Useful links.

March 24, 2009 - Leave a Response
  • Elliott, Larry. “Africa Still on the Road to Disaster.” 8 June. 2005.

              http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2005/jun/08/internationalaidanddevelopment.hearafrica05

 

  •  “Africa: Hunger to Harvest.” Bread for the World. 2005.

              http://www.bread.org/page.jsp?itemID=28131907

 

  • Bearak, Barry. “Why People Still Starve.”. 13 July. 2003.

             http://www.globalpolicy.org/socecon/hunger/2003/0713why.htm

  • Nduru, Moyiga. “Ending Hunger in Africa.” 26, Mar. 2005.

             http://www.ipsnews.net/africa/print.asp?idnews=17071

  • “Obesity and Overweight.” World Health Organization 2005.

              http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/publications/facts/obesity/en/

  • Wax, Emily. “Among Ordinary Africans, G8 Seems Out Of Touch.” 3 July. 2005.

              http://www.globalpolicy.org/socecon/develop/africa/2005/0703outoftouch.htm

African Hunger Facts.

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• Today, one in three Africans are malnourished, and about half of it’s nearly 700 million people live on less than $1 a day; most (80 percent) live on less than $2 a day.

• Income growth in Africa barely has kept pace with population growth, remaining below the 2.5 percent and causing Africa’s share of the world’s absolute poor to increase from one-fourth to nearly a third.

• Africa is a diverse continent that contains nearly a fourth of the lands total land area. Despite its immense size, only 430 million areas – less than one-fifth of the entire United States – are considered suitable for farming. Land degradation is a major threat to Africa’s agricultural productivity growth. 

• Any effort to develop agriculture and improve household food security must include a focus on women. Most African farmers are women, and female headed households are more prone to hunger and poverty. African women generate two-thirds of Africa’s agricultural production, and participate in trade and processing.

• Sub-Saharan Africa enters the new millennium as the one area of the world where hunger is both pervasive and increasing.

• Most Africans are small-holder farmers. Poverty keeps them from investing in land improvements, irrigation and fertilizer. Thus, African farmers are extremely vulnerable to drought, flooding, and political conflict.

• A problem most African countries have is providing sufficient food for their people. The reasons for this are complex and include declining world prices for commodities as well as escalating debts.

• The rapid spread of AIDS also affects hunger. In some African countries, between 30 percent and 40 percent of adults are infected. 

• Conflict also affects hunger in Africa. In 2001 civil conflict and war affected 16 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Internal conflicts interrupted progress in countries, such as Uganda, that have achieved a measure of food security in recent years. 

• In eastern Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia continue to suffer from prolonged periods of drought. The pastoral regions of these countries are the most vulnerable, and almost 2 million people in the Horn of Africa received emergency rations from World Food Program in 2001.


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African Civil War

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Africa, Modern U.S. Security Policy and InterventionsAfrica, Modern U.S. Security Policy and Interventions

 

█ JUDSON KNIGHT

United States policy in Africa since World War II has generally been non-interventionist, in the sense that U.S. troops have seldom actually engaged in military or quasi-military activities on the African continent. Exceptions, however, do exist, most notable among them being a limited commitment (both of troops and of covert operatives) during the Congo civil war in the early 1960s, the bombing of Libya in 1986, and the humanitarian mission to Somalia in 1993. More often, the United States has provided assistance to African movements, such as anticommunist guerrillas in Angola during the 1970s and 1980s. America has also used diplomatic and economic pressure, both against South African apartheid in the

 

Children follow a United States soldier patrolling the Green Line, a heavily contested area in the Somali civil war of the 1980s, during Operation Restore Hope in 1992. ©PETER TURNLEY/CORBIS.

Children follow a United States soldier patrolling the Green Line, a heavily contested area in the Somali civil war of the 1980s, during Operation Restore Hope in 1992. ©

PETER TURNLEY/CORBIS

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1980s and criminal activities in Nigeria during the twenty-first century.

Background

After the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, the United States conducted bombing raids over both Afghanistan and Sudan, attempting to neutralize Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda terror network. The fact that the same terrorist group later caused the 2001 bombings in New York City and Washington, D.C., serves to illustrate the fact that events in Africa are not removed from impacting American security and policy. As of July, 2003, the U.S. made a limited troop commitment to secure stability in Liberia and considered a more extensive involvement.

In choosing their policy priorities for Africa, American leaders managed a fine line between appearing interventionist or imperialist on the one hand, and insensitive to Africans’ misery on the other. Generally, U.S. policy in Africa has been guided by assessments of the strategic importance of a given nation, its existing alignment or non-alignment with U.S. interests, and the stability of its government.

With the exception of Liberia and Ethiopia, every nation in Africa—more than 50 in all—was at one time a European colony. This is true even in North Africa, whose people are linguistically and culturally distinct from their neighbors to the south. At the beginning of the twentieth century, France held much of west and central Africa; Britain southern and eastern Africa, as well as parts of West Africa; Belgium what is now the Congo, and Portugal a few notable colonies, among them Angola and Mozambique. Germany and Italy, latecomers to African colonialism, controlled some of the sites less rich in natural resources.

In the period between 1945 and 1975, virtually every nation in Africa gained independence, with the Portuguese—first Europeans to colonize in Africa—becoming the last to relinquish colonies. High hopes attended independence, but with few exceptions (a notable one being Botswana), the history of modern Africa has been an unrelieved tale of cruelty, corruption, mismanagement, and rampant disease and poverty. Funds given to help the African people have often ended up in the Swiss bank accounts of dictators, and money intended to build schools and feed children has instead been used to fund civil wars.

The Congo, Rwanda, and Africa’s “First World War”

The Congo exemplified this problem. In 1960, Belgium granted its former colony independence, but this proved only the beginning of new troubles. Civil war ensued, and initially the United States, as a participant in a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping force, seemed to back Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba. But as Lumumba drifted increasingly into the Soviet orbit, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) considered means of assassinating him, in the words of the local CIA station chief, “to avoid another Cuba.” Meanwhile, the United Stated provided assistance to army officer Joseph Désiré Mobutu, whose troops captured and killed Lumumba.

