Different schools of thought exist to explain this. The "governance first" group argues that African people, not outsiders, have a responsibility to improve the quality of their own governments. The "poverty first" group, represented by economist Jeffrey D. Sachs, believes that the solution to Africa's problems lies in tackling poverty by increasing the amount of aid. Finally, a third group argues that current aid flows are sufficient, but that donor countries must reform the way aid is distributed and administered. Christian Science Monitor.
China's search for resources in Africa has brought investment, technology and jobs into some of the world's poorest countries. While Chinese imports give Africans access to cheaper products, the introduction of Chinese finished and manufactured goods hinders Africa's ability to develop a strong and diverse economy.
Across Africa industries such as textile factories have closed down as cheap Chinese goods flood the world market.
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The African Union plans to set up an African Investment Bank and is gathering support from African nations which will be the main subsidizers of this institution. He also stated that rich countries have not lived up to their promises in terms of economic aid. China has increased its aid and loans to Africa in exchange for access to oil and other resources and to secure new markets for its exports. Development advocates have criticized this policy of "tying aid" to purchasing goods and services from the donor country and accuse Beijing of supporting authoritarian regimes in Africa.
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In the foreword to the book "Escaping the Resource Curse", George Soros describes how countries rich in resources have failed to benefit from their natural prosperity. In Africa many countries rich in natural resources are often poorer than those with fewer natural resources. The author argues that NGO initiatives such as "Publish What You Pay," could provide a solution to the resource curse by requiring oil companies to disclose their payments to governments for extracting natural resources.
Columbia University Press. The author argues that some African regions have improved their education, healthcare and agricultural productivity but that poverty is not decreasing at the same rate as before. This BCI report finds that at the current rate of progress, "a minimum set of social services" will not be universally accessible in Sub-Saharan Africa until — almost a century beyond the Millennium Development Goals target date of Social Watch calls on the world's wealthiest countries to seize the opportunity of the June G8 summit "to fulfill their side of the agreement" by increasing aid and debt relief to Africa.
Inter Press Service highlights the link between extreme poverty and rising infant mortality in Zimbabwe. The country's economic decline has led to "the breakdown of the health delivery system," putting Zimbabwe's under-five mortality rate at per 1, live births — a more than 50 percent increase since Health care workers have called for increased international aid to provide basic food and necessities to "vulnerable groups such as newborn babies.
Although many African countries such as Nigeria, Angola, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea enjoyed great revenue increase in the s from the petroleum industry, the oil money benefited the countries' leaders and not the people who still remain in poverty. This Gulf Times article says that while the responsibility of managing oil resources lies with governments, foreign oil companies, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the US and other governments should do their part by demanding transparency from African governments.
Curse on the land: a history of the Mozambican civil war
AGRA's projects aim to alleviate poverty and hunger by creating a market-based agricultural sector in Africa, enabling agrochemical and genetically modified GM seed companies to enter the market. The Centre fears such agribusiness will undercut traditional agriculture, create dependency on expensive inputs like GM seeds, and weaken African biodiversity. This "Green Revolution" could worsen, rather than address, the structural problems that undermine African farmers.
The Africa Progress Panel APP , established to monitor the Gleneagles Summit aid pledges, reports that the G8 countries are "only 10 percent of the way to their target" of doubling aid to Africa by Despite the "dire" shortage of food rations faced by the UN World Food Program WFP , the US government refuses to change a law that requires most of its food donations be domestically grown and then shipped to recipient countries — an inefficient and costly process.
International aid groups such as Oxfam estimate that amending this law to allow cash donations to the WFP could "feed at least a million more people" and "save 50, more lives. The report criticized the IMF's African aid program as having a "mismatch" between its reported goals and its actual capabilities.
However, the IEO blames this strictly on a lack of "policy clarity," arguing that the IMF's public relations department has given "the impression that the Fund committed to do more on aid mobilization and poverty-reduction" than it had intended. The article calls for a thorough external review of the Fund's policies in developing countries.
Despite renewed promises to double aid to Africa and to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals by , a meeting of the G8 development ministers is unlikely to produce any concrete policy changes, reports this Deutsche Welle article. Although some of the ministers claim that the G8 members have made substantial progress toward "democratization, social reforms and economic growth" in developing countries, experts argue that more aid money and increased cooperation between North and South are necessary to reach those goals. The IEO congratulates the IMF on its success in "improving performance" in Sub-Saharan African countries, and blames any perceived shortcomings on "ambiguous" IMF communications that gave "the external impression that the Fund committed to do more" to reduce poverty than it had actually intended.
