Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Shithole? Who can deny it?

After attaining independence from colonial rule many countries in Africa were filled with hope, joy, and euphoria. A new dawn had arrived and there was a sense of optimism for a better tomorrow. Sadly, the honeymoon was short-lived. Hopes were soon dashed. Wealth bequeathed to the continent by nature were mismanaged with impunity. Despots ruled without an iota of decency, respect and sympathy for their people with the only object to amass wealth with the support of their western accomplices while the ordinary people lived in abject poverty without access to fundamental social facilities. Many African nations with huge potentials are bedeviled with civil conflict, recurring epidemics,  deep levels of poverty, and entrenched corrupt practices. Africa has been robbed of a great opportunity to harmonise its resources for the good of its people.

Africa continues to produce a significant proportion of the world’s mineral resources. Nigeria and Angola are the leading oil producers in Africa, Ghana and South Africa follow suit with gold, Ivory Coast and Ghana are the largest cocoa producers in Africa and both in the top 10 producers in the world. Diamond, iron ore, bauxite and other minerals are extracted in large quantities as well. Regrettably, with all these vast wealth, Africa remains the poorest continent. Unemployment and underemployment, particularly among the youth is widespread and remains the continent’s biggest challenge. Food security, erratic power supply, high rates of infant mortality and inefficient healthcare, lack of sanitation and other basic social amenities all exist. Foreign aid constitutes a substantial portion of a number of national budgets.

Indeed, no matter how reluctant we may be, but the description "shithole" may well be appropriate 

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