Although conditions in the Congo were difficult under Lumumba, they were at least as bad under Mobutu, who became unquestioned leader of the nation in 1966. He renamed the country Zaire and himself Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu wa za Banga, which means “the all-powerful warrior who, because of his endurance and inflexible will to win, will go from conquest to conquest, leaving fire in his wake.” For the next three decades, Mobutu, supported by the United States and the World Bank, looted his country, building vast palaces for himself and fattening the pockets of his cronies while the majority of his people lived without electricity, running water, or basic medical care.

Mobutu was overthrown in 1997 by Laurent Kabila, who proved just as corrupt, and who was killed by his own bodyguards in 2001. By then, the Congo had become embroiled in events described collectively as “Africa’s First World War.” The opening salvo of that larger conflict—a series of conflicts involving Rwanda, the Congo (which returned to its original name in 1997), and other nations—was the infamous Rwandan genocide in 1994.

The conflict involved age-old disputes between the Hutu and Tutsi peoples, who together constitute most of the population in Rwanda, Burundi, and neighboring states. After Rwanda’s Hutu dictator, Major General Juvenal Habyarimana, died in a plane crash on April 6, 1994, his supporters blamed the Tutsi-controlled Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), and launched a campaign of genocide that resulted in more than 800,000 deaths over a period of a few weeks. By July, the RPF had driven the remnants of the Habyarimana government, along with some 1 million refugees, into neighboring Zaire. This influx served to so destabilize the Mobutu regime that it helped provide the opportunity for Kabila’s takeover.

Somalia, Ethiopia, and Angola: Marxism, Anarchy, and Intervention

The United States was criticized, both at home and abroad, for not intervening in Rwanda, an extremely poor and landlocked nation with almost no strategic importance to Washington. It is possible that had America intervened, it would have been condemned for interfering in other nations’ internal affairs. Such was the case in Somalia just a few months earlier, when U.S. attempts to provide humanitarian assistance so inflamed resentment that even after the terrorist attacks of September, 2001, Muslim critics of U.S. policy would cite Somalia as an example of American imperialism.

Located on the horn of Africa, Somalia also achieved its independence in 1960, and also succumbed to dictatorship, in this case under Major General Mohamed Siad Barre. After overthrowing the government in 1969, Siad Barre launched the country on a disastrous experiment in Soviet-style socialism, complete with posters in the capital city of Mogadishu that featured his face alongside those of Karl Marx and V. I. Lenin. In a country where the principal form of organization is by clan, modern political forms of any kind were foreign, and it would have been difficult to find a more inadequate prescription for Somalia’s challenges than Siad Barre’s Marxist Leninism.

Ironically, the takeover of neighboring Ethiopia by Communists in 1974 proved Siad Barre’s undoing. In the chaos that befell Ethiopia after the downfall of longtime emperor Haile Selassie, Somalia went to war with its neighbor over the Ogaden Desert, and by September, 1977, had all but won. At that point, however, the Soviets switched their allegiance to Ethiopia’s Marxist government.

The Soviets’ change of allegiance created a strange alliance between Siad Barre and the United States. The proxy war in the Horn of Africa nearly became an entanglement involving U.S. troops, as Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor under President James E. Carter, briefly considered deploying the U.S. carrier Kitty Hawk to the region in March 1978. The United States and Somalia concluded military agreements in 1980 that allowed U.S. access to naval ports at Mogadishu and other cities.

The military alliance with the United States did not result in any meaningful changes in Siad Barre’s style of rule, and over the next decade, his influence slowly declined until he was ousted in 1991. By then, with the Cold War all but finished, the United States—which had strategic naval bases farther south in Kenya—had no particular interest in preventing Somalia from sliding toward anarchy. Then, in 1992, during the last weeks of his administration, President George H. W. Bush committed 25,000 U.S. troops to a UN force involved in distributing famine relief supplies.

Bush was influenced by the fact that the UN had performed well during the crises surrounding the Persian Gulf War of 1990–91, but the experience in Somalia was not to be as successful. By 1993, U.S. forces had become caught in the middle of conflicts between local warlords, and on October 3, 18 U.S. Rangers were killed in a firefight on the streets of Mogadishu. Prior to this debacle, Secretary of Defense Les Aspin had outlined an agenda of “nation-building” in a nation that had no true government, and in the aftermath of the Mogadishu disaster, Aspin resigned.

Ethiopia and Somalia were just a few of the nations that attempted to apply the Marxist formula to their problems during the 1970s. Numerous other nations aligned with Moscow, but few did so as openly as the former Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique. The United States provided help to the rebels fighting in both countries, though aid to Angola was much greater. In 1985, President Ronald Reagan, under pressure from both the Department of Defense and the CIA, transferred some $15 million in antiaircraft and antitank missiles to the rebel movement.

The United States commitment to Angola was in part a response to the fact the Soviets and Cubans had become heavily involved on the side of the government, but it was also a product of the magnetism exerted by the rebels’ charismatic leader, Jonas Savimbi. In 1966, Savimbi had formed the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, known by the initials of its name in Portuguese, UNITA. First he fought against the Portuguese, then against the MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola) when it took control of the government after the Portuguese left. Because the MPLA was aligned with Moscow, Savimbi gained support from a wide array of nations opposed to the Soviet Union: the United States, China, and South Africa. Savimbi managed to convince American conservatives that he was an anti-communist, just as he presented himself to the Chinese as a Maoist. To the regime that maintained the system of apartheid in South Africa, Savimbi’s victory would help keep blacks from getting the idea that they should gain a share of whites’ wealth.

In reality, the war was not about ideology, but about control of the nation’s diamond resources and other natural wealth. The Communist regime of José Eduardo dos Santos was corrupt and cruel, but Savimbi matched its record. In 1989, even Mobutu tried to step in and pressure him to accept a ceasefire. In 1992, with the Cold War over, Savimbi lost U.S. funding. He spent the remainder of his life fighting the government and opposition in his party, looting the populace, and resisting efforts toward peace. Six weeks after his death in February, 2002, the two sides signed a ceasefire agreement.

Liberia and South Africa: Oppression and Economics

In deciding to intervene, whether by military, economic, or diplomatic means, prudent leaders tend to favor a conservation of resources. An example was America’s response to chaos in Liberia in 1990. The West African nation, founded by freed American slaves in 1847, has proven no more stable or successful than any of its neighbors that had been colonies. Nor has the American influence yet fostered a greater degree of respect for human rights: ironically, the freed slaves, known as Americo-Liberians, virtually enslaved the native Liberians, who lived under conditions of forced labor and extreme poverty.

