Is Africa really a poor continent! by Ademola Adetunji

 

“Africa is not poor, but its wealth is being stolen”!

Often time I come across people whom during a conversation with them end up saying “Go back to your poor country “and most times they conclude by saying “Africa is a poor continent”. Similarly, this statement has been repeated through a thousand images, newspaper stories and charity appeals each year, so it makes the story look truthful. When the westerners read such news or watch it via the television, this reaffirms assumptions and negative stories about Africa that has been heard throughout their lives.

Therefore, the question is, is Africa really a poor continent? Africa is rich, but its wealth is being stolen by those who claim to be helping the continent, With few exceptions, African countries with abundant mineral wealth experience poorer democracy, weaker economic growth, and worse development.

A quick description of “Africa” as a name is believed by most scholars as a word used by the Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans. Some Important words also include the Egyptian word Afru-ika, meaning “Motherland”; the Greek word aphrike, meaning “without cold”; and the Latin word Aprica, meaning “sunny”.

To mention but few, Africa is a rich continent, even from its descriptions with Climate and Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, Mining and Drilling etc. Africa is a key territory on the global map. Rich in oil and natural resources, the continent holds a strategic position and according to research, it is also the world’s fastest-growing region for foreign direct investment. It has approximately 30 percent of the earth’s remaining mineral resources.

Africa home over 40 different nations and around 2,000 languages. Sub-Saharan Africa has six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies. North Africa has vast oil and natural gas deposits and Nigeria is the thirteenth largest oil producing country in the world, the Sahara holds the most strategic nuclear ore, and resources such as gold, copper, and many are abundant in the continent, but yet, it is regarded as a poor continent as the colonial masters won’t allow it to grow and maximize its full potential.

However, Africa’s natural resource contributes greatly to the continent’s but its infrastructure and economic growth suffer from exploitation, corruption, poor management, and inefficient government regulation, as such “Illicit financial flows” or illegal movements of money from Africa to foreign countries is a fundamental factor in killing Africa’s development and economy.

Such illicit flows undermine social development and hinder economic growth, and instead of investing resources revenues into improving infrastructure, health and education, political elites, often connive with foreign bodies to siphon proceeds from the continent’s mineral and oil wealth–enriching their own pockets, to the detriment of ordinary Africans.

The problem of Africa as a continent is the corrupt government, leaders and the evil perpetrated by foreign countries who milked the continent of its resources and wealth and give very little aids compare to what was taken away from Africa via tax and stolen money staked in the foreign account by African leaders.

In conclusion, “Africa is not poor, but its wealth is being stolen!” Therefore, “if Africa as a continent must be helped, all of Africa’s looted wealth should be returned”. It should be seen it as a form of reparations and redistribution, and the tax system should allow the wealth to be redistributed from the richest to the poorest within individual societies through creating jobs, schools, roads, hospitals and many other infrastructures which can benefit the masses.

If this can be achieved very few Africans will remain in the western world.

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