I have always asked myself, “Why is Africa so Poor yet it is so full of all the riches” especially when the white supremacy leaves with their so called democracy and diplomacy, mentioning Zimbabwe of course? Since gaining our independence in 1980 the country has been declining dramatically. The people who enjoyed Zimbabwe such as my sister’s, uncle’s and cousins who were born in the early 70’s and early 80’s. I was lucky enough to be born in the mid 80’s, so I just had a taste of our beautiful, progressing and shinny Zimbabwe but without fully swallowing the pleasure of the Country. So the question remains, Can Africa be savedby means of corruption, torture and intimidation? – By WALTER NDORO – HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST.
Africa is fabulously rich in natural resources, more than any other continent and this is a well documented and well known fact. According to Capitalism Magazine, it has 50 percent of the world’s gold and diamonds. It possesses a seemingly endless supply of minerals, including most of the world’s bauxite, chromium, cobalt, manganese and platinum, along with large untapped oil reserves. The continent also lies in its people, Africans kaleidoscope of races and ethnicities of seemingly every shade under the sun, are some of the most friendly, generous and easy going people on Earth especially Zimbabweans who have been able to adapt to foreign principles due to a high educational standard of the country. (thus mass immigration.)
Many envision images of Africa with only grinding poverty. However, according to the Washington Post, perhaps as many as one third fall into the middle income category. Like anywhere else, Africa has its share of nice neighborhoods. The view of the entire continent as being desperately poor is simply incorrect. Still, Africa does face tremendous problems that have stifled its development.
Lack of true leadership is a reoccurring theme in many African countries. Since achieving independence, corruption, instability and violence have hampered the development of former European colonies. Dictators arose, oftentimes poorly educated military leaders. Instead of serving the people, they served themselves and their cronies. Some deliberately fanned the flames of ethnic rivalry, marginalizing other ethnic groups, and applying a “divide and conquer” approach to leadership. Some dictators amassed billions of dollars in personal fortunes as they allowed their citizens to starve to death. Others favored those of their ethnic group above others, establishing virtually one-man states, killing or imprisoning the opposition, and fueling wars and conflicts
To say that Africans have been underserved by their leaders is an understatement! Incompetence and lack of vision is prevalent: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he” (Prov. 29:1.)
Men have established governments based on their own ideas of right and wrong, primarily to benefit themselves. They ignore the Law of God, which is a lamp of understanding to any who keeps it (Psa. 119:105)
African leaders for decades, have lacked the moral compass of Christ and they have imposed their own authority in running a country – thus poverty.
The prince that wants [lacks] understanding and is also a great oppressor” (Prov. 28:16). Certainly, this verse describes Africa’s brutal dictators, whose greed has been fuelled by their own covetousness. On the other hand, “he that hates covetousness shall prolong his days” (same verse). Can we honestly say that Mugabe is being led by the spirit of Christ? The answer will be no, and do the people of Zimbabwe know this? If so, what are they doing spiritually to resolve the problem…. mind you, you cannot fight evil with evil. The people of Zimbabwe need to start to realise that God establishes kingdoms and removes them as well. Meaning removing Mugabe will not be our doing, but Christ’s, He who puts and removes kingdoms.
Africa has had many leaders who ruled for decades, yet their people remained poor. With few exceptions, its leadership has been weak, ineffective, oppressive, incompetent, corrupt and downright inefficient. The strength of any society depends on the quality of its leadership. If Africa is to recover, it must have leaders who can, and are willing to properly guide the way.
From top to bottom, corruption permeates many African societies. Graft, nepotism, discrimination, bribery and outright thievery are prevalent in far too many nations. According to Transparency International, in 2008 seven of the 10 most corrupt nations in the world were African. Corruption manifests itself in numerous ways (often blatantly) in government, industry, politics, and even in obtaining basic services. Sadly, to get important matters accomplished, individuals often face the prospect of paying bribes. For Africa to have any chance of improving, honesty and integrity must become ingrained in its societies.
The UN Human Development Report for 2003 revealed that the bottom 25 countries were African. Shockingly, 80 percent of Africa’s people live on less than $2.50 per day. The average poor person in sub-Saharan Africa lives on just 70 cents per day. Adjusting for inflation, the average person was poorer in 2003 than he was in 1973! In addition, the number of impoverished has almost doubled over the past 30 years, from 200 million to 380 million, according to the World Bank.
Along with poverty, illiteracy abounds—60 percent of adults in sub-Saharan Africa are illiterate, and 40 percent of children in sub-Saharan Africa are not in school. Unless poverty and illiteracy are resolved, Africa will be unable to tap the full potential of its citizens.
Throughout Africa, infrastructure remains a problem: 36 percent of households in sub-Saharan Africa are without an improved water source; 73 percent are without improved sanitation; only five percent have a telephone; and 37 percent are without electricity (Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic). Africa’s Sub-Saharan 48 countries (pop. 800 million) generate roughly only as much power as Spain (pop. 45 million).
The continent suffers from impassible roads and broken-down railway networks. Basic services such as electricity are unreliable. A satellite image of Africa at night reveals a continent in darkness, the result of a lack of electricity. Its agriculture is largely dependent on primitive technology and, therefore, highly depends on rainfall. Irrigation is seldom used: When it rains, crops are plentiful; when it does not, there is famine.
Scarce resources are often used for military purposes instead of benefiting the continent’s development needs, which could be channeled into schools, roads, hospitals, irrigation facilities, telecommunications, roads, and other areas vital for Africa’s development. For trade, industry and agriculture to reach their potential, Africa’s infrastructure must be drastically improved.
Disease stalks the continent: poor sanitation, inadequate water supply, malnutrition, and ill-health afflict many people. More than 250 million do not have access to clean water, and more than 200 million do not have access to health services.
AIDS threatens the very foundation of African nations, with 15.5 million people having died from health-related complications since 1981; at least 25 million were HIV positive in 2007 (WHO/UNAIDS). Sub-Saharan Africa has an astonishing 70 percent of global infections. At least 95 percent of AIDS orphans are African (UN Food and Agriculture Organization). A 2008 UNAIDS report revealed that more than 11 million children have lost their parents to AIDS. Average life expectancy is 47 years in sub-Saharan Africa; just without AIDS, it would be 62. Malaria is another major killer. Some 3,000 children die from it daily. Tuberculosis is also significant, along with Ebola and other deadly diseases.
Africa faces severe and mounting problems that are not easily solved. One of the greatest is war. Presently, 15 countries are either engaged in war or are experiencing post-war conflict and tension, be it civil or external. Africa, in recent times, has been wounded by the scourge of war perhaps like no other continent. Here are just five:
• Democratic Republic of the Congo: During the past decade, this massive country has been gridlocked in a brutal civil war. At times, up to seven nations have been directly involved (including Zimbabwe) in this conflict for control of the country’s vast mineral reserves. Since 1998, over 5 million people have died, the highest loss of life in conflict since World War II. To put this in perspective, its death toll is up to one thousand times greater than the more widely reported Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A peace agreement was signed in 2003, reducing the war’s intensity. Nonetheless, skirmishes still flare up with significant loss of life.
• Sudan: A bitter war continues between the Sudanese government and rebels in the Darfur region. Rebels took up arms after allegations of decades-long neglect and abuse. Government forces retaliated swiftly. Accurate details of the death toll are hard to come by, but the UN estimates that over 200,000 have been killed and millions displaced. Despite UN intervention, the war rages on, creating a humanitarian disaster, with refugees flooding into Chad and other neighboring countries.
• Somalia: The country collapsed into anarchy with the ousting of long-time ruler General Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. A U.S.-led intervention to restore order was unsuccessful. In 2006, Islamic militants briefly seized power, but were defeated by Ethiopia. Since then, Somalia has been in a state of lawlessness.
• Liberia: This once peaceful country, created by freed American slaves in the 19th century, was rocked by civil wars in 1989 and 1999. The war came to an end in 2003 with the resignation of Liberian ruler Charles Taylor. After several years of upheaval, peace was finally restored, and the nation is moving forward under the leadership of its first female prime minister.
• Sierra Leone: In the 1990s, rebels fought the government for control of the country’s diamond resources. The rebels were notorious for recruiting child soldiers. Human Rights Watch estimates that over 50,000 people have been killed and 1 million displaced. Since then, Sierra Leone has started the long road to recovery.
The specter of war has never been too far from Africa. Other nations that have been recently ravaged by war include Rwanda, Angola, Mozambique, Ivory Coast and Uganda, among others. Even in nations now at peace, various ethnic groups eye one another with suspicion in an uneasy truce. Since the end of the Cold War, more than 9 million have died due to civil unrest in Africa. War has also led to over 9 million refuges and internally displaced people. Africa’s natural resources have so far proved to be a curse rather than a blessing.
Africa cannot be saved by anyone except by the grace of God, not in a life time. In Zimbabwe, even if Mugabe dies today or tomorrow or in the next 10 years, the best days of Zimbabwe are long gone unfortunately will not return.
The reasons behind Africa’s problems are fundamentally spiritual in nature, not physical. War, oppression and corruption are rife, the major factors that stifle development. The motivating factors behind these are hatred, envy, malice, jealousy, lust and greed. When these are prevalent, they lead to the downfall of any nation or continent: “Righteousness [keeping God’s Commandments – Psa. 119:172] exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:34).
Until these things are removed, Africa’s problems will not be solved. Throwing money at them (donations) will not work if the underlying causes are ignored. The good news is that there is a new world-ruling government coming soon. With this government, wars, corruption and oppression will be removed. True leadership will come to Africa. Under the government of God, the laws of God will be enforced. It will not be a government by the people, but for the good of the people (Isa. 11:1-5).
War, oppression and corruption will be removed. Everyone will speak the truth with his fellowmen, and will work for the benefit of all. People will learn to love—have outgoing concern—for each other. There will be no place for graft, nepotism, cronyism, discrimination, lying or any other form of corruption.
At that time, with the government of God in place, Africa will become a prosperous, vibrant continent, a place of joy, where every African—along with all peoples—will realize his or her full potential!
The good news is that Africa is going to be saved and all the nations will be saved when Christ returns and resurrects his true saints, not in our flesh will we see the fruits of Africa but in the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ.