I hear lots of complaints on how humanitarian and aid agencies are not doing enough to the developing world. That USA and the western world is not giving enough money to Africa to end the tragedy, the heart breaking poverty, disease, war and inequality. I see great people from every corner of the world doing all kinds of campaigns and fundraising to help those in desperate need in Africa. And it keeps me pondering where we ‘the Africans” are? Why don’t we care about our own people as much as the rest of the world care for us? Is it not sad enough that our own kids and women are dying unreasonably from preventable diseases? What is wrong with us? Why is the resting of the world fixing us, trying to solve our problem? Is money really the answer for our problem? Well if the question is money: according William Easterly, in his book the white Man’s Burden, the total amount of aid to Africa in the last $50 years is over $2.3 trillion dollars. Africa also has abundant natural resources of oil, diamonds, iron, cobalt and other ores. Hence in the midst of all these resources and aid money flowing from the developed nations still poverty is at large. But developing countries spend only a very small amount of their income and aid money for the health and other needs of their population. Where is the rest of the money going?
CNN UN Millennium Campaign writer Charles Abugre Cited in one of his articles “I once asked a president of the Central African Republic, Ange-Félix Patassé, to give up a personal monopoly he held on the distribution of refined oil products in his country. He was unapologetic. “Do you expect me to lose money in the service of my people?” he replied.”
This attitude might be the attitude of every other sub Saharan African leader.
Corruption and its indifferent leaders are the continent’s trademark. Another sad fact about these leaders is their love to war. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, in the 1990s, Africa had more wars than the rest of the world combined. These facts reflect that Africa’s problem is not really lack money but rather its lack of quality leaders who have the determination to battle poverty, who have a daring mind which is willing to give up its egocentric luxuries and work for the people.
Easterly, William. The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done so Much Ill and so Little Good. New York: Penguin, 2006. Print.