then do we use the gift, bees, God has freely given us to change the course of the continent for good, to build God's kingdom here, and be counted worthy to have been born, bred, educated and deployed in Africa? You see, we belong together. If you succeed, we succeed; if you fail, we fail together with you. So, we urge that you will exert yourselves, and we will do all we can to participate with you, so that one day Africa will be truly prosperous. The gold vendors will show what they did with their gold to make the continent shine; the oil wells across the continent will show how faithful they were will the oil to run our economy. We on our front will show how we taught every village dweller in Mozambique to pollinate their crops with our bees; how we enabled all the African countries to export honey, beeswax and bee venom to Europe, America and China; how we put the right policies and legislative framework to allow beekeepers do business; how we put surveillance and monitoring systems in place to keep the highly productive African bees healthy. If you love this line of thinking, please pause, and shout: count me!

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