Finally, in 1980, Sgt. Samuel K. Doe led a revolt against President William Tolbert, ending 133 years of oppression. Doe, however, proved a tyrant, and he benefited from some $500 million in U.S. aid even as the quality of life for the Liberian populace continued to decline. When rebels overthrew Doe in 1990, the United States quietly evacuated its diplomatic personnel and other citizens from the troubled nation.

In part because the nation-state is a western construct imposed on Africa, life in post-colonial times has often been characterized by the oppression of one ethnic group by another: first Hutu by Tutsi, then the reverse, first native Liberians by Americo-Liberians, then the reverse, and so on. As most of these situations involved native African ethnic groups, they have attracted little attention in the outside world. By contrast, the regime of apartheid that prevailed in South Africa for more than four decades after 1948, involving as it did oppression of a black majority by a white minority, invoked sharp criticism throughout the western world.

Although many Americans had long condemned apartheid, the issue did not become a part of American popular culture until 1985, as entertainers and college students took up the cause. Activists pressured the Reagan administration to deal aggressively with South Africa, and to isolate the nation economically. In fact the United States did impose a number of economic restrictions on South Africa, but not to a degree demanded by activists. The solutions that worked with recalcitrant U.S. states during desegregation in the 1960s would not necessarily be as successful with an independent nation in the 1980s. Reagan reasoned that while apartheid did not comport with U.S. values, South Africa was of far greater value to the United States than many of its most outspoken critics—among them Zimbabwe, home to the notorious dictatorship of Robert Mugabe.

Reagan’s administration used a combination of limited economic and diplomatic pressure, while allowing South Africans—who at least had a framework of European-style representational government—to work out their own differences. In the end, opposition leader Nelson Mandela was released from prison, apartheid fell, and Mandela became the president of a new South Africa.

Other Interventions and Non-Interventions

In terms of economic intervention, Sierra Leone and Chad may offer positive examples of what the world community can do to affect policy in Africa. In 2000, the UN imposed a ban on the purchase of diamonds from Sierra Leone, sales of which had been used in large part to fund that nation’s civil war. Two years later, the 11-year war ended in a ceasefire.

Also in 2000, construction began on a pipeline through Chad, an extremely poor country in which oil had been discovered. Rather than permit a repeat of past mistakes, a consortium of companies (including America’s Exxon and Mobil), along with the World Bank, devised a strategy to prevent the nation’s rulers from misusing funds. Agreements included stipulations that 80% of all oil revenues would be spent on improving health, education, and welfare for the populace. Another 10% would go into escrow accounts for future generations, 5% would be directed toward the local populations in the area of the oil fields, and only 5% would be placed in the hands of the government to do with as it pleased.

Nigeria: counterfeiting and advance-fee scams. Another economic and legal battleground—one where problems remain is Nigeria. One of the leading nations in Africa in terms of size and potential wealth, with its oil riches, Nigeria is only slightly more stable than its neighbors, and criminal activity is rampant. The country is particularly notorious for its counterfeiting operations and its business scams.

Nigerian counterfeiting involves not banknotes, but consumer and industrial goods, including garments and textiles, electronics, spare parts, pharmaceuticals, personal products, and even soft drinks. The reason, in part, is that intellectual property owners, frustrated with the national bureaucracy, have done little to put a stop to counterfeiting efforts there. Additionally, owners of rights to these products are often unaware of counterfeiting activities in Nigeria. The Nigerian government has injunctions against these crimes, but has been largely ineffective in pursuing them.

In 1999, years of military rule in Nigeria ended, and U.S. officials took advantage of this opportunity to strengthen law enforcement efforts there. In July, 2002, the two countries signed an agreement for increased lawenforcement cooperation. Part of the agreement was a grant of $3.5 million from the United States, intended to help Nigeria modernize its police force and provide additional resources to the country’s special fraud unit, which targets 419 known scams.

African Civil War in Sudan

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CRIME OF WAR magazine

April 2004

The Darfur Conflict: Crimes Against Humanity in Sudan

Since February 2003, Sudan‘s western province of Darfur has been the site of an extremely violent conflict between the province’s nomadic Arab tribes, supported by the government in Khartoum, and the native African settled peasant tribes.

Sudanese refugees wait during a sandstorm to get medical attention from a mobile clinic of Medecins sans Frontieres near the city of Bamina in eastern Chad, March 6, 2004. (AP Photo/Boris Heger)

 

The Roots of the Conflict

 

Sudan’s westernmost province bordering on Libya and Chad, Darfur is very large (almost 400,000 square kilometers) and quite populous in comparison with other regions of the Sudan (with around eight million people). Geographically, the province is centered on the Jebel Mara volcanic massif. The amount of rainfall determines the character of the population in broad bands going from north to south: camel herders in the northern arid zone, settled peasants in the center, cattle nomads in the south bordering on the Bahr-el-Ghazal Province. The black African Fur tribe makes up over half of the population, hence the name of the province Dar (home) of the Fur, and the rest is divided between over fifteen different ethnic/linguistic groups. All the inhabitants are Sunni Muslims.

 

The region was home to the independent Sultanate of Kayra between the mid-17th century and 1916 when it was finally annexed to the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. This long tradition of independence from the center of power in the distant Nile Valleyhas been a continuing source of alienation between Darfur and the rest of Sudan ‘s Muslim North. At independence in 1956 the province soon became a bastion of the Mahdist religious movement and a stronghold of its political wing the Umma Party. Twice in the history of the Sudan (in 1968 and in 1986) it was a solid bloc of Umma voters in Darfur that gave the Umma Party and its leader Sadiq al-Mahdi victory at the polls.

 

There are two other aspects of Darfurian politics that played a key role in the development of the present conflict. First, the inhabitants of the province, whether settled “African” peasants or “Arab” nomadic tribes (these words have to be put between inverted commas since there are no “pure” Arabs in Darfur but only people of mixed ethnic origins whose mother tongue is Arabic), have consistently identified with the Muslim north of Sudan in the conflict with the Christian and animist south that has persisted on and off since 1955. Members of the various Darfur ethnic groups, mostly from the “African” tribes, made up a very large proportion (between 40 and 60%) of the northern troops fighting against the southern rebellions between 1955 and 1972 and then again between 1983 and the present. Thus Islam proved to be a stronger identity factor than racial/cultural origins.

 

At the same time, the political gap in Darfur between those who identified themselves as “Arabs” and those who identified themselves as “Africans” widened from the mid-1960s onwards. The 1980s saw repeated ethnic clashes that were precariously terminated by a locally brokered peace agreement in 1989, the same year in which the National Islamic Front (NIF) radical Muslim organization took power in a military coup. There was thus a contradiction between the national political positioning of the African tribes, which were aligned with the Nile Valley Arabs in their struggle to retain control of the country against the southern challenge, and their provincial positioning where they fought the local representatives of those same Arabs.

 

In 1991 Daud Bolad, a Muslim Brother activist of Fur ethnic origin who had initially supported the new NIF regime, tried to organize a revolt against his former friends after he realized that as a black African he was not the social equal of the Arabs, even within the supposedly egalitarian ethos of the radical Islamic movement. Daud Bolad was defeated and killed but his attempted uprising marked a turning point in many people’s consciousness in Darfur.

 

Uprising and Repression

The present conflict started in February 2003 and has rapidly developed into one of the most violent military confrontations on the continent. There have been an estimated 30,000 casualties, one million people are displaced within the province and over 120,000 have fled into neighboring Chad. The fight is basically between black African insurgents and the Khartoum government and its local agents, the Arab militias. The deep causes of the rebellion lie in the feeling of superiority and cultural elitism of the “Arabs”, and of resentment and perceived oppression and neglect on the part of the “Africans”. The “African” rebels point out that in spite of being a loyal part of the Muslim north, Darfur is in fact as badly off in terms of lack of infrastructure, neglect of education and economic underdevelopment as the Christian south.

There are two rebel movements struggling against the Khartoum forces. One is the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), which was initially named the Darfur Liberation Movement but chose the broader appeal of a “national” name to increase its potential reach. The SLM is based mostly on the Fur and Masaleet tribes and is politically moderate. It has tried to ally itself with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the Asmara-based umbrella organization which unites all Sudanese opposition groups, whether North or South.

The second rebel group is the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), based mostly on the Zaghawa tribe. It is linked with the radical Popular Patriotic Congress party led by the veteran Islamist Hassan al-Turabi who has now fallen out with his former NIF disciples. (At the end of March 2004, Sudanese authorities arrested al-Turabi, ostensibly for involvement in a plot to overthrow the country’s president.) The relationship between JEM and SLM remains one of the obscure points of the Darfur conflict, even if the two organizations claim to be collaborating militarily. The JEM is by far the richer of the two and the one with the greater international media exposure, even if its radical Islamist connections make it an unlikely candidate for fighting a radical Islamist government.

The insurrection started slowly in February and March 2003 and went into high gear on April 25 when the SLM rebels attacked the provincial capital at el-Fasher, killing 72 troops of the garrison, destroying four aircraft on the ground and capturing General Ibrahim Bushra, the garrison commander. The reaction of the Khartoum government was a mixture of panic, unrealistic accusation (Israel, the United States, the southern Sudanese rebel movement the SPLA and Eritrea were all held responsible for the uprising) and denial of the political reality. The insurgents were either called “armed bandits” or else described as nomadic groups fighting each other in “traditional conflicts over grazing rights”. Although this last claim contains more than a grain of truth (the “Arabs” are nomads while the “Africans” are settled peasants and in a drought period part of the motivation for fighting is indeed related to grazing) it is far from a full account of the situation. Economic deprivation, cultural spite and administrative marginalization are the key causes of the conflict.

Although SPLA intervention appears to have been minimal and that of the United States or Israel belong to the domain of fantasy, Eritrean involvement has been confirmed, albeit at a low level. The main financial support for the uprising comes either from contributions from the Fur diaspora to the SLM (there are many Fur working in the Gulf countries, in Khartoum, in Port Sudan and in the Gezira) or, in the case of the JEM, from foreign funds under the control of Hassan al-Turabi. It is the importance of this last financial source that explains the fairly impressive and modern equipment of the rebel forces.

 

During May and June 2003 the fighting grew in intensity and government forces reacted with increasingly violent attacks on the civilian population. Many young Zaghawa and Fur living away from the province returned, at times from a great distance, in order to join the fighting. The guerrillas opened training camps on the uninhabited slopes of Jebel Mara and recruits flocked in. Incapable of controlling the situation because it had few troops (and many were made up of Westerners who refused to fight their brothers) the government used three types of tactics to try to curb guerilla activities:

 

•  Extensive use of airpower. Mil Mi-24 combat helicopters engaged in indiscriminate bombing and machine-gunning of civilians while Antonov An-12 transports were used to drop makeshift bombs on villages and IDP concentrations.

•  Recruitment of large numbers of “Arab” militiamen called “Janjaweed”, mounted on camels or horseback. These were at times recruited in neighboring Chad and were motivated by a mixture of cultural/racial prejudice and the lure of looting. They mercilessly engaged in the massacre of civilians.

•  Destruction of the means of livelihood of the population. Wells were filled, cattle were killed and foodstuff stores were destroyed. This caused massive displacement of civilians who either fled to what they hoped were “secure” areas of the province or to Chad.

 

The government’s hope was that the civilians would be terrorized into submission and that the civilian pool on which the guerillas depended for their political and logistical sustenance would dry up. Neither seemed to happen. Some desultory attempts at negotiating were made in early September. A government team headed by the notorious NIF activist al-Tayeb Mohamed Kheir, nicknamed “Sikha” (“iron bar”, a nickname coming from his preferred weapon), signed a ceasefire agreement in the Chadian town of Abeche . It soon appeared that what the government wanted was in fact a simple surrender of the guerillas, without any kind of political negotiation. When the desired surrender failed to materialize, military operations were resumed, with the same violent anti-civilian actions.

The Khartoum government used every possible excuse to stop any humanitarian aid reaching the Darfur population. For example on November 16th it refused to unload US food aid bound for Darfur, saying that the cereals it contained were genetically modified. This was not the case but the food aid was nevertheless not distributed. In early January 2004 two Swiss NGOs, the HenriDunant Center and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, arranged a humanitarian conference in Geneva to organize relief for Darfur. After promising to come, the Sudanese government refused at the last moment, saying it did not want to internationalize the conflict and that such a conference should be organized in Sudan by the government itself.

 

On February 9 2004 Sudanese President Omar el-Beshir declared that the war had been won and there should be a political reconciliation conference organized in Khartoum. The rebels refused the idea of reconciliation without negotiation1Ž4 and shot down two more government helicopters on February 12. At the time of writing, the conflict not only goes on but is apparently intensifying, with a corresponding loss of human life, mainly civilian.

