Friday, 2 December 2011

If Africa remains on its current course it will implode in ten years time. And then what?

Arms sales to African countries.

Trends about our near future. Some realizations about Africa and the needs of Africans.

by Tom Thorne
Earlier I outlined some of the bleaker prospects I see for the next while particularly in the area of an expected and prolonged economic downturn in North America and Europe and by association the rest of the world. 
The reality of our expected world population growth over the next ten years is daunting. Add to population growth, environmental degradation and debt ridden governments with no time to really sort out their problems and our prospects really dim as we attempt to redefine our economic world models.
How do we get ourselves juiced up to respond and solve these problems? First, we must now really move to sustainable economies rather than the economics of greed that we saw exemplified lying beneath the 2008 financial meltdown. I know this sounds wide eyed and innocent but there is no choice but to act to correct this inequitable situation. Profligate uses of resources, unbridled population growth and selfish development strategies must stop immediately worldwide.
The focus today is how do we stem the poverty in Africa and its offshoot the HIV-AIDS epidemic on that continent? How do we introduce human rights into a continent so broken that it feeds off its own distress in ever increasing feedback loops of despair? I refer to examples like Somalia, the Congo, and other areas of Africa barely functioning as states and where the idea of  “government” is a synonym for corruption and the antisocial self interest of either tribal groups, war lords or politicians who ego trip at the expense of the common good.
Stopping violence means weapons controls
How do we stem the supply of Chinese and old Soviet bloc weapons into Africa? Weapons control and a halt to the distribution of these arms by their manufacturing countries could make a difference to promote peace. Weapons create instability and violence and again in my wide eyed innocence I ask why does this trade continue and why is it allowed? I think we know why. It provides money and in some cases it is an arm of a realpolitick practiced by certain states with vested interests in controlling Africa to gain access its considerable resources. In short is is exploitive and does not serve the needs of Africans. 
Of course the human rights toll continues as part of these selfish policies. It is the sordid cost of destroying futures with violence and continual mayhem. The sad realization I have is that a more useful development strategy for Africa could be implemented for the cost these weapons. 
The big challenge is turning off the violence and mayhem in Africa and beginning the development of that continent in a fair way that can support the needs and ultimately control the growth of their ballooning population. The real development would be to fight AIDS/HIV and other preventable diseases with drugs and support families in a safe environment so they have a chance to create stable economies and governments. 
Empowering women in Africa can lift economic prospects.
Empowering the women of Africa is also a very positive strategy if only because everywhere the women are a positive force for change, reconciliation and the anchors of families. This is a huge chore but to do less is to see by 2020 an uncontrollable poverty on a scope that will dim even the wretchedness we see today.
To fail Africa will mean that the rest of humanity will witness uncontrollable poverty in ten years time with constant famine and disease that will be so widespread it will become the new normal. If there ever was an economic opportunity for the west and the industrialized Orient it is the economic development of Africa in a fair way. The pillaging and violence going on at the moment does not work so it is a no brainer to do world development of Africa where Africans benefit from as the first priority.
Of course some will say that development on this scale coming from the west and the industrialized Orient is tantamount to reestablishing colonialism in Africa. That does not have to be the case. If the G7 and G20 nations want to they could enter Africa as an opportunity for Africans and as a way to generate world opportunity and sustained development strategies for the first time that generally helps the world cope with the next ten years. The cost of doing nothing is very high ten years out. 
United Nations: Observing the dislocation of African well being.

The United Nations (UN) could be involved but they also need to escape their old highly bureaucratized ideas which to this point in time have tended to tamp down the problems of Africa rather than solve them. What is needed are solutions and fast and galvanizing the UN may be hard but not impossible. 
 Again the stepping down of violence and its tangental problem the creation of refugees is the first step for the United Nations. They need to Peace Make not just manage wretchedness with refugee camps that become permanent. That will take more resources but it will be an investment not a cost.  G7 and G20 countries need to make this happen by providing investments that don’t support dictatorships and tribal prejudices . Non traditional contributors to UN Africa problems such as oil rich Arab States need to contribute resources to make peace stick in Africa. 
Will this happen? Somehow I doubt there is a will or interest at the UN and in the rest of the world to save Africa. It is easy to be horrified, appalled and shocked by the abject poverty that we see now. In ten years time if nothing is done and the status quo is allowed to continue the African continent will be left to its fate as human populations grow out of control and tax resources well beyond the breaking point. 
© Copyright 2011, Tom Thorne, All Rights Reserved

No comments:

Post a Comment