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True Africa, Part 2
真实的非洲(二)

The perception that Africa is beset with problems may in itself hinder its development.   That and the simplistic notion that the continent can be seen as an individual entity when in fact it's a vast and varied place of more than 50 countries. Hilary Andersson has been reporting from Africa for almost two decades. 

What if you lived out in the countryside, did a bit of farming on your land as your parents and grandparents had done for generations, when one day you went down to the village shop and heard gossip that killers were heading your way that were going to burn your entire village down. Imagine that you knew the government favoured these particular killers and wasn't going to do a thing to help you. One day at dawn government planes began to bomb your village. The killers moved in an hour later and burnt down all the houses. That's what it’s been like to live in Darfur lately.

Then there's the Congo were the war means you live in daily fear, where mutilation is rife, where your chances of children living beyond the age of 5 are not good at all. There's Rwanda, there's Burundi, there's northern Uganda where your children have to sleep in a nearby town in case they get kidnapped overnight by a brutal war lord... The horror seems as endless as it is familiar.

What on earth is going on? Is this what Africa is really like? Is it that hopeless? It may seem so but that's because the human disasters, the killings, the immediate news is so overwhelming that there is rarely time to talk about the good news.

The good news goes like this. In the last few years a horrific civil war that's killed an estimated million people has ended in Angola. Sudan's war in the south -- the worst in Africa -- has just ended too. You can travel the length and breadth of Africa and, in spite of the wars, see progress spreading at a phenomenal rate.

Countries like Mozambique, Botswana, and South Africa have solid healthy impressive economic growth rates. In Botswana villages that I visited in the late 80s that had roads of deep sand, mud huts lit by oil lamps at night and no communications at all -- now have electricity, and paved roads -- one town that I know like this now has a university, a shopping mall, a gym and even a yoga centre. Niger, where they still have slaves, has internet cafes.

Mozambique, a country you risked your life to drive into in the 80s due to the war, is now a short and easy hop from Johannesburg -- it's open and accessible. Two decades ago I remember seeing tracer bullets lace the sky as I ate an evening meal in Maputo the capital -- from that window now you can now see beaches, a city coming to life and a thriving tourist industry.

As G8 leaders meet to decide what they can do about Africa, their propelled by optimism that working hard at building democracies, fighting corruption, lifting the burden of 3rd world debt, can actually help to build on positive changes that are already underway in Africa.

One of the most depressing things about covering Africa as a journalist is that the scale of the human tragedies that unfold on this continent is so great and so compelling that Africans often end up looking like desperate helpless victim. When the sense you actually get about people on this continent is not like that at all -- in fact it’s quite the reverse.

When I first came to Africa in the 80s and went to a refugee camp for the first time, I met a Mozambican man and his wife who had virtually no possessions or food. They invited me into their hut made of plastic sheeting and offered me a meal.

In Rwanda during the genocide of the 90s I have a vivid memory of a man listing the dead in his family. He went on and on and on with the names. “My father, my uncle, my mother, my sister... “ He stood tall and did not shed a tear or show emotion in front of a stranger. The same happened in Darfur more recently.

There is immense dignity on this continent that strikes almost everyone who comes here. Its people are generous and resilient. Now at last with the G8 summit there seems to be real political will for rich nations to help build on changes that are already take place in Africa. History has proven that commitment and plain hard work on the part of determined politicians can change things for the better and this may be Africa's best chance.


参考译文:

有人认为非洲总是被一些问题困扰着,这本身就妨碍了他的发展。还有一种过分单纯的想法,认为这个大陆就是一个统一的整体,但是实际上,这个大陆上有50多个国家。希拉里·安德森是一个在非洲大陆作了二十多年报道的记者。

如果你生活在德文郡的郊区,种着几亩你的父母和祖父母一直种着的地,然后有一天你到村子里商店买东西,听别人说有一群杀人犯正朝着你这里杀过来,而且将要烧毁整个村子,你会怎么样?想像一下政府并不反对这些杀人犯,并不给你任何帮助。一天早上,政府的飞机开始轰炸你的村子。杀人犯一个小时以后冲进来了,烧毁了整个村子。这些就是生活在达尔福尔地区的居民最近两个星期的真实经历。

然后是刚果。在战争中,你必须每天生活在恐惧中,因为毁损十分地普遍,同时你的孩子活到五岁也不是很容易的。在卢旺达,在布隆迪,在乌干达北部,孩子们必须睡在临村,以防止一夜之间被战犯给绑架了。似乎恐慌已经是没有止境的了。人们已经习惯了这样。

究竟发生了什么?这就是非洲吗?没有希望了吗?看起来是这样的,但是这是因为灾难,死亡的消息会马上成为新闻,人们已经没有时间来讨论那些好消息了。

好消息是这样的。安哥拉的一场持续了很多年,耗费了近百万条生命的残酷的战争终于结束了。非洲南部的苏丹的战争——非洲最残酷的一场战争,也结束了。如果你走遍整个非洲,你会发现尽管有战争,但是进步的速度还是很快的。

像莫桑比克,博茨瓦纳和南非这样的国家都有着很不错的健康的经济增长率。当我八十年代末到博茨瓦纳的一个村庄时,那里的路上都是沙子,晚上油灯照着路上的泥坑,那时没有任何通讯工具。现在不同了,他们有了电,有了铺好的道路。我还知道有一个类似的村庄现在已经有了一所大学,一个购物中心,一个体育馆甚至有一个瑜珈健身中心。在尼日尔,虽然还有奴隶存在,但是已经有很多网吧了。

如果你在八十年代去莫桑比克的话,那你可是拿自己的生命开玩笑。但是现在,这个距离约翰内斯堡非常近的国家已经开放了,而且很容易进入。二十年前我在餐馆里吃饭,就看见外面子弹横飞。但是现在,透过那个餐馆的窗户,我们看见的是海滩,一个生机勃勃的城市和繁荣的旅游业景象。

西方八国首脑开会讨论他们究竟能够做些什么来帮助非洲。他们乐观地认为,如果努力营造民主,打击腐败,减轻第三世界国家的负担,就可以真正使非洲发生一些积极的变化。而这些变化已经慢慢地开始了。

做一个报道非洲的记者,一件让人很压抑的事情就是似乎非洲大陆上的人类悲剧总是很凄惨,非洲人民总像一些绝望的受害者。如果你对非洲人的感觉和这个印象不同的话,其实事实上也的确是相反的。

当我八十年代第一次来到非洲,来到难民营的时候,我见到了一对莫桑比克夫妇,他们几乎没有钱,也没有食物。他们邀请我到他们那个塑料做成的小屋,还请我吃了一顿饭。

在卢旺达九十年代种族大屠杀的那个时候,我清楚地记得有一个人在历数着他的家里所死掉的每一个人。他不停地说着这些名字。“我的爸爸,叔叔,妈妈,姐姐……” 他站得很直,并没有在一个陌生人面前表露出感情。最近同样的事情也在达尔福尔地区发生。

非洲人有着很强的自尊心,这种自尊心震撼着每一个从非洲以外来到非洲的人。非洲人很大方,有韧性。现在西方八国似乎终于真正想要使非洲发生一些已经发生的变化。历史已经证明了,政治家们的承诺和朴实努力的工作可以使事情向好的方向发展。而现在就是非洲最好的机会。

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