 

The Conflict’s Wider Impact

The country primarily impacted by the Darfur conflict is of course Chad . But the main impact is not of a humanitarian nature, in spite of the magnitude of the refugee problem. The main impact is political. President Idris Deby is an ethnic Biday. The Bidayat are a tribe closely related to the Zaghawa and to other Tebbu groups who live astride the Sudano-Chadian border. Several of these, the various Zaghawa clans in particular, are closely linked with the insurrection, while President Deby is closely allied to the Khartoum government which supported his armed takeover in December 1990. But President Deby is at the same time heavily dependent on his Zaghawa/Bidayat support group, particularly to keep control of the oilfields in Southern Chad.

Chadian soldiers guard the border with Sudan , Tuesday, Jan 27, 2004 in Tine, Chad. Sudanese planes dropped bombs in western Sudan on Monday, sending hundreds of people fleeing across the border into Chad where aid workers scrambled to provide them food and shelter in the barren desert. (AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo)

Southern Chad , which is ethnically and religiously very different from the North, was the site of frequent rebellions during the 1970s and 1980s. The president’s ethnic allies provide his main insurance against threats to the southern oilfields. But since unlike him they support the insurrection of their cousins in Darfur, there is a major contradiction between the head of state and the people who most closely support him. The result is that the power structure in Ndjamena is split, with elements fighting the Darfur rebels (the Chadian Army has intervened several times on Sudanese territory in support of Khartoum ‘s forces) and other elements which support the uprising. This situation has considerably weakened the Chadian regime and there are fears, particularly in Paris and in Khartoum, that president Deby might fall, a victim of these contradictions.

 

The second effect of the Darfur conflict on regional politics is the influence of the violence on the intra-Sudanese peace talks now being held in Naivasha (Kenya). The main question is bluntly whether it makes any sense to be negotiating peace for one section of the country while another is on fire. There has been no answer so far to this question because the SPLA which has fought Khartoum for over twenty years is as desperate to make peace as the government is eager to give the appearance of wanting to do so. The southern movement is both exhausted and hopeful that any kind of peace, even a bad one, will put it in a better tactical position in the future. The government is not in the same dire straights financially or technically, but it needs at least a semblance of peace to retain political control in the North where it has in effect been in a minority position ever since it seized power in 1989. Out of these converging needs, some kind of a (weak) common ground can be found.

 

The Darfur conflict has deeply upset this delicate balance between North and South. The SPLA has accepted not to mention the Darfur crisis in the course of the negotiations while the Khartoum government is trying to delay the signature of any agreement with the South long enough to crush the western insurrection. Some observers had predicted that on the contrary Khartoum would want to sign quickly in order to be able to take a good slice of its 70,000 strong military force out of the South in order to send it fighting into the West. But many of these theoretically “northern” troops are in fact from Darfur itself and their discipline could break down if they were sent back home to fight their brothers. Therefore Khartoum has delayed signing, in spite of intense US pressure to reach an agreement before the American presidential elections of November 2004 (some of President Bush strongly religious supporters are keen on an agreement to “protect the Christians” in the Sudan).

 

The author of this article is a journalist based in East Africa. He has asked that his name be withheld to prevent possible retribution.

African Hunger and Nelson Mandera’s Images

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African Civil War

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CRIMES OF WAR magagine

October 2004

Natural Resources and Conflict in Africa
By Paul Collier


Why has Africa had so much civil war? In all other regions of the world the incidence of civil war has been on a broadly declining trend over the past thirty years: but in Africa the long term trend has been upwards. Of course, every civil war has its ‘story’ – the personalities, the social cleavages, the triggering events, the inflammatory discourse, the atrocities. But is there anything more? Are there structural conditions – social, political or economic – which make a country prone to civil war? Might it be that the same inflammatory politician, playing on the same social cleavages, and with the same triggering events, might ‘cause’ war under one set of conditions and merely be an ugly irritant in another?

A boy works in a diamond mine under the control of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels in Sierra Leone, December 2001. (Jan Dago/Magnum Photos)

Although I am an Africanist, I like to set Africa in comparative perspective. If Africa is different – as it clearly seems to be in respect of civil war – there are two possible types of explanation. Africans could simply behave differently from others when faced with the same situation. Alternatively, for a given situation their behaviour could be much like anyone else’s, but the situations they face could be systematically different. To sort this out we need to look globally, not just regionally. Together with Anke Hoeffler, I have analyzed global data covering the last forty years, trying to see why most countries at most times have avoided civil war, while others have not. Our approach has been statistical – trying to see whether any characteristics of a society could account for a subsequent eruption into war. Within the limits of data availability, we have tried to include social factors (such as inequality, and the ethnic and religious composition of a society), history (such as the time since decolonization), and politics (such as the extent of democratic political rights) as well as economic characteristics. We find a pattern and we find that Africa fits that pattern.

Economic Roots of Civil War

Surprisingly, the dominant factors are economic. Three factors matter a lot for the risk of civil war: the level of income, its rate of growth, and its structure. If a country is poor, in economic decline, and is dependent upon natural resource exports, then it faces a substantial risk that sooner or later it will experience a civil war. Typically, such a country runs a risk of around one-in-seven every five years. Like Russian roulette, things might go well for a while, but then some conjunction of circumstances – the personalities, the triggering events – ignite violent conflict. Of course, when this happens, the media focus on the personalities and the triggering events. These are indeed the proximate ‘cause’ of the conflict. But the big brute fact is that civil war is heavily concentrated in countries with low income, in economic decline, and dependent upon natural resources.

Africa is the one region where such economic characteristics are the norm and this fully explains Africa’s distinctive incidence of civil war. Yes, Africa is riven by ethnic differences, so that where civil wars flare up they will invariably be fought along ethnic lines. But this does not mean that the ethnic differences are ‘causing’ the conflict. Globally, ethnically diverse societies are no more at risk of civil war than other societies. The only exception to this pattern is where the largest ethnic group is in a majority – that does indeed increase risks and we can think of examples in Africa. But Africa is so ethnically diverse that in most societies no group is in a majority. Fewer African societies have ethnic majorities than other regions.

