The African Misery

Posted on January 12, 2010 in GlobeScope

Menorca Chaturvedi:

Through a study done by AVERT, an International AIDS Charity, it has been found that shockingly, about two-thirds of the global AIDS population is found in the Sub-Sahara Region of Africa. With an estimated 22.4 million HIV infected people staying in this region, Africa is also a witness to over a million deaths due to Tuberculosis, each year.

The world’s second largest continent, ranking only second in population, after Asia, Africa continues to be known as the poorest and the most underdeveloped continent in the world. According to the United Nations’ Human Development Report in 2003, the bottom 25 ranked nations (151st to 175th) were all African.

So, what could have caused Africa to be in this plight? High levels of illiteracy, poverty, corrupt governments, Human Rights violations, lack of foreign capital, unsuccessful Central planning, all have been responsible for preventing the progress of the African Nations. A persistent feature of theirs has also been the Tribal and the Military Conflicts, which encompass the Guerilla Warfare, and the ruthless Genocides.

The Rwanda Genocide, which lasted from April to June, 1994, killed about 800,000 people over a span of 100 days. This terrible massacre occurred only due to disagreements between two Ethnic groups of the region, the majority Hutus, and the minority Tutsis. Following the assassination of the President, Habrayimana, the early organizers of the genocide included military officials, politicians and businessmen.

Another instance of unrest in Africa, has been the on-going conflict in Darfur, Sudan, which started in 2003, but was declared to be a “genocide”, an year later.

Recently, China took a step ahead in providing support to Africa. A multi billion dollar package of financial and technical assistance was offered to the African Governments by China, resulting in Africa’s rich natural sources of Oil and Minerals being exposed to them. Over the past 50 years, China has provided aid to 53 African countries, carrying no political conditions for the same. Low interest loans are generally given out to them, on the condition that the money is spent on Chinese-made goods or projects built by Chinese companies. Hence, lack of management of natural resources and capital, has been aiding the rise of the next Colonial Power.

According to a report in ‘The New York Times’, China’s focus on extracting oil and minerals from Africa has drawn some criticism from African scholars, and labor and safety conditions at some Chinese-run mines and smelters have set off outcries by African workers. Some critics say that the flood of low-cost Chinese goods into African cities has displaced products once made by local workers.

Eyeing a promising future, a huge number of Africans migrate to the United States of America, every year. It is estimated that the current population of African immigrants to the United States is about 881,300. Countries with the most immigrants to the U.S. are Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Egypt, Somalia, and South Africa. Surprisingly, Africans have the highest educational attainment rates of any immigrant group in the USA. Their annual income is also found to be high, due to the high level of education generally received. However, immigrant jails have been found to be extremely torturous, leading to ruthless killings and recent suicides.

The common love of all African Nations, however, remains with football, as is seen by the hosting of the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, the biennial football Championship of Africa (CAF). The 27th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, is being held in Angola, where it began on the 10th of January, and will continue till the 31st of January, 2010.

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