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Some Rules Of The Developed World Which Are Disturbing The Developing World

African and Western Leaders, photo Credit Getty Images

Every human being takes actions based upon his knowledge. That knowledge is based upon your environment, education, relationships around you and many other factors.

That means that measures, rules, regulations made in one environment or continent make no or less sense in another environment.
Yet the “developed” world takes discussions and tries to enforce their rules and regulations to the developing world. The reason they can do that is that their economies are stronger, their influence is bigger and their voice is stronger.

Developing countries are often victims of this arrogance of developed countries towards them.
Let me start with the reason I am writing this article.

My wife enjoys having her chicken, ducks and guinea fowls. But since several months every time when a chicken hatches a snake empties the nest in the last few weeks of the hatching period and takes all the eggs in one go.

Once we saw the culprit, being a 2.5 meter long African Cobra. Not only do they eat all our eggs but they are also deadly and can easily kill human being. We started spraying with a smell that the cobra seemed to hate more than we do (according the salesman). It didn’t work. Someone told us to spread the ashes of a gas welding, which we did, but the next nest of eggs was gone again. We made a door and closed all the holes in their night cage, but the next nest of 12 eggs disappeared during the daytime.

I decided to go online to find out where cobras normally live and hide out. No problem so far, it was clearly given on several websites.
I tried to find HOW TO KILL A COBRA. No results, please try it yourself.

Naïve as I am, I tried how do farmers in Africa catch and kill cobra’s?
Again no results and you know why?

Simply because the internet is “controlled” by the developed or “western world” with their rules and regulations.
These developed countries, which don’t even have a cobra problem, are thinking: Nature, Eco and Animal Friendly from their comfortable (safe) seat, and blocking or removing article on the internet on how to kill a cobra.

In the developing world, where we actually have the problem, we are thinking about: Food, Income, Safety and Survival.

This example is exactly what I mean about the developed countries deciding on their best knowledge without thinking about developing countries.
In Ghana about 10,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes every year.

In Africa over 400,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes every year, but there are no articles to be found how to kill a venomous snake.

Trust me I love nature, and I stopped my fellow countrymen several times trying to kill a harmless python. But here we are talking about a deadly Cobra which is not rare animal.
This example is just one of many.

Tropical countries, like Ghana have a very humid environment for that reason fungi develop much faster in our environment than in the western world.

That high humidity is very helpful to produce our meals like Banku and Kenkey because the dough ferments easily.

My wife also made her own Kenkey in Holland but it took sometimes up to 4-5 days before the fermentation started.

Fungi also develop quickly on our walls and houses. A result of that is that we need to use fungi killer and paint regularly, but we have one problem.
Almost all our paint sold in Ghana has been produced in developed countries or at least according to the rules and regulations of developed countries.

The result of that is that in Ghana we sell paint that doesn’t contain lead, copper or other metal oxidants that kills fungi. Even the fungi killer sold in Ghana has on it non toxic!

So we, the poor developing countries end up spending money every year on repainting our houses because of a rule of the rich western economies.

There are many more examples of rules & regulations which the developed economies try to enforce on us calling them “compliance”. Compliance to their standards, developed by their insight and on things they can comply to.

How difficult some of these compliance rules are to comply by a developing country is not interesting or important for the developed world.
But do you think that if the developing countries develop their own rules, the developed/western world would follow them?

I think together with the development of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Africa should also set its own product standards rules and regulations and compliance for Africa and different rules for Export.

I know from my previous jobs that the EU won’t be happy with different standards. As long as I have been working with them they pushed for one standard (theirs) only. I am sure neither the USA, would be happy to follow our standards, although they actually have a different standard than the EU.
Africa needs standards that not only apply to Africa, but are realistic for our African lifestyle, affordable and easy to comply to by lower income Africans as well.
Setting our own standards can have enormous consequences for our internal African trade going after EU standards is simply not affordable for us, in many cases not necessary and in some cases directly against our African country and personal interest.

The author, Nico van Staalduinen, is a
concerned Ghanaian and a columnist for African Entertainment

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