In respect of the three economic characteristics, Africa is most distinctive in terms of natural resource dependence. Africa as a region still has a much higher ratio of land to population than other regions, and natural resources are basically randomly distributed under the land. Further, for various reasons, Africa has not managed to break into the global market for manufactures. Whereas twenty years ago the typical developing country was dependent upon natural resource exports, now 80% of developing countries’ exports are manufactures. Africa has thus got stuck in resource dependence while other developing regions have moved on. Why does this matter?

Why Natural Resources Fuel Conflict

Natural resources generate what economists term ‘rents’ – meaning profits that are much higher than the minimum level needed to keep the activity going. The trouble from natural resources stems from these rents. There are six routes by which natural resource rents increase the risk of violent conflict; four relate to political economy and two are straight economics.

Let’s start with the political economy. The most obvious route is that natural resource rents are a ‘honey pot’. Politics comes to be about the contest for control of these revenues. This produces a politics of corruption – aided and abetted by foreign corporate behavior – and sometimes directly a politics of violence. The stakes are highest in low-income countries because the control of the state implies massive revenues relative to other income-earning opportunities. Further, this politics of rent-seeking diverts the public arena from its normal function of achieving the collective action that is necessary to supply public goods – the social and economic infrastructure that all societies need. The society thus loses out twice over: in the struggle for resource rents other resources are dissipated, and the supply of public goods declines. Nigeria provides a striking example of such a politics of contest for oil rents.

The second route by which natural resource rents increase the risk of war is through the detachment of government. Because resource-rich governments do not need significant other tax revenues they become detached from their electorates. In most societies, because electors have to pay high taxes, they scrutinize the government to see how it uses their money. This was indeed how democracy developed in the West. The campaigning slogan ‘no taxation without representation’ can be inverted to the depressing reality of ‘no representation without taxation’. In many resource-rich societies the resource rents are not seen as belonging to ordinary people in the same way as income taken from them in taxes – hence the detachment. The government is able to ignore the concerns of the population. Mobuto’s Zaire was a classic example of such detachment.

 At the Sunday market in Rubaya, in the Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, miners sell a highly lucrative powder called coltan which is used by U.S., European and Canadian manufacturers of chips for cellular phones and computers. 2003.

(Alex Majoli/Magnum Photos)

Even when neither of these first two effects directly leads to a civil war, they produce between them a dangerous cocktail of a dysfunctional politics of self-interest and a governing elite that is detached from the concerns of ordinary people. These two characteristics then combine with a third dangerous factor: natural resources are usually found in only part of the country, often in a peripheral area. The people who live in this area are ready prey for secessionist political movements. To the usual romantic propaganda of identity politics, secessionist leaders can add the powerful language of economic self-interest: ‘our’ resources are being squandered by a corrupt and alien elite. Large natural resource rents not only make civil war more likely, they make it more likely that a civil war will be secessionist. Biafra, Katanga, Cabinda: Africa’s secessionist wars have usually been related to natural resources.

The final political economy route by which natural resources increase the risk of civil war is that they provide an obvious source of finance for rebel groups. Even if the rebellion is not motivated by these rents it is greatly facilitated by them: from the proceeds leaders can purchase arms and pay recruits. Warfare is a costly business: whereas thirty years ago rebel groups largely had to depend upon a friendly government for finance and armaments, now rebellion has been ‘privatized’ – markets in natural resources and armaments have developed to the extent that rebel groups can be self-sufficient. Rebel groups gain access to natural resource rents in several ways. One is to run protection rackets against the companies or people who are the exporters. Another is directly to operate extractive businesses. Yet another is to sell concessions to mineral rights in anticipation of subsequent control of the territory. The prolonged viability of UNITA in Angola and the RUF in Sierra Leone; the violent gangs of the Nigerian Delta; and the successful rebellions of Laurent Kabila in Zaire and of Denis Sassou-Nguesso in Congo Brazaville, were all assisted by one or the other of these methods of natural resource financing.

In addition to these political economy effects there are two economic effects that increase the risk of civil war. Resource rents appreciate the real exchange rate causing ‘Dutch disease’, whereby the rest of the export economy contracts. Usually in Africa the non-resource export economy is based on agriculture, so that small farmers in some areas face sharply declining income despite the influx of wealth into the economy. Finally, the prices of natural resources are usually highly volatile, so that the economy becomes subject to booms and busts. This pattern typically depresses the long term growth rate, and it also implies periods of severe contraction. Recall that economic decline is itself a risk factor for civil war.

Does It Have to be Like This?

Through these six routes, to date natural resources have largely been bad news for Africa. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Revenues from natural resources are an enormous opportunity for low-income African economies. Especially for landlocked countries with hostile climatic conditions, such as Chad, natural resources probably offer the only option for significant poverty reduction. This is the dilemma: resource rents have the potential for good as well as for bad. The strategy of saying ‘just leave the resources in the ground’ sacrifices the potential for good as the price of avoiding the bad. Historically, such a strategy would usually have been an improvement on what actually happened. But, as well as being a counsel of despair, it is unrealistic. As a result of the geo-politics of oil, there is a rush of new discoveries in small, poor African countries – Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe, Gambia. These resources are not going to be left in the ground. The challenge for both Africa and the international community is to change the political and economic governance of such resources so that the future is not a repetition of the past.

June 2004: under tight security, a Congolese miner in the jungle town of Mubi, bags raw chunks of cassiterite, the base element of tin. 
(Finbarr O’Reilly / Reuters Picture Archive)

Two contrasting examples help to bring the issues into focus. Thirty years ago Botswana and Sierra Leone had the same level of per capita income. Then they both received enormous diamond income. The government of Botswana succeeded brilliantly in harnessing these revenues for economic growth: for many years Botswana was not just the fastest growing economy in Africa, it was the fastest growing economy in the world. As a landlocked desert, it is easy to imagine Botswana’s fate in the absence of diamonds. Sierra Leone had a dramatically different experience. The diamond revenues fomented violent political contests which destroyed the society. The economy collapsed, and now the country is at the bottom of the Human Development Index. The differential between the two countries in terms of per capita income is now an astonishing ten-to-one. The economic and political governance of natural resource revenues was evidently absolutely vital in producing this massive divergence in outcome. In short, although policies and governance always matter, they matter much more where there are large natural resource rents. Africa needs more Botswanas and fewer Sierra Leones: which of them will Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, Mauritania, and Gambia resemble two decades hence?

