Million dollar bonfire: a tale of Ivory & Debt



Lets sign a petition to urge our president not to burn the said 4tonnes of ivory he is supposedly burning tomorrow. the decision defies logic for any sensible individual who knows the dire state our economy is in. here are my facts:
– Ivory from elephants is not an illicit drug or neither is it contraband whose trade by law is restricted. There are legitimate markets of Ivory out there and government must source these markets and exploit them

– At the current international market value of $2,100 per kg of raw ivory, government stands to make $8,400,000.00 that could be used to alleviate many problems we face. This money can be used to shore up our already over stretched national budget, procure food and or help the recent flood victims with winter cropping for their sustenance, buy drugs in hospitals….the list is endless.

– there is no logic in burning that ivory all for the sake of pleasing a few powerful and influential white environmental lobbyists who have never even seen an elephant in their lives. GOD blessed us with these animals and it is up to us to decide what we do with them or their products, as long as if we are not negatively impacting the environment.

– Not all those elephants died as a result of poaching, some died naturally, does this mean that we should not benefit from our GOD given resources? besides, any proceeds of illegal activity which can be passed on or disposed of legitimately must be done so. Why then not burn houses built with cash-gate money aswell??? Government should dispose of the ivory to legitimate buyers and account for the proceeds.

– Ivory never killed anyone, it doesn’t have any known health risks, but Tobbacco kills millions around the world every year. we, in essence, export death every year, and here we are, with ivory, njala ndi mavuto ena ali pakhomo and we want to light up $8,400,000.00 in flames????or is it an African thing to go beg from the white man even when we have our own means of making legitimate money?

– Burning the ivory will not stop the poaching, nope. it has been tried in Kenya for a long time and the poaching never stops. Sell that ivory, buy cars, sophisticated guns and equipment for the game rangers at the national parks to match the ever increasing sophisticated methods of poachers and in a few years time we wont be talking of poaching on a large scale and our elephant and other wildlife numbers will increase.

lets for once look at our needs, and not the wants of the west.

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Among the comments beneath the article were :

Rest we forget hw money generated from such transactions disappears without trace

and another person who said

90% of the money will end up back in his and a few other fat cats’ pockets… there won’t be proper accountability, I say it won’t make any significant difference… therefore… FIRE BURN!!!.. BORN IT OP!!!…. FAYA FAYA FAYA!!!…



My view is that destroying a commodity only causes that commodity to be ever so rare, and therefore it’s price increases, attracting even more poachers who are incentivized by the high price? I think that’s what an economist would say.

So on that basis alone, it makes sense to flood the market with the commodity, be it gold , platinum, silver, oil or Ivory, because if the market is flooded then it’s price can go down… although with Ivory I’m not too sure yet how you would do that, since flooding the market would probably mean more dead elephants.

Having said that I believe job creation and long prison sentences are the only two most effective deterrents of dealing with poachers. These people go there to kill elephants partly because they have no proper employment and our parks in Malawi do not have proper security.

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