I’ve now arrived in Germany to be greeted by the massive and violent scenes of the anti-globalisation protests in Rostock. In theory, I – a journalist from one of the poorest nations in the world, Uganda – should have no problem understanding the protesters’ cause.
As the rich world reaps supernormal profits from globalisation, ordinary people in poor countries are getting more and more marginalised.
In Uganda the proportion of people below the poverty line has finally ‘improved’ to 31 per cent. But maternal mortality, infant mortality and deaths due to the clinically treatable disease malaria are still shamefully high.
There’s a lot the rich West can do to change this. They’ve made a start, but it’s not enough.
One thing about the Rostock demonstrations is the predictability of it all. Yes, globalisation is simply marginalisation of the poor. Yes, the rich countries – including Germany – have reneged on their promise (renewed two years ago in Gleneagles) to give more aid to poor nations.
But will this violence against police and blockading of roads necessarily change the plight of people in poor countries?