Why is Africa Poor? Op-ed

Federation of International Employers: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 September 2019:

Most African countries have vast mineral resources, a rapidly growing population that is increasingly well-educated, and have been the recipients of a huge amount of development aid. Why then do most of them continue to be amongst the most poverty-stricken places in the World?

The evolutionary origins of all mankind may be in a tiny area in the rift valley of modern-day Kenya, but the World has been tough on its common homeland. This is partly because of the way that Africa rules itself, but primarily because it suits the key global economic players to let Africa eat itself.

Failure of Democracy

Nowhere in Africa enjoys democratic rule, other than the offshore state of Mauritius. There is generally the merest appearance of democratic institutions and perpetual rigged elections.

Behind every regime is a stronger Asian or western one pulling the strings.


Corruption would not exist on such a grand scale unless it was being fed by outside interests propping up incompetent politicians who serve themselves instead of their people.

Fragile health infrastructure

Although billions of dollars have been spent on responding to epidemics over countless decades, sustainable institutions offering first-rate medical treatment have not been established – except in very isolated cases. We have to question whether the World is letting Ebola, malaria and HIV plague Africa for a purpose?

Economic exploitation

With the possible exception of Botswana, the great wealth of Africa’s minerals, forests and other vast riches have generally been carved up, appropriated by states and sold for a song. Why did Africa’s population let this happen?

War and extremism

The easy way to keep a people suppressed is to give them war and keep them poisoned by extreme and intolerant views. All major powers outside Africa supply arms and both Russia and Iran do so with the most venomous intent.

Will the Horn of Africa ever be allowed to recover economically or politically – and why is Djibouti an exception in its midst?

Rivalries and dysfunction governments

Africa is a place fraught with heated emotions where there should be consensus, and pettiness where there should be magnanimity. Could it be that this is still the bitter legacy of western colonialism working its way through successive generations after such prolonged past mistreatment?

Penal laws, weak law enforcement and societal attitudes

Most African states have legal structures, but they lack modernisation. It is not just a question about the “rule of law” – as many laws are simply outmoded.

Capital and corporal punishment often still exist, discrimination against those with certain tribal ethnicities is common and a deep intolerance against those who do not fit a particular cultural or societal mould is still rife. Hence the demonization of albinos in east Africa and the criminalisation of homosexuality across much of the continent.

Poor investment in productive infrastructure

Although there is sufficient investment to achieve mineral extraction, deforestation, oil production – and banking to serve those ends – it does not stretch to wider areas of manufacturing production and high tech services. Where are the centres of excellence for Sub-Saharan African R&D?

According to Robin-Chater, Secretary-General of the Federation of International Employers (FedEE)  and former advisor on equal opportunities to the European Commission,

“At the heart of this problem lies the huge Dinosaur of racial hatred. Beyond all other factors, Africa suffers from widespread collective racially-based prejudice aimed against it from outside and also eating it from within.

“The World has not grown up to comprehend that the colour of someone’s skin neither defines their virtue as a human being, nor their innate intelligence. Until that changes, then the fate of Africa will be in the hands of those who wish to plunder it and the peoples driven out by such callous actions rejected in a desperate attempt to escape to our shores. Meanwhile we, the indifferent majority, endorse this barbarity by simply turning our backs.”

About the author

The Federation of International Employers (FedEE) is a leading corporate membership organisation for multinational companies. It was founded in 1998, with financial assistance from the European Commission. Today it is an independent body with corporate members all around the globe.

1 Comment

  1. Until Africans can truly understand that we are still at war with the Colonial powers, things will always remain as they are now – backwards and unprogressive. Everyone is still fast asleep,waiting for a miracle to happen.(lol) Until we come to the realization,that truth,honesty,and morality, should come first in all our dealings,and be regarded of the highest importance over material riches,and sensual pleasures,the doors of poverty will always remain wide open unto us. True.

    A nation of blind leaders,leading a blind population is exactly what we have become. Indeed,a man’s enemies are the men of his own household – imagine how different things would have been by now,if our ancestors had not sold our people as slaves,for alcohol,tobacco,and firearms centuries ago. Its clear – the Arab and European Slave merchants were very smart people,who knew that Africans were greedy,lazy,and full of envy – Game time,it was! Cleverly they used our shortcomings, to exploit,rob,kill,and milk us dry of our resources.

    Legend has it,that on the first day that Africans were shackled,chained,and thrown into the depths of Slave ships,the Sun quickly disappeared out of sight in sadness,and protest,refusing to show herself,or shine for many days. A sad day indeed that was – the first day of slavery on the shores of Africa. The same game as in the days of slavery is still being played today,only in a different form – new players,and actors have replaced the old ones,that’s it.

    The robberies, the exploitations,the brainwashing of our leaders,the ploys and tricks designed to keep us poor,are all still in the works, happening – discreetly,but still unchanged,still the same. Listen, without your consent you are being used,and abused – being cheated,shrewdly and skillfully by the master of the show,pulling the strings behind the scenes. To get out of abject poverty,strong institutions and a new breed of leaders is what Africa urgently and desperately needs – people who are good listeners,practical, creative, intelligent, patriotic, and compassionate….Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.