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Dr. Vichi to African Leaders: ‘Be Utopian’

Nov. 19, 2014 (EIRNS)—In a message to the first meeting of the International Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC) to the Lake Chad Basin Committee (LCBC), Transaqua author Dr. Marcello Vichi called on African leaders to "be utopian" and move to implement great projects. The message was delivered by EIR’s Africa Desk editor Larry Freeman, who has been appointed a member of the ISAC. The takeoff of the African continent "could never take place by limiting interventions to many small projects, politically important but almost exclusively subsistence-producers," Dr. Vichi wrote. Instead, Transaqua includes "the creation of more than 2,000 km of south-north river transport in the heart of a continent, the creation of an industrial "pivot" in the Central African Republic and a possible east-west, "coast-to-coast" motorway connection between the ocean ports of Lagos and Mombasa, together with a major production of hydroelectric power for local use."

Such a project "has been viewed as a megalomaniac, pharaonic, utopian initiative."

"Dear participants, do not allow your initiative to become yet another lost occasion. Play the Utopia Card, because ’utopian’ projects — the Suez Canal was in its time no less ’utopian’ than Transaqua — are today indispensable for the continent if equatorial Africa wants really to free itself from the burden of endemic indigence and does not want to lose the race to global development which other continents have since long initiated. Some come to buy your resources, those resources that you have not been able to exploit to your advantage. Allow yourself one moment of megalomania! Do it in the interest of your children and your grandchildren."

In a private discussion today, Dr. Vichi said he was pleased that his message was well received at the meeting, and stressed the importance of involving the nation of Congo in the discussions. One of the major mistakes made at the UN-sponsored meeting on Lake Chad earlier this year in Bologna, Italy, he said, was not to invite Congo, the very country which would supply the water to revitalize Lake Chad! He also indicated that the smaller project endorsed at the Bologna meeting, a water transfer from the Ubangi River, is both insufficient to revitalize Lake Chad and also offering nothing in return to Congo.