This Inter Press Service article reports that underdeveloped infrastructure is a leading cause of food insecurity in Africa. Meat imports frequently thaw in transit due to an unreliable supply of electricity and substandard technology, allowing food-borne illnesses like salmonella "to flourish. Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh has announced that a mandate from God allows him to cure AIDS using a combination of Koranic prayers, herbs, and bananas.
When a United Nations representative in Gambia questioned the "cure" — which also requires that patients stop taking anti-viral medication — Jammeh promptly "branded [her] persona non grata" and gave her 48 hours to leave the country. However, this Der Spiegel article reports, "hardly anyone in the country dares challenge him and, unfortunately, many actually believe him. The World Food Programme WFP warns that "erratic weather patterns" in Africa may devastate agricultural output and lead to severe food shortages.
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The failure of donor countries to fully fund the WFP — which currently assists 4. The 80 percent official unemployment rate does not reflect the 78 percent of the country's workers engaged in this "unregulated, untaxed work. The "overwhelming number of orphans" in southern Africa due to war, hunger and AIDS has led many governments and aid groups to direct resources away from traditional orphanages and toward "community-based care.
Organizations such as UNICEF argue this solution is "healthier and more culturally appropriate" than moving the children into institutions. Although unlikely to uphold the full amount of Donegal's "evasive and even dishonest" claim, the UK judge hearing the case "had little choice but to say the contract was binding. Joseph Stiglitz summarizes a discussion on "global growth with responsibility" by "a diverse group of concerned citizens from around the world," including leading economists and former government officials.
The resulting consensus calls for a reformed G8 process which would enable participation from all countries "to discuss informally the major issues facing the world," with a focus on the four immediate problems of climate change, global imbalances, global governance, and poverty, especially in Africa. Initiative for Policy Dialogue. Arguing that the majority of debts in poor countries were accrued under "dictatorial, unaccountable and irresponsible leaders," participants at the World Social Forum in Nairobi, Kenya called for complete debt cancellation by international financial institutions.
This Inter Press Service article reports that, without unconditional debt cancellation, impoverished countries will not meet the Millennium Development Goals by As malaria decreases worker productivity, increases the rate of population growth and, possibly, the likelihood of transmitting AIDS, this "common resolve" to reduce malaria could be the key to "unlocking Africa's poverty trap.
At the Gleneagles summit, the G8 pledged to double aid to Africa by A year later, however, African nations such as Liberia, "one of the poorest places on the face of the earth," are facing diminishing international aid flows. Liberia had failed to meet the condition of "good governance" at the time of the Gleneagles summit, and therefore did not qualify for debt cancellation.
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf fears the aid shortage will further destabilize the already volatile country as it struggles to recover from civil war. The annual Corruption Perceptions Index published by Transparency International has repeatedly ranked African countries as some of the most corrupt in the world. Hosting a conference on European aid to Africa in November , the EU aimed to prevent loss of influence on the continent after "recent Chinese overtures of trade and aid to Africa," says the Associated Press.
Against Chinese lack of concern for human rights and sound governance in dealings with African countries, the EU confirmed its conviction that tying aid to political and economic reforms "is the best way of improving the lives of Africans. Meanwhile NGOs argued that the policy of conditionality "has never worked," and criticized the EU lack of attention to businesses' role in African corruption. Despite the general focus on Africa's failings, the region also has many success stories, argues this afrol News article.
Cape Verde, Botswana and Seychelles amongst others have achieved a level of development moving them out of the category of Least Developed Countries. These countries now feel "penalized for progress," as donors disengage while investors are still not convinced, bringing "new hardships" to governments trying to move their nations from a middle-income level "to a wealthy state of general welfare. The report finds rising sea levels could inundate 30 percent of Africa's coastal infrastructure, while percent of the continent's natural habitat could be lost by According to the article, "climate change is a present reality for many Africans," as a tight link exists between Africa's many violent conflicts — often viewed by the West as stemming from ethnic or religious differences — and the increasing climate-induced scarcity of water resources.
The summit also produced several natural resource investment deals between Chinese companies and African countries, thus further boosting recent years' enormous increase in China-African trade, which consists primarily of oil, minerals and other natural resources along with Chinese-made weapons. Meanwhile, critics say China "extracts what it needs from the continent, while ignoring environmental and anti-corruption standards.
With Chinese trade and foreign direct investment in Africa "skyrocketing" in , China has become a major player in Africa's economic development, and a widely cited "ideal development model" among African leaders. Many African leaders frustrated by Western policy conditionality have welcomed China's "strictly business" involvement in their countries. But the Chinese lack of concern for good governance and social responsibility produces a "backlash in several African countries.
The resulting exposure to the world market cotton price — significantly driven down by rich countries' subsidies — decreased the price Malian farmers received for their cotton by 20 percent in This could increase country-wide poverty by 4. Funding and visiting AIDS orphans projects in Malawi, pop icon Madonna joins the growing list of celebrities putting resources into Africa. Christian Science Monitor reports that most aid agencies welcome the arrival of celebrities in the world of humanitarian aid, appreciating the press attention that "these A-listers" can draw to development in Africa.
Other analysts, however, fear that too many donors preoccupy themselves with projects that make them "look good," rather than promote long term development. British climate scientists from the Met Office give "one of the most dire forecasts so far" of the potential effects of global warming. Their study predicts that by year one third of the planet will be desert, "uninhabitable in terms of agricultural production," and that already drought-stricken Africa will experience the most severe effects.
While stressing that the findings contain uncertainties, the scientists deem the result "significant" and possibly even an underestimation. According to this Independent article, the study will be "widely publicized" by the British Government at the November UN negotiations on "a successor to the Kyoto climate treaty" in Nairobi.
The "Least Developed Countries Report" found that although the world's poorest countries have enjoyed the highest growth rates in two decades, human well-being in these mainly African countries has not improved.
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The author of this Foreign Policy In Focus piece argues that the lack of rural communities' participation in governing their natural resources largely accounts for that imbalance. He warns that initiatives such as the UN Millennium Development Project, the US Millennium Challenge and Oxfam International's "Trade not Aid" campaign will not promote development unless they focus on creating accountable countryside democratic institutions. Ziegler highlights the obvious, but vastly ignored, connection between EU agricultural subsidies and the large flow of African migrants to Europe.
While Europe destroys African agriculture by dumping subsidized food, Europeans want their borders closed to poverty-stricken Africans and respond with security measures to a problem which is in fact about "hunger refugees. Rosset holds much higher hopes for the "Food Sovereignty" approach focusing on ending "free trade extremism," improving land access for the poor, and increasing support for family farmers and ecological farming methods.
As Dutch trading company Trafigura Beheer offloaded tons of toxic waste at a landfill near the Ivorian capital of Abidjan in August , the generated fumes killed six people and forced 15, to seek treatment for nausea, vomiting and headaches. The incident illustrates that the practice of Western companies dumping toxic waste in poor countries continues. As rich countries' consumption of electronic equipment keeps increasing, so does the amount of electronic waste shipped to poor countries for "recycling," but ending up in landfills posing significant health risks to local residents.
This powerful New York Times article highlights the experience of a nine-year-old quarry worker in Zambia. The child labor problem in sub-Saharan Africa not only deprives young workers of their childhood, but also furthers a cycle of poverty where they remain illiterate and sometimes turn to illegal or dangerous activities to survive.
The author notes that child labor goes beyond a legal issue, since poverty and disease contribute to the growing incidence of child labor and many families can barely afford to eat. Churches, for their part, must acknowledge the stigma and discrimination of their attitudes towards sex and gender. External observers, however, tend to overlook these positive trends, Hunter-Gault says.
And aided by the "mountain of negative press" on Africa, they increasingly avoid directing resources to the continent. Africa needs "fresh new news' reporting" along with debt relief to free resources to finance initiatives like NEPAD - according to Hunter-Gault "one of the most effective forces of change" in Africa. This New Times article labels poverty as the "oldest and most devastating disease in the third world.
The author cites the spread of AIDS, population growth, lack of education, and geographic disadvantage as obstacles to aid and debt relief efforts. The panel will produce an annual report for the G8, UN, and Africa Partnership Forum to maintain international awareness of development progress. Still, some organizations doubt the capacity of yet another monitoring organization to affect G8 policies.