Our columnist Sam Setter has caused more reaction amongst our readers than any other editorials we have ever published. Love him or hate him, over the four years that Sam has been writing for us, he has caused mirth, anger and extreme irritation and a great deal of correspondence.

This month, he is contributing his 52nd blast despite the fact that we both thought he would soon run out of ideas.

The shield of anonymity has allowed his honesty free rein to voice his strongly held opinions. During the past year, he has donated his brainchild, the ‘gadget’ or Static Flaying Frame (SFF) to the developing world to allow unskilled workers to pull hides without the need for expensive equipment or energy.

The potential savings from hides free of flay cuts would enable rural communities to greatly improve their financial returns on their raw materials. In addition to writing about it, he has nagged unmercifully at any organisation which he thought could help with the construction and distribution of the simple frame which is required for bolting to the abattoir floor.

The two organisations which came up trumps initially were COTANCE (through Gustavo Gonzales Quijano) and UNIDO Vienna (through Jacov Buljan). As a result of their assistance, the SFF was put on display at Meet in Africa. And this could not have happened without the assistance of the International Trade Centre, Geneva (Joanna de Paredes).

Through Jacov Buljan, there are now two SFFs working successfully in India. I sincerely want to thank each and everyone who has become involved, including those whose contribution has merely been one of promotion.

Those who have not contributed have been severely criticised by Sam and will, no doubt, continue to draw his scorn.

The internet has opened up the world – for those who have access and one message I have received from this source bears thinking about:

If we could shrink the earth’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look something like the following: There would be: 57 Asians, 21 Europeans, 8 Africans, 52 would be female, 48 would be male, 70 would be non-white, 30 would be white, 70 would be non-Christian, 30 would be Christian.

Six people would possess 59% of the entire world’s wealth and all six would be from the United States. 80 would live in substandard housing, 70 would be unable to read, 50 would suffer from malnutrition, 1 would be near death; 1 would be near birth, 1 (yes, only 1) would have a college education, 1 would own a computer. It is a sobering thought.

This month Sam is on the war path again. His target this time is the lengthy and presumably expensive reports which are prepared to tell us how much Africa needs help. We all know this. Sam points out that words do not give the man in Kinshasa a job to enable him to feed himself or his family.

He goes on: ‘Remember the guy in the street of Kinshasa? He’s dead, and he died of hunger waiting for the ‘dialogue following the guidelines’ to enter into a practical stage where he can find some bread on the shelf! He’s dead because the help institutions are talking, deliberating, dialoguing but doing nothing. He’s dead because those who requested some credit to start a small industry in the leather trade were turned down.’

So, even if he irritates the hell out of you, at least he is doing something positive to help.

And I am proud to be associated with him.