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African Renaissance Bookmark and Share  
  Author Name : K Ramesh Babu Posted on : August-16-2009 Total Hits: 1897
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The reasons are still mysterious after pounding of aids and other assistances towards the Dark Continent.
Still not fully explored for the complex ethnic and traditional social heredity even on the on set of 21st Century; Africa remains out of other parts of the globe.

The prime reason for late entrance of modern development in Africa is less exposure to modern world which is limited due to landscape and socio-cultural inhabitancy widely prevalent among several African countries.

Though the continent influenced with modern (western) cultural practices through long colonial rule by European powers such Portugal, Belgium, France and British etc., it rested with ‘elite’ sections and not spread like much faster as in Asia and South America.

Africa is culturally unique unlike other continents which are influenced by external contacts.
Clans, tribal groups, ethnicities, ancestral beliefs and practices widely prevalent and disengage larger population with modern civil community activities.

Colonial powers were limited to exercise religious interest over the inhabitant that is too continuing natural resource exploitation with out hindrance.

Mass education campaign just rest with upper echelons of society to become secondary line of rulers and many of them turned full scale constitutional saviors after receiving Independence from colonial regimes.

Several countries attained independence in the late 1960’s after prolonged struggle of masses. However, change of guard does not benefit mass since new rulers had indifference towards common man; complete negligence for development goals, large military spending and sumptuous style of governance made people condition worse in contradiction with expanding development and welfare.

People without wider knowledge about democratic rights and civil liberties for a long time mutely accepted the ill governance. However, spread of droughts and famines insisted them to rebel against rulers subsequently.
In later parts of 1980’s there were massive transformation happening in political domain; military and tyrant rulers ousted and revolutionary and democratic regimes replaced them instead.

During last twenty-five years several African countries have achieved substantial growth in education, life expectancy, poverty reduction, irrigation and agriculture, urbanization and industrialization and more.
African development initiatives by various agencies result with moderate level as seen from the statistical figures released by African Development Bank.

Total Population GNI Per Capita ($) Pop.Growth Rate Urban Pop. Health Exp. Agri. Pro
963680000 1071 2.4 383.08 (M) 5.6 0.9
Stability is considered one of the long term growth factor and for measuring socio-economic changes.

In African case it may not be so since many countries have stable irrespective of negative or no progress registered in their favor. For example Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, Moi’s Zaire or DR Congo, Tanzania and many Central and Western African countries.

In spite of helping growth as catalyst Africa’s natural resources have become contentious issues. War among tribal groups with in a wealthy natural resource region not alone prevent faster development but also help to get exploited by the importing developed countries.

Under the conflict each group or the state itself forced to sell large amount resources at a throw away price while in international markets they are sold for billions of dollars.

Africa has reserves of natural resources category wise stands as accounted by global institutions as Diamonds 54%, Gold 50%, Uranium 17%, Chromium90%, Copper 17% and Platinum 40%. Despite this, petroleum reserves consist with 8.0% and Natural Gas 12% add strategic strength at a time when Gulf oil resources and production capacity dwindling.

Internal strife among tribal and other ethnic groups, lack of skills, vulnerable geographic location ( 50% of Africa comes under Sahara desert and un arable soil conditions) corrupt administration, migration of educated and skilled persons altogether cause misery in average African’s every day life.

Instead of building confidence among diverse groups many leaders concentrate on Pan-African identity which may not deserved by the influential power groups (vested interests), which pose root cause for prolonged wars across Africa.

As we know such remarks by diplomats as one recently by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Todd J. Moss' Conflict resolution and the promotion of good governance are hallmarks of this administration's policy in Africa. Since 2000, seven major conflicts on the continent have ended.
U.S. policy in Africa has emphasized helping African countries build economies that generate prosperity and create a middle class that is the bedrock of democracy.

The United States actively works to build partnerships with capable governments who can be allies in the fight against the 21st century transnational threats of crime, drugs, disease, and terrorism. To do this effectively, we have ramped up our cooperation and assistance. With the support of Congress, total U.S. aid to Africa reached an all time high of $5.7 billion in 2007 -- $4.5 billion in bilateral assistance and $ 1.2 billion in multilateral. But, we also recognize that for these partnerships to grow and be sustainable, we must help countries develop the capacity to use their own resources more wisely.

African sustainable development is never going to happen unless or otherwise African leaders try to construct ‘African’ ness among the wider continent populace and they receive exact price for natural resources. Aids and donations remain as coating for a skeleton. They will create more stashing of wealth by a few rulers rather than bring prosperity to all.

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