mardi 1 novembre 2011

Burkina Faso: Thomas Sankara, the power by example and modesty.

A man of his word.

         In 1980, Captain Thomas Sankara, President of Burkina Faso (Land of Upright Men) married the words into action. For him the liberation of women was the key to the liberation of all.
         He kept his word by releasing women in Burkina Faso: he banned polygamy, forced marriages, genital mutilation and women assigned roles previously reserved for men (Army, government...)
         He distributed the land from the rich to landless peasants. In three years, wheat production increased from 1.7 tons per hectare to 3.8 tonnes, enabling the country to achieve food self-sufficiency. In 1986, he managed the balance for the budget of Burkina Faso.
         He was opposed to foreign aid and said, "Who feeds you, also dictates you his will. Imperialism is on your plate. " He transformed the store from the army of Burkina Faso in supermarket open to all and forced officials to spend a month's salary to public projects.

The modesty and integrity for example.

         To match the lifestyle of his citizens and his own modesty of Burkina Faso, he decided to cut his own salary and that of top officials. He ended the tickets in first class for him and the visiting officials.
         He refused the installation of air conditioning in his office (in the Sahel), because for him such a luxury was available only a handful of his countrymen.
         Despite his status as president, his emoluments were reduced to a minimum. His property was limited to a modest car, four bikes, three guitars, a refrigerator and a freezer failure.
"Whoever wants to pay his debt to take his plane and go pay his debt to the World Bank. (...) If Burkina Faso alone refuses to pay the debt, I will not be there at the next conference "had he said. And indeed, he was assassinated a few months later. Did he go too far in his relentless pursuit of integrity? Drift due to his youth?
"It was the edge of her youth ... slice it too! "Told him the French  President François Mitterrand.

"I feel misunderstood in Africa," said Thomas Sankara.

"Che Guevara died at 39, do I wait 39 years?" He asked the Swiss sociologist Jean Ziegler on the eve of his death.

         Born December 21, 1949, he was murdered in his office on the night of October 14, 1987 after leading the Burkina Faso for four years. He had not attained the age of Ernesto Che Guevara.

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