How African Societies Can Help Themselves

If I was a citizen of an African natural resource economy I would want to know how to become Botswana and to avoid the fate of Sierra Leone. I think that the magic ingredient that makes the difference is scrutiny of government by the country’s citizens. Unfortunately, scrutiny is a ‘public good’ – that is, if it is provided, the whole society benefits. The incentives for individual action are thus all wrong – basically, the smart thing to do is to sit back and hope that someone else goes to the trouble of providing public goods such as scrutiny. Societies need ‘collective action’ to overcome the public goods problem and because Africa’s societies are so highly diverse –more ethnically diverse than anywhere else in the world – they find it unusually difficult to supply public goods at the national level.

Of course, people and groups lobby the government, but overwhelmingly this lobbying is not for the national interest but for individual or group advantage. But there are ways around this problem. In an ethnically diverse society it is probably much easier to organize scrutiny at the local or regional level than at the national level – at the local level ethnicity is likely to unite people in collective action, just as at the national level it is likely to divide them and frustrate collective action. If the rents from natural resources could be transparently and fairly distributed to sub-national levels of government there is some hope that such governments would come to face serious citizen scrutiny. The challenge is to get to this stage where rents accruing at the national level are seen to be fairly distributed to the regions.

The Right Agenda for Outsiders

This is where the rest of us come in – those of us who are not African citizens and so have little basis to tell African governments what they should and shouldn’t be doing. What we can legitimately do is to make it easier for African citizens to get to the stage at which they can overcome their collective action problem and scrutinize how resource rents are used at the local level. Specifically, we can help to make natural resource rents transparent at the national level. This has been the agenda of NGOs such as Global Witness – now picked up by the British government’s Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative – and I think that it is the right agenda. At least, it is the right agenda for us. Transparency in reporting revenues is itself only an input into scrutiny – it makes domestic scrutiny easier. It doesn’t make it happen automatically, but without transparency in revenues there can be no scrutiny of how they are used.

Another key area for international action is that banks should be required to cooperate in tracking down misappropriated natural resource rents. For example, the Nigerian government has recently abandoned the attempt to repatriate the vast Abacha wealth from London banks because the process was proving to be an unending legal nightmare. What is the incentive for African societies to scrutinize their leaders if corrupt wealth is so well-defended by Western legal systems?

A further area for international action is the acquisition of natural resource contracts. Too often Western corporations have connived with African political leaders to reach deals that were mutually profitable at the expense of the country. Transparent competitive tendering must become the norm. When North Sea oil concessions were awarded we would not have tolerated an oil company concluding a secret private deal with a minister; we should not tolerate such a practice in Africa.

This, to my mind, is the agenda for corporate social responsibility in Africa: transparency in bidding for resource concessions; transparency in revenue payments to governments; and cooperation by banks in tracking misappropriation of rents. Sadly, it is far from the currently dominant agenda. International resource extraction companies live in terror of two powerful forces – Western consumers who may boycott their products; and the local people living around their installations, who may kidnap employees and damage equipment. They have responded to Western consumer pressure – itself based on a lazy, teenage misdiagnosis of Africa’s ills – by trying to look like good employers and good environmentalists. They have responded to local extortion rackets by providing health and education facilities in the neighborhood of their installations. Frankly, both of these are at best irrelevant. High wages mess up the labour market and so cost jobs; it is governments, not companies, that should be supplying basic social services. What has got lost is the legitimate, indeed essential role that companies can play in helping African societies to scrutinize their governments. Corporate social responsibility in Africa must be radically redefined.

Reflection of Africa

March 24, 2009 - Leave a Response

African Food

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Effects of Drought

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African Food Crisis Effect

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Facts and Issues in Africa

March 24, 2009 - Leave a Response

60 % of Africans go to bed hungry
Half pf those 60% are seriously malnourished
Only 37% have access to clean drinking water
Millions died in famines in Ethiopia, Somalia, Mozambique, and Sudan
In the early 1960’s Africa produced 95% of its needed food, today, every country imports food
Population is going up 3.5% a year, food is going down 2.5% a year
Food production is 20% lower than in 1970, when the population was half what it is now

Reason for hunger in Africa
– Growing population, fastest growing of any continent in history
– Lack of water -> 47% of Africa is too dry for rainfed crops
– Not enough money for irrigation
– Lack of topsoil -> expanding desert
– erosion by wind
– Tribes cutting wood for fires
– Livestock eating ground cover
– Buring for planting
– Droughts
– Little understanding of modern technology -> much farming still done by hand on small plots
– Lack of education
– Governments keep prices of food low to keep themselves popular, but farmers then can’t make a living – Lack of storage facilities
– lack of transportation
– Bugs and pests eating crops
– Disease carrying bugs in fertile areas
– No development of high yielding seeds suitable for African climates
– Wars -> farmers become soldiers
– Farms become battlefield
– Refugees leave their homes and farms

Africa Crisis Video

March 24, 2009 - Leave a Response

The reasons for the current food crisis

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The causes for the present hunger crisis are multifold: countries in conflict or emerging from conflict and trying to rebuild their capacity such as West Africa, Sudan, Somalia, Uganda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

And countries in southern and eastern Africa ravaged by the HIV/Aids crisis, which in turn is further damaging agricultural and economic productivity (already under stress from the structural adjustment period beginning in the 1980s).

International trade barriers that weaken incentives for agricultural production are another factor.

Which countries are worst affected?

At the moment, the Horn of Africa is worst hit, especially Somalia, north-eastern Kenyan and Ethiopia.

Some 11 million people need food aid in the region after poor rains, the WFP says.

About half of these are on the brink of starvation and need urgent help.


Why are so many people still going hungry?

The basic problem is poverty.

Most Africans live in rural areas, where many are subsistence farmers, dependent on a good harvest to get enough food to eat.

There are hardly any irrigation systems, so people rely on the rains.

If one rainy season fails, people have very few savings – in either food or cash – to see them through.

Even in good years, there is a “hungry season”, when last year’s harvests have run out and the next crops are not yet ripe.

While people were starving in parts of Niger last year, shops in the capital, Niamey, were full of food but many could not afford to buy it.

In both the Horn of Africa and Niger, some of the most vulnerable were pastoralists, whose animals quickly succumbed when there was nothing left to graze.

When the animals die, their owners have no other way of getting enough food to eat.

Some say that the pastoralist lifestyle is no longer sustainable.

(Pastoralist lifestyle is  moving livestock around larger areas of land according to seasons and availability of water and food.)

What are the other reasons?

Many farmers say that rains have become less reliable in recent years, which could be the result of global warming.

The Sahara desert is certainly expanding to the south, making life increasingly difficult for farmers and pastoralists in places like Niger.

Also, rising populations have led people to farm on increasingly marginal land, even more at risk from even a slight decline in rainfall.

Southern Africa has the world’s highest rates of HIV/Aids and this is a major factor in that region’s food crisis, which in turn is further damaging agricultural and economic productivity (already under stress from the structural adjustment period beginning in the 1980s). Countries beset with chronic environmental challenges combined with population growth like Ethiopia, Niger, Somalia and Kenya.

Some of those who should be the most productive farmers – young men and women – are either sick or have died, so their fields are being left untended, while their children go hungry.

What about the role of governments?

Nobel prize winning economist Amartya Sen said that no democracy has ever suffered from a famine and Africa’s political problems have certainly contributed to the hunger of its people.

Some three million people are going hungry in Zimbabwe, which used to be the region’s bread basket. Most donors say the government’s seizure of productive, white-owned farms has worsened the effects of poor rains.

The government has also been accused of only delivering food aid to its own supporters and punishing areas which vote for the opposition.

Conflict obviously makes farming difficult, as people either run away from their fields or are too afraid to venture too far from their homes.

Farmers and pastoralists in countries such as Somalia and Democratic Republic of Congo face constant harassment by armed men.

Weak governance is also a thread that runs through many of the countries that have faced food crises over the past decade.

Source

BBC NEWS

Africa Fact and Statistic

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Africa Map

AFRICA as a Nation

Africa is the second largest continent located to the south of Europe and bordered to the west by the South Atlantic and to the east by the Indian Ocean.

One of the most serious difficulties facing the African nations in their attempts to develop their economies stems from the excessive political and economic fragmentation of the African continent. Most of the African nations are too small to provide them with an adequate basis for economic and social progress. This has impacted in society and culture aspect which lead to increasing number of poverty.

“Poor governance is a major issue in many African countries, and one that has serious repercussions for long-term food security,”

“Problems such as corruption, collusion and nepotism can significantly inhibit the capacity of governments to promote development efforts.”

a statement by the International Food Policy Research Institute.

A SYSTEMIC CRISIS IN AFRICA

The number of Africans needing food aid has doubled in a decade
More than half of Africa is now in need of urgent food assistance.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is warning that 27 sub-Saharan countries now need help. (sub saharan is the region of Africa to the south of the Sahara Desert)

In sub-Saharan Africa soil quality is classified as degraded in about 72% of arable land and 31% of pasture land.

In addition to natural nutrient deficiencies in the soil, soil fertility is declining by the year through “nutrient mining”, whereby nutrients are removed over the harvest period and lost through leaching, erosion or other means.

Nutrient levels have declined over the past 30 years, says the International Food Policy Research Institute.

Consequences

The result is that a continent that was more than self sufficient in food at independence 50 years ago, is now a massive food importer. The book The African Food Crisis says that in less than 40 years the sub-continent went from being a net exporter of basic food staples to relying on imports and food aid.

In 1966-1970, net exports averaged 1.3 million tons of food a year, it states.

“By the late 1970s Africa imported 4.4 million tonnes of staple foods a year, a figure that had risen to 10 million tonnes by the mid 1980s.”

Since independence, agricultural output per capita remained stagnant, and in many places declined.


But what appear as isolated disasters brought about by drought or conflict in countries like Somalia, Malawi, Niger, Kenya and Zimbabwe are  in reality systemic problems. It is African agriculture itself that is in crisis, and according to the International Food Policy Research Institute, this has left 200 million people malnourished. It is particularly striking that the FAO highlights political problems such as civil strife, refugee movements and returnees in 15 of the 27 countries it declares in need of urgent assistance. By comparison drought is only cited in 12 out of 27 countries. The implication is clear – Africa’s years of wars, coups and civil strife are responsible for more hunger than the natural problems that befall it.

Africa’s elites respond to political pressure, which is mainly exercised in towns and cities. This is compounded by corruption and mismanagement – what donors call a lack of sound governance.

“Poor governance is a major issue in many African countries, and one that has serious repercussions for long-term food security,” says a statement by the International Food Policy Research Institute.

Problems such as corruption, collusion and nepotism can significantly inhibit the capacity of governments to promote development efforts. Also wars and political conflict, leading to refugees and instability.

In 2004 the chairman of the African Union Commission, Alpha Oumar Konare, reminded an AU summit that the continent had suffered from 186 coups and 26 major wars in the past 50 years. It is estimated that there are more than 16 million refugees and displaced persons in Africa.

With good governance, most African countries could be net exporters of agricultural produce Darren, Lobatse, Botswana
Source:
Martin Plaut – BBC Africa analyst
TIME

i just wonder..

March 24, 2009 - 4 Responses

we also have to research about educational and cultural aspects.. what do you guys think??

Nelson Mandela.

March 24, 2009 - Leave a Response
  • A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.
  • After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.
  • Communists have always played an active role in the fight by colonial countries for their freedom, because the short-term objects of Communism would always correspond with the long-term objects of freedom movements.
  • Does anybody really think that they didn’t get what they had because they didn’t have the talent or the strength or the endurance or the commitment?
  • Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. 
  • For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. 
  • I cannot conceive of Israel withdrawing if Arab states do not recognize Israel, within secure borders.
  • I detest racialism, because I regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black man or a white man. 
  • I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself. 
  • I dream of the realization of the unity of Africa, whereby its leaders combine in their efforts to solve the problems of this continent. I dream of our vast deserts, of our forests, of all our great wildernesses. 
  • I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. 
  • If the United States of America or Britain is having elections, they don’t ask for observers from Africa or from Asia. But when we have elections, they want observers. 
  • If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness. 
  • If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart. 
  • If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner. 
  • In my country we go to prison first and then become President. 
  • It always seems impossible until its done. 
  • It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership. 
  •  Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement. 
  • Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. 
  • Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will. 
  • Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another. 
  • Only free men can negotiate; prisoners cannot enter into contracts. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated. 
  • There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children. 
  • There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires. 
  • There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. 
  • There is no such thing as part freedom.
  • There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered. 
  • We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right. 
  • When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat.