September 30th, 2010
03:54 PM GMT
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There are many theories about why Africa has been left behind economically, and the debate often degenerates into a blame game.

Colonialism is at fault, say some. A cycle of victimhood is entrenched by a culture of dependency on aid, say others.

Many say Africa has been shut out of markets and denied the means to compete on a level playing field.

The latest addition to the debate comes from a South African academic, Greg Mills, who has written a book called “Why Africa is Poor: And What Africans Can Do About It.”

He argues Africa is poor because “Africa’s leaders have made this choice.” It’s a controversial angle, but the basic premise that poor leadership has steered generations of African countries down the path to poverty is not new.

All of us who live in Africa can name leaders – from presidents to local municipal workers – who have made their communities poorer. It's not just the Mugabes or Mobutus of this continent who have shattered Africa’s promise, it is the often nameless, mid-level workers whose corrupt or incompetent actions result in schoolchildren not getting books, for example.

We interview Greg on Marketplace Africa this week, so watch the interview for more of his analysis.

However, I wanted to know from you: why do you think many parts of Africa have not realized their potential after more than 50 years of independence?

What is the secret formula? Is there one?



soundoff (197 Responses)
  1. Peter Opondo

    While we can aportion blame to everything and anything in regards to poverty in Africa,the bottom line to me ,is the unforgivable sin of not throwing everything at eradicating ignorance through education.Our governments and leaders,past and present have never paid any serious attention to this cause(They are beneficiaries of such).Should any society be looking for a panacea out of poverty and ignorance,an Educated society is the answer,ESPECIALLY its WOMEN.
    Education or Lack of, Does greatly determines the self propagating trajectory of a society.
    Peter Opondo.
    Sapporo,Hokkaido,Japan

    October 1, 2010 at 3:41 am |
  2. John Hanson

    Having worked in Africa and am aware of the mistrust of the white man, maybe we should encourage educated black europeans or americans to settle in africa

    October 1, 2010 at 4:38 am |
  3. bobby

    African does not have the tradition of caring other people, murder and rape are becoming new tradition that is degrading people into new low. I think people in africa should give up and admit that they are not able to manage themself and ask white or chinese to manage them.

    October 1, 2010 at 6:56 am |
  4. Robert

    Africa´s problems will never be solved until the people, females as well as males, are educated. But, those in power at every level do not want that because, while good for a country, an educated populace is more difficult to manipulate and control.

    October 1, 2010 at 8:14 am |
  5. physics

    0) CORRUPTION and greed of the leaders and people.

    1) I agree with "bobby' that Africans do not have the tradition of caring for other people. But then we need to ask, a) why don't they have such a tradition? b) can such a tradition be developed? c) is this a cause or an effect of poverty? (i.e., perhaps they don't care for one another because they cannot afford to do so).
    I have found that hospitality is quite low in poorer countries (both 'developed' ones e.g., in Europe and developing ones)

    2) Acceptance of stolen money (from developing countries) by banks in developed countries. I maintain that if an African leader steals his country's money but cannot take it out of that country, he is forced to spend it there and, thus, increase the GDP. However, if he can stash the money in a Swiss account or so, for example, his country goes poorer while the foreign country gets richer.
    Thus, even if corruption is not wiped out, the developed countries can help by refusing to take stolen money from leaders in Africa.

    October 1, 2010 at 9:22 am |
  6. taintking

    I agree with peter, education first and the rest will follow. public schools and a system to keep them functioning is what we should be pouring our money into. the old proverb comes to mind; give a man a a fish and feed him for a day, teach a man to fish......

    October 1, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  7. K D

    Bobby's on to something, My I suggest the Greeks and Italians! Two great and historical leaders!

    October 1, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
  8. biggero

    The reason why Africa is poor is because they have black skin and hair. Most of the earth has white skin and, they think deep down inside that the skin should be rid of the earth and by that element, dont want to trade or do business to keep the black skin alive.

    They are horrified of dark black skin, and would turn a blind eye as if it is an abomination or people of great sin.

    No international trade with white skin countries-No wealth.

    "Now, i know people wont like this comment but, yes, the truth is hurtful similar to the aparthied,slavery, and racial discrimination.

    October 1, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  9. Buulle

    In my oppinion the western democracies are responsible this tragedy, because they allowed the corrupt african leaders to hide the money they have stollen from their people in those counteries

    October 1, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  10. NICHOLAS OMOLO

    Africa is poor because of poor governance and rampant greed starting with the man at the bottom of living standard to the man at the top!

    October 1, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  11. Kevin

    Corruption of greedy leaders who get money from Western powers and leaders who are puppets of the Western power is destroying the countries by the command of the Western powers so that the Western powers can exploit the natural resources of the rich Africa. It is not a question of when they will realize it is a question of when Western powers will let go off Africa. They keep bringing food aid to countries and making the people of Africa "crippled" and depending on the food aid. There is a saying "If you give a poor man a fish he will not learn anything but begging, but if you teach him how to fish he will never be hungry again". What Africa needs is Western powers to get the fuck out of Africa and let them develop by themself!

    October 1, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  12. malouda

    Why is africa poor is a simple question

    All the blame goes to the africian leaders and this has nothing to do with colonialism, they use up all the state money on themselves , families and their party members and they allow their own people to suffer with no remorse

    October 1, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
  13. barbadine

    since I have been living most of my life outside from the western world, I am not even sure that education as it is understood by developped countries is the best solution, I remenber an old tahitian years ago who was saying that school as it's made on the island is not good, well I can say that I didn't agree at the time, but right now I understand more the meaning because children have lost their roots and respect for the ancient, and being an engineer or a secretary in the middle of nowhere is not the answer, ok this example is particular but I don't see the difference with Africa and a berbere lost in the desert, these people knows life better than some of us in the city have lost, well the balance is difficult and the only hope is respect and tolerance which is has nothing to do with politic and power, so here it is the leaders needs more charism, is it an utopy??

    October 1, 2010 at 8:03 pm |
  14. Wael

    The final most important resource for any civilization or country to survive is basically FOOD, everything else come after that. Everyone knows Africa is an extremely rich continent with all diversified sorts of natural RAW resources which are almost totally underutilized....That is NO coincidence, that...is planned.
    It has always been desired to keep Africa as it is for the longest period possible until time comes for it...a quick look at international politics, countries' movement and armies relocations clearly tells where the next fight will take place....Africa.....not necessarily an armed fight, could be economical, social...etc......big countries need more resources to sustain their growth levels and preserve the living standard of their people...This is exactly why Africa had been reserved!!! But again, as mentioned below, corruption, illiteracy rates...etc are acts of African people, not only others to be blamed...Africans take the big part of it. Sure there's a formula, but doesn't seem to be a peaceful one...

    October 1, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  15. rotgak jude danjuma

    the poverty in africa is the worst form in the whole world.we have a society where you see very very rich people that have more than they want and plenty who don't even have what they need.
    with this type of lopsided distribution,poverty will shine brighter than anything.

    October 1, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
  16. Paul

    Africa is poor not because of its leaders or fomer colonies but because of 1 major thing.'Africa does not like its money work for it'eg.you have copper,let money work for you.put up a factory let who need that copper come to you.

    October 2, 2010 at 1:09 am |
  17. Oladipo Akinyemi Omole

    Greetings Robyn.
    The answer to your question is bad leadership.Africa needs good leadership to be able to relate with the rest of the world and to belong to the mainstream of life and take advantage of good policies like the Africa Growth And Opportunity Act.Bad leadership is like an opaque veil that has blinded Africa to positive developments around the world like globalization which is yet to make a full impact due to poor infrastructure i.e lack of reliable and efficient power supply, poor road network which make access to the hinterland impossible and has limited commerce in the past 50 years of development plans and budgeting.Poor leadership.That's it.
    P.S : Greetings to the rest of the team worldwide.Cheers.
    It's me,
    Oladipo

    October 2, 2010 at 2:36 am |
  18. toto

    i believe the white people don't want africa to see the light,all the problems in africa to is coursed by the white people,indirectly the are still ruling africa

    October 2, 2010 at 2:50 am |
  19. lisa

    the white have really delt with blacks all over the world,and they are still doing it till date,racism and looking down on the black race,what ever the white does will not be said but if ia black me do the same every body in the world will know,the white or i will say the western countries,theu know percentage of victims in africa but they neva tell the world about theres,africans dont know what H.I.V is we are not sick but the white brought all this and what the U.S did to GUATAMALA THERE A LOT THAT HAVE BEING DONE TO AFRICA.all the fight and troubles africa is facing today is coursed by the western world.

    October 2, 2010 at 5:17 am |
  20. Catherine Wijnberg

    Poverty begins in the mind. If we believe poverty is our destiny, it will be. In reality one of the most challenging aspects of change/development is to change people's mind set.
    In 'Africa" as in many developing countries with high levels of poverty there is a pervading belief that some will be rich (politicians and well-connected businessmen) and others will be poor (women, rural communities and the masses who have no connections and a pervading sense of helplessness.)
    It is correct that education is the driver of change, because knowledge truly is power. Sadly in South Africa our education portfolio is our greatest embarrassment and this is retarding change.
    In addition if we look at the role-models that youngsters have to follow, are we surprised that things worsen rather than improve?
    1. Corrupt, inept and arrogant politicians with an unbelievable sense of personal entitlement
    2. 'Tenderpreneurs' – their connected friends who gain enormous profit from shady Govt deals
    3. Gangsters & drug dealers that run unchecked in townships
    4. TV that makes outrageous behaviour seem normal
    The solution? Anything that increases personal empowerment and takes power away from "Almighty Government" – including less social support and more economic opportunities for individuals

    October 2, 2010 at 6:36 am |
  21. Damola

    Africa!!! Poverty can never be eradicated from Africa until we abolish the wastefull spending act.
    most of the rich people in Africa will never think of anything positive to contribute to their nations rather there mentality is to party and enjoy with there families and forget there are other people around them suffering. Without this dealt with, Africa will foreveq be poor

    October 2, 2010 at 7:12 am |
  22. Deepwater805

    Why is Africa poor? Three words: Tribalism tribalism tribalism....

    October 2, 2010 at 8:48 am |
  23. afric man

    I saw some comments saying the reason for Africans poor condition is the corrupt leaders, to my opinion these leaders are coming from the people of Africa and if one leader is corrupt then we take him down the problem is these leaders are coming year after year, leader after leader......to me we are poor because we don’t have the mentality to appreciate the value of our resources including the people the country, we are meant to think further away...one cause of this is colonialism...it denounces the true beauty of Africa, then there is this Monster Racism which is in every blood of African, each tribe in Africa thinks its tribe is the world best tribe and they keep fighting with each other to prove that with mean reasons as a cover, and at the end of the day they prove it the other way round killing their people draining the money and resource to bloody war....I think we Africans need to create a free Racist Zone first thing then think of getting out of Poorness....look at Nigeria it is reach with oil but still it is still in the crowd of the poor...the more I say the more I get pissed off I better stop.

    October 2, 2010 at 9:43 am |
  24. Peter

    why do you think many parts of Africa have not realized their potential ? Simple No one cares, Atleast action louder
    All society angents: civil society, community, government, donor and citizens have been on wrong

    What is the point donors, Africa goverment building finest roads, hospitals and schools yet economy is not moving, who will keep this amenities moving, I really think government and donors have to start putting money where it's needed the most; SME'S, for instance in Kenya SME'S on national budget is drop in ocean, so does the rest of Africa. Big Donors Like DFID, very low budget to Small Business, Yes they are doing very nice work but I think the are working very hard in Areas not priority. poor dont need handout they need small boast

    Generally the poor too have to empowered in order to demand justice, in order to engage on governance, I see less of this and more of Handouts & Rhetoric that is exactly why we are here in 1st Place

    What is the secret formula? Is there one? Yes. It not business as usual if we need to make changes,
    all agents of change must think really harder as Author here puts it and make change.

    African countries should be wealthy, as it has resources; Poverty is a man-made thing so we can fix

    http://www.facebook.com/exitpoverty

    October 2, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  25. Daudi Mugisa

    Africa is "poor" because it is rich. God has wonderful plans for Africa which the devil has thwarted for sometime by causing our people and especially our leaders to covenant our people and land to satan and strange gods. Africa will remain poor until the Church of Christ in Africa wakes up and begins to decree, legislate and prophesy spiritually into being God's wonderful plans. God has given the Church the tools to do it. Secondly the Church must begin to view all vocations as being spiritual rather than secular and so begin to train Christians and release into politics and leadership. Thirdly, the idolatrous foundations of our society must be uprooted, torn down and destroyed and new ones laid

    October 2, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  26. mekonen

    Poor leadership is the cancer of Africa. Look at most of the African leaders they been in power for more than 20 years. Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan the list never ends. The west and europian government new all this too well, but who cares it is Africa. Donation never works investment does. And for the investors to invest, Africa needs to be a democracy. The only way i am hoping is throgh time. I am waiting until the cancer generation dies. Hopefully in 20 years.

    October 2, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  27. mokes O. gama

    Africa is poor because of the effects of colonialism and the continuing viciousness of this spectre of colonialism. It has only been 50 years since these fledgling African economies gained their independencies from the shackles that the late Walter Rodney called "Western forces that underdeveloped Africa." Compared to most Western countries which either gained their independencies or were already free by the 18th centuries (The 18th century lasted from 1701 to 1800 in the Gregorian calendar), yet enjoyed a considerable amonut of time in building the empires under free labour through slavery; the comparison that we today draw between Africa and other parts of the world, or the ridicule that we often display in our showcase of Africa, is simply unfair.

    October 2, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  28. Sue

    While I have never visited Africa, and what I know about it has only been gleaned through the media, I have to believe that some fundamental human impulses are at play, which have created some of the sad conditions which seem to exist on the continent.

    I believe that, if you never feel safe, and you don't believe that the concept of fairness exists in the world, you are going to focus almost exclusively on your own needs and wants. This applies to any person at any level of the society. "If I don't take this money, the next guy will, so I'm going to grab it now."

    If I believe that you have to lose for me to win, I will do what I need to do, regardless of your loss.

    I agree that education is important, but I also believe that there has to be a basic social contract, as well. People living in the society have to have some sense of safety. They have to have some sense of security, in terms of being paid for their labors and ownership of property. They have to believe that they have some power to address grievances. Why would I work hard and create something, if there was nothing preventing the government or someone else to simply take it away?

    In the U.S. we still believe that it is within the individual's power to raise him or herself up in the world, but, how quickly would that disappear if we didn't have our existing form of government in place to reinforce it?

    October 2, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  29. Yaya

    Africa is poor, because it is looted. All its resources is extracted to the rich countries.

    October 2, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  30. South African

    A group of officials (black & white) and myself were travelling in a bus to a business workshop last week. Why is Africa poor? .....was the question that was raised. One of the black members told a long story about his travels in Africa on official business. Every so often in his story he would explain that some government official would stop him and he would have to "grease the hand" in order to avoid jail or worse. We all laughed every time he said "and then you must grease the hand" (with a deep voice) because we all knew........and now so do you.

    October 2, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  31. Rowny J Vidot

    Africa is in that situation for many reasons namely: Corruption,laisser faire,greed,incompetence. Also Africa must move out of this mindset of having to rely on outsiders for so-called economic aid,, remember the famous saying " THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH".Africa must learn to fight its way out of this situation and to rely on no one but themselves. I am of the impression that the former colonial masters love that, although they pay lip-service to see Africa move forward. They view Africa as just a "cash cow" to exploit cheap raw materials, and in many ways it is the industrialised world that encourages corruption and yet blame it on Africa. How will Africa get out of this situation ? It wil take time and many generations, I believe that future generations of African leaders will not be as corrupt as the former leaders who were involved in the fight for Independence. Future African leaders will also be much, much smarter, better educated,and with a clear mind not to allow itself to be "hoodwinked" by their former colonial masters.

    October 2, 2010 at 11:31 pm |
  32. Awil

    The fact is Africa is not POOR and we all know it has got more Resources than Western countries but the problem is bad leaders and unless the New Young Generation of African educated in the west world and have seen their Eyes how the west and also China changed their countries Put in to Practice what they Learned i also agree with Mekonen we have to allow Time and to be patient in order to Departure The Dictators and Selfish Politicians but we need to work hard to educate the people of the African Continent because Knowledge is the Solution,

    October 3, 2010 at 12:17 am |
  33. Murf

    I see it every day why africa is poor. While I am down here in Africa I see corupt governments that just take from the country and give very little if anything back to their country. The tribes stick to there own and instead of doing what is right for their country they only care about themselves and their own tribe. Also if you look at the developed nations you do not have rebels and militias. You have to get rid of them in order for progress to develope. There again it is greed from people that want power and money that is making africa poor.

    October 3, 2010 at 1:17 am |
  34. Masimba

    I have always wondered:if the white man never came to africa would WE have not developed?

    October 3, 2010 at 3:39 am |
  35. Mike

    I can't agree more with Peter, Our leaders has taken us backwards instead, kept us slaves because a common saying that a rich man can not be ruled.
    http://www.AfroSocio.com

    October 3, 2010 at 6:52 am |
  36. Ashok

    1) Still other countries are looting the wealth of Africa.
    2) Make it unstable by selling weapons to goons and war lords.

    October 3, 2010 at 11:50 am |
  37. rosy

    hi der,

    A topic close to my heart(Africas sufferings as a whole) cos im dat african who is poor yet my continent is massively blessed,the only thing i hear about my resources is the multinationals comp underdeclaring their profits or my leaders stealing dat which belongs to me as a citizen of dis continent.Our resources need not be a curse indeed they can be a blessing n improve our livelihood.
    But that will not be as long as me n you sits back n hope 4 a hopeville,forget it.
    Im still waiting 4 a rational explanation as to why we would allow the chinese to cloth us instead of doing it 4 ourselves.Our educated leaders,is it hard for them to realize that aid is killing us that we need our own enterprises.tha for every 1doller in aid we pay back 13dollers interest on debt.Dear Africans education is the primary liberator-education sets your mind free,politicians will not educate us incase we question their evil acts,we have to grab it,look at my country[south africa] they saw it fit to give us houses than educatioon,its easy to get a grant than to be helped to start your own business.Look at Nigeria, DRC,Angola,Sudan,Gabon etc.
    How about these rapes in DRC n other parts of the continent.We need to have good quality education,mobilize small businesses,deal with diseases,build infrastructure how about our land thats being sold n leased to foreigners n conflicts. In a nutshell we have to take charge of our lives n develop our continent,polititians cant be trusted.
    Personnally im in favour of removing the Sub-Saharan African
    borders[remember the berlin conference] n trade barriers.
    Im calling on all Africans n friends that we get together n map our way out of these social ills,maybe we can ask Robyn to connect us.

    AFRICANS IT CAN NOT BE BUSINESS AS USUAL-TOGETHER WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL.
    Thank you.
    But this is not for sissies since this thieves wont let go easy.

    October 3, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  38. Ahmed Bouda

    Africa is Poor because the Western Countries divided Africa in national countries( whereas some people where divided in 2 or 3 or more countries where conflicts began.( SEE CONGO, SOEDAN, ETC).

    The GOLD, DIAMONDS, TIMBER, COPPER, FISH , OIL where does it goes? TO USA EUROPE AND CHINA.

    They bribe the corrupt governments and they take what they want.
    Thats why they dont want democracy for Africa or Arab countries.

    When the people reign themselves its over for Europe and USA!!!

    The Best Solution is to get rid off these national idea, evry human being should be free to travel wherever he wants to find a better life.

    Its better when black, white and yellow live together.

    Africa needs the white and yellow and and white and yellow needs Africa. WIN_WIN.

    Peace upon You

    October 3, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  39. James Ohene Sarpong

    Africa's poverty is our own making; we are just not prepared to move forward in anyway. Politically, socially and economically, we are just beating about the bush. Our leaders are as corrupt as anything and they woefully lack foresight. Instead of using the available resources to the best of the country, they just plunder them. What has worsened the situation is the growing believe in juju, witchcraft and sorcery. Those who do not believe in these, also use Christianity to do worse things. In Ghana, many pastors are as corrupt as the politicians. Until there is a radical change for the best, it does not matter how much aid is pumped into the continent. This is the only continent which does not think of using science to solve its problems. Our leaders can talk a lot but there is very little action from them.

    October 3, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
  40. Talky

    Africa is poor because it is a continent of 'wishful thinkers'. Africans need to step beyond spirituallity and ACT to improve the lot of the common man.
    Africans should condemn corrupt leaders and making governance difficult for them.
    Africans should use their civic rights responsibly and vote wisely in election years.
    Leadership has failed, but the western world helps to perpetuate poverty in Africa by offering a vault for stolen money.

    October 3, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
  41. SOKOBA

    Why Africa is poor? The answer is quite simple. Just two major causes. The first major cause is the illiteracy rate in almost all the countries of the continent. It is said to be more than 60%. The uneducated populace doesn't have any idea of the stakes of this world from political, economical, social and diplomatic points of view. The second major cause is that most of the african countries have had the misfortune to have incompetent fellows as heads of state just after the independence. These incompetent so-called presidents suited the western countries. They just took advantage of their ignorance by manipulating them to better loot their countries. For decades, those poor leaders worked to enrich themselves and the western countries. they had no plan for their people. Education was not a priority. Well educated people were a threat to them and their mentors. For three decades it's been the one-party system tinted with embezzlement, corruption, political murders, etc.
    In the final analysis, Africa is poor mainly because of poor leadership and high rate of illiteracy.

    October 3, 2010 at 8:50 pm |
  42. Sidi

    I agree that We, Africans have serious problems (tribalism, hunger, Illiteracy, etc) and super powers are taking advantage of these problems because they need our ressources so they don't care about our poverty.

    October 3, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
  43. Amegah Richard

    We are poor because we have had a series of self seeking,selfish set of leaders.Ghana is well endowed with natural resources but for the ill conscience of our leaders we as a country have never benefited from these array of resources.Indeed Africa is a disgrace to the entire planet.

    October 3, 2010 at 10:05 pm |
  44. edwi

    Reference to naive comment,Be mindful of what you say in taking reasonsof why Africa remain in poverty despite her potential rich in minerals and human resources,To eradicate poverty in Africa the government of respective Africa countries will have to invest in the people.

    October 3, 2010 at 11:13 pm |
  45. Randoms

    I have heard a theory – I cannot produce a link for those who ask, but it is plausable.
    The horn of Africa was a very significant and strategic listening/watching point for the US military. They needed friendlies in the African gvmt for freedom to gather information. This goes back pre-WWII era, and the "parachuted" officials never cared about infrastructure or education, just looking at making sure the payoffs were in place. The missionaries didn't help, convincing the poor that birth control was evil and they would burn in hell. So they had 8 kids, and hoped 2 would survive to take care of them in old age.
    Remember, this is IMO

    October 3, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
  46. Kenyan James

    I have come to know one thing in this life. It does not matter what you are or where you are but where you have set your mind to go or the goals you have in life. I don't think us African have done a good job in setting goals for our countries. We are learning to do it and soon we are going to master the trick. It should not be lost that democracy and country's governance are new vocabularies to us. If you look at the developed countries, they have trying to master the trick for years. European and Asian history is dotted by wars, killing, domination, serfdom, colonialism and all this things which we are seeing in Africa. A time is coming when African will say enough is enough, we want leaders who deliver development not tribal kinsmen. Kenyan are leading the way, they said no to stalinist Moi and they are going to do it again in 2012. The more the citizen get enlightened about their rights as citizen and to demend good service from the civil servant then, there will be some change. As for now Africa will remain the poster child on what bad govenance is, but it wil not be perpetual.

    October 4, 2010 at 6:38 am |
  47. Alternatively

    Many people come on here and say Africa is poor because of poor leadership and corruption or lack of education or because of colonialism. These ideas miss the big issue – CULTURE. Culture derives from several factors and leads to eveything else. The problem with African cultures is that there is a lack of respect for community values. Corrupt individuals earn money without work, reducing the overall productivity and standard of living.

    Africa is no longer governed by foreigners and its leaders were not appointed by foreigners. They came from the people they rule. They rule corruptly because that is the culture they live in. And THAT culture is very hard to change.

    People evolve through genetics and genetics underpins the evolution of cultural memes. Genetic evolution is dependent on the environment. Cooler countries are generally richer because, from eons ago, harsh winters (esp. ice age) drove people to develop cooperative cultures and methods to survive. Genes supporting this therefore survived. Cooperation generates greater wealth than individual pursuit. Much of Africa is warm with good rains and soils (the Sahara was much smaller once), so there has been less pressure to develop community-wide cooperation. These differences may not be large, but they are large enough to make it hard for Africa to escape its plight. Education and well-targetted investment from outside may help Africa to gain some semblance of wealth while avoiding the long evolutionary histories experienced elsewhere. But, it remains to be seen whether outsiders can find the right path to bring in these changes... So far, it hasn't gone well.

    October 4, 2010 at 8:22 am |
  48. asian outsider

    I have a theory. I think one of the reasons Africa is poor is because of it's geographical location. Most of the poorest countries in Africa are in landlocked regions and near the equator. Study the implications. Most civilizations are built around waterways. This facilitates easy trading with other society or civilization, whether trading goods, knowledge, technology, or culture. This in turn contributes to the improvement of the society. Whereas in landlocked regions (most but not all), trading is not very easy (which contributes to ethnocentrism). Traveling would be very difficult especially going from north to south or south to north. The climate would vary greatly whereas from east to west or vice versa, the climate doesn't differ greatly. Furthermore, the equator factor also contributes a lot since it's very hot so the region might be very arid. Anyway, that's just one of the many reasons.

    October 4, 2010 at 9:10 am |
  49. denim

    Africa is poor because Africans have poor business skills. To propel growth and prosperity, a country needs talented businessmen and entrepreneurs. It is not the natural resources that is the engine of growth. It it the human talent. Just look at countries without natural resources whose economies are growth by leaps and bounds – Korea , Singapore , Israel , Taiwan , Hongkong. These countries have one common thing – talented and hardworking business people.

    October 4, 2010 at 9:10 am |
  50. Iyke

    Africa problems is very complex and partly caused by the external intrusion. African leader are i.e fools or something similar, but Western powers cannot exempt it self from the cause of African problems. A look at many imbalance agreements in the world's institutions such as IMF and WTO will attest to this fact.
    Development is spawned by needs thus Western nations became the first to be industrialized, However like individuals, every nation has their own unique advantages over another, West has the technological know-how, while Africa has the raw materials and human resources. What African leaders need to do is to use what they have to get what they don't have but, as i said, they are fools or something worse, therefore we should not entirely blame the west about our failure. Every economic relationship is a survival of the fittest, hence no right thinking leader should expect any free gift from other nations. In the same hand the West should stop the hypocritical noise about helping Africa because, it's not in their agenda to make Africa another food producer but to remain consumers.
    We all know that an African leader can becomes bad only when he/she disagree with any of the influential western powers. Truth is, Africa is poor because the west want them to remain poor.

    October 4, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  51. ndazilepo

    Afria is poor beacause the political leaders only think about themselves and their familie. As long as the the majority of people in african countries do not pay taxes and made to understand that the money in the state coffers belongs to every citizen. The poor will always end up paying the price.

    October 4, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  52. bernard

    The reason why Africa is poor is that ,because we have a bad leaders
    and they are all selfish .

    October 4, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  53. Robert Neo

    The world should be proud of Africa. Muhammed Ali, Tiger Wood, Obama, the black sportmen, all the Hollywood black actors, black singers, business people and politicians : they are all doing very well, although they are of African race and black.

    October 4, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  54. Anslem E

    Why is Africa poor ... 2 words! Divide and conquer. By race, ideology and religion. Africa will have no option but to become a vast agricultural resource for the world so that the west can focus on better things like exploring space. By race: simply use media to show how despicable, uncivilized, disease ridden and always in need of a hand out. Religion: that one is all too obvious. Ideology: get rich Africans to believe the poor Africans are waisting resources by being alive. Then in turn the west will eventually come up to the conclusion that Africa is just pulling the rest of the world down. However no matter what say, do or label, people who have lived anywhere in Africa know there is something very special about it and in due time will remind the world why civilization began on the continent.

    October 4, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  55. bernard - spain

    Beacuse we have poor leadership.That's why Africa

    October 4, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  56. Markus Birenheide

    When the white men set Africa free again they made sure to left nothing of worth behind. Through the years of colonization everything from Gold to religious sanctuaries were taken away into the west.Nowadays instead of givin the Africans a chance to start again from top, America Russia and Europe send guns and all kind of weapons to Africa, makin big business with war and killing millions of people. If white men never set their foot on this wonderful continent it would not be the 3rd world today, but the 1st. And if we today would just leave the africans alone they also would be in a better condition.
    For me it's just very sad to see what we did to these people. And the worse political situation in African countries today is just a result of foreign actions in the past. I as a young german, who studied african history longtime, just can say: "shame upon us all"

    October 4, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  57. shecky

    africa is poor because they place belief in a monetary system. they have many resources which they do not develop, simply because it is costly.the information to create an economy not based on monetary transfer is available. research 'resource based economy' africa would do well to research that topic, it is available in many different languages.

    October 4, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  58. Ezekiel Jerry C.

    I have been waiting and searching 'forever' to find someone who shares such opinion with me. Africans should realize that colonialism is history and should stop wasting their time blaming the North, like it have been said 'seek African solution for Africa's problems' the perfect solution is leadership at all levels. Even in the classrooms of Africa, today, corruption and nepotism is the order of the day. Africa really need to wake to the truth that they are the cause of their present predicament.

    October 4, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  59. Joel Okoth-Ogola

    Africa has not Achieved its potential because of a number of factors coming together to form the imperfect storm.
    It starts with African’s nature of accepting and welcoming very easily. We allowed the colonialists to easily move in and not just capture slaves, introduce new cultures and religions but also change our view of what success means.
    From that point forward, Africa has been fighting from a trail position to rediscover its identity. When The West handed over power to African, they left behind a continent torn, confused and in disarray with Leaders who had very little power. That led to a power struggle between the Leaders, Businessmen and the Military.
    Today Most African Countries are presided over By Ex Warlords Using Drug Cartel mentality and Drug Cartels need a Ghetto Environment to thrive.
    Until we as Africans go back to the basics and reinvent ourselves as Africans, Stop depending on aid from the west in Exchange for bad economic deals, focus on African oriented Education, start inventing and manufacturing products in Africa, Elect Educated leaders starting from the grassroots level based on track record not bribes. Reward Leaders who show a willingness to sacrifice while in office and also Promote individuals for their hard work based on merit and not nepotism.
    Till then, the brightest African Talent will always find ways to escape to the West and without the Brightest Talent, Africa will never be the best.

    October 4, 2010 at 11:02 pm |
  60. theodora papanikolaou

    i think it is unfair to fully blame the white man or the european man because if africa was capable of moving forward on her own she wouldhave taken the chance to prove herself after countries gained their freedom.
    for example u see countries like libya that yes have moved forward and algeria after gaining independence however they still depend on foreign investment and foreign companies to move further forward.
    i think also culture has a huge effect on this. if u look at a country like egypt culture encourages reproduction so big populations dont exactly help to improve poverty and because no laws can be inflicted as done in china for example due to relgious reasons then egypts population will continue to grow and the situation will get worse.
    and yes it is like mentioned in the article alot to do with leaders. u take the egyptian president hosni mubarak who has been in power for many years now and has simply made the richer riccher and poorer poorer. yes it is true egypt has completely changed in the past 15 years or so back when only johnsons shampoo was available now with foreign investors things are improving but more so for the rich.
    this doesnt answer why africa remains poor it is a mere subject of discussion in regards to the subject.

    October 4, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
  61. DeeMan

    Why are africans poor? The poverty of Africa is not as a result of lack of quality education or being uncaring towards one another. Poverty in Africa is a state of the mind which has been passed down from generations to generations; yes it is more than 50 years old. When the firs first sets of human resources were carried off into slavery this left alot of Africa vunerable to those whom we know as the present super power, since this was devastating to Africa itself, Africans never recovered from it. Slavery came in, then slavery through colonialism (that is, slavery in your own country) was introduced because slave trade was abolished. Africa has been at the receiving end of the long whip of super powers for along and every she tries to get up they kick her down again. First was slavery, then colonialism, now the present day conspiracies. The question should be rephrased "when will Africa be delivered from the hands of those holding her in bondage"? We know of a truth that some western nation by proxy still determine who should rule some African countries for their own selfish gains

    This history of slavery left Africans with a serious defect in reasoning because it is seen as a jungle and thus survival of the fittest. So every African presidential rogue, thieving governors or local government chairman are products of the "Jungle Mentality", deliver them (Africa) from this and she shall be free.
    Education is not the key to development but enlightenment. We have so many but unenlightened people in government or running for government but that does not mean I am against education as a matter of fact it has received the least attention from every government in Africa (maybe with little exception).

    The little knowledge i have in cocoa farming says, if a cocoa tree is diseased it is cut down else it spreads. A word they say is enough for the wise.

    October 4, 2010 at 11:53 pm |
  62. israel imole atanda

    africa is not poor because we lack caring for each other,but who do u want to care for when even you have not care for urself even the bible says love ur neighbor has u love urself but not more than urself,and moreso africa is not poor simply becoz we are not eduationally wise but one thing i want us to realized is that even thou the educated once,dat we look up too and called our leaders what have they done to profit their country.my fellow brothers africa is not poor based on not chalante attitude of caring,or eduactional wise but africa is poor because our leaders has choosen to make africa poor.africa has it all everything u can mention on the surface of the earth but it's not materializing becoz of the greedy leaders we had they are after there pocket and not the intrest of the people and not looking forward to the betterment of the country,so with this few view of my i strongly believe that africa will still become a place to be no matter what we are facing rite now or years to come,but someday,somehow,somewhere, we will stand again and never be shaken again.THANKS

    October 5, 2010 at 3:43 am |
  63. Justice Denco

    Although leaving in peace has never been one of the characteritics of humanity ,and we know this , but the major problem of africa is the government ,most countries in africa call them selves a democratic country while we are not. africans doesn't really know the meaning of democracy why because africa is too corrupt the (Government);.so on that issue we can never see the new ocean unless we 'll have the cuorage to sight the shore .

    October 5, 2010 at 5:23 am |
  64. Captain Z

    Africa is poor because of tribolism, greed, selfishness, self centredness corruption & lack of proper governance. The day all this poison will end then all shall be fine.

    October 5, 2010 at 6:21 am |
  65. Odhiambo Onyango

    Dr. Creg to me is a silly man. He seriously lack analytical capacity and when he talks, he basks in the falsely created white superiority. How can he say visa to Africa is expensive? Does he know the humiliation an African passes when coming to America or Europe the lands of small gods who tthink because of their color they are more human beings than others? Europe and America are the main cause of African's underdevelopment. They suck trillions of money from Africa yearly, impose friendly leaders and either sanction or kill those who stand against them, sponsor conflicts and impose unfair trade treaties on them.

    October 5, 2010 at 7:00 am |
  66. DALLOW

    africans are poor due to the lack of knowlegde.if they were to know what they ought to know,they will never be poor another day

    October 5, 2010 at 8:51 am |
  67. Robert malual

    Why is africa poor? i'll tell why cause if you seen the trouble
    are getting too much over you head the best thing you can do
    just go to bed and have a deep sleep.

    October 5, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  68. Duke Kebaso

    Education Education! as some of you stress is not the answer to solve poverty in Africa am sorry!!!!!! Today in Africa from down south to up North we have sooo many educated african kids with all sorts of degrees in various fields but cannot get jobs. The reason behind this is due to the western multinational companies that don't want to invest in Africa but would rather harvest african resources from cocoa beens, cola nuts, palm oil, oil, cotton, mining, tea, coffee, fisheries etc etc at uncompetitive prices then ship to their countries to keep their people at work. This is the likes of Cudbry's, BP, Shell, Mars, Unilever, Nestley, designer clothing companies, supermarket chains have all been exploiting Africa for soo long and will never stop or think of giving Africa a fair price for their resources that westerners wont do without! The G8 meetings wont achieve anything either coz they are led by the exploiters themselves.
    It is good to have an educated people in Africa but all the Doctors, Engineers, Programmers, IT guys and nurses thta i know ra working in Europe and US which has also led to africa's brain drain i myself being one of them working for an Aerospace Company in Europe as an aeronatic systems engineer, got a job right from the University due to my niche skills! Am i helping Africa grow? NO!!!!!
    The answer to africa's problems is to develop a strong market within themselves, trade with one another coz we have the numbers collectively and form a strong union then trade with the far east coz they are better than the westerners! We have traded with western comanies for soo long and we have not gotten anywhere but i think the kind of partnership i am seeing right now with China is much better coz the chinese are giving something back!

    October 5, 2010 at 9:47 am |
  69. Khandaker Mustaque Ahamed

    There are corruptions in everywhere so, corruptions along with ethnic clash and governments policy specially over education, agriculture and minerals are behind the poverty of Africa. Direct foreign investment is vital to stimulate all the sectors but government must take the right policy to attract foreign investment not drive them away like Zimbabwe.

    October 5, 2010 at 10:09 am |
  70. samuel Kiggundu

    I think the problem of poverty in Africa comes from Africans themselves, alot of things are happening in Africa by Africans and you wonder what is wrong with us Africans, take an example of our so called war lords, they do not mind how many people die, whow much enfrastructure the they are destroying as long as the get what they want, Coruption is a virus that is finishing our land, they make roads which lasts only for days after borrowing loads of cash from western countries, the dependance syndrome is also a big problem choosing to depend of money from IMF, World Bank and other which I personaly think they are keeping us in slaverly. there is no reason why We Africans die of malalia when it can be stoped for good but because the WHO wants to make money out of it we will sufer till the end of the earth, we are suffering because of evil choices of our leader and those who think they own this world. we africans are suffering because of those who think we must be under them for ever so they use our usable leader to keep us fighting instead of thinking together we can better the lives of our people.

    October 5, 2010 at 10:26 am |
  71. bizumo Joseph

    Africa will never develop because our original religion was destroyed,it is only those who have this inherent vehicle can prosper.europe:christianity,India :budhaor hindu,arabs:islam,Japan:budha and China:buddha
    note:europe and associates :Americas

    October 5, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  72. keyboard

    the very reason africa is poor is because of a "poverty'mindset or must i say a 'begger' mindset we are preoccupied with recieving rather than giving

    October 5, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  73. Ekemenjeru

    Hey men Africa isn't poor at all!!!!!! Africa has got every resouce in its ground from Gas, Oil, Diamonds, uranium, and all sorts of minerals, cash crops such as tea, coffe, sisal, cocoa, rubber, palm oil, great wildlife etc. WHAT AFRICA LUCK IS FAIR TRADE POLICIES WITH THE WESTERN COUNTERPARTS SIMPLE!!!!!!!
    Infact democracy has improved alot in Africa and the era of warloads is slowly finishing, that is why we have stability in Angola today, Mozambique, Nigeria, Ghana, Algeria, Libya, Uganda, etc . Africa just need FAIR TRADE by western government eliminating trade barriers for fair play ground and stop exploitation!!!!!

    October 5, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
  74. Sai

    Poverty in Africa is a big problem caused by ourselves (Africans) and the developed countries (mainly the G8). I believe African does not have access to markets the way the developed countries have. Efforts on aid should be directed to empowering Africans and then creating markets for African products. Educations alone will not work.
    Mindset of Africans need to change so as mindset of Americans and Europeans need to change about Africa. They should learn to trust an African and give them time to grow. Change in Europe happened over a period of time but they come in and demand change within a number of years

    I STRONGLY BELIEVE AFRICA will grow economically when world markets will be opened to Africa in the way they are opened to the G8 nations. Don't always tell us what to do but perfect our ideas so that we own them and we will be proud of them

    This space is too small for my thoughts thanks!

    OPEN UP MARKETS FOR AFRICA!!!!!!!

    October 5, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
  75. Patrick Ofosu

    I perfectly agree with Greg Mills, he is 100% right, African leaders have turn themselves to beggars, moving moving from one developed country to another without taking measures to end poverty. They do go beg for these money to satisfy their pocket and their greed. And at end the purpose of that money begged for will not be met.
    It is high time Africa leaders torn to the line of great leader and the first president of great nation Ghana Osagyfo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who was over throw by the help CIA due to His vision to liberate the Africa continent. Africa need level ground into the world market. Africa need to price its own goods and western world should stop dictating to Africa. Also they should stop influencing Africa leaders with money, which is the weak point of Africa leaders, and rather give them level ground to operate and access the world market.

    October 5, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
  76. Yusuf

    Corruption, poor leadership, and poor etics is why Africa is poor .

    October 5, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  77. santosh

    Very nice discussion, I believe that more poor people are living in Asia than in Africa, India is classic example of how poor people have so many problems, In India the big bustling cities have covered the poverty very well, In village level the poverty is huge and it is very difficult to find even medical facilities anywhere, for example even in good comparitively developed places like Andhra Pradesh there is no hospital available at mandal level which can provide quality treatment, it is so difficult country ... Much much similar situation there comparable to africa or even worst....

    October 5, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  78. Belmir Bellahsène

    Certes, on ne peut pas dire que seuls les colonialistes sont responsables de la sitution qui sévit en Afrique. Mais de l'autre côté qu'ont-ils fait donc jusqu'à ce jour les anciens colonisateurs si ce n'est de profiter de l'etat létal du continant en enfonçant toujours plus ses dirigeants dans la corruption; initiée et encouragée par eux afin d'assouvir leurs appétits insassables. A quoi bon citer des exemples sur ces thèmes d'histoires de grand'mères à dormir les bébés,si eux-mêmes ( pays de droits de l'homme et de grandes théories sur l'humanisme ,etc...) le pratiquent, eux légalement et conformément aux lois à domicile....mairie de Paris.... Alors de quoi parle-t-on, au fait? Et si l'on parlait de globalisation?

    October 5, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  79. tumi

    For many years we have been told that colonialism, imperialism you name it as the sole cause of poverty in africa. while this could be true in the early years after independence but surely, what would you say 4 decades later! Still we point our fingers to the nations that colonised us? We have leaders who lacked vision, leaders who are corrupt, leaders who are keen to take the national cake for their own good, leaders who endevour to build an empire that is not accountable to the africans, leaders who sees donor community as their saviour, leaders who do not want sit down and solve basic problems facing africans from the african perspective. Africa as a continent is endowed with so many resources that can turn around economies of african countries and this dream will come to pass only when we take a courageous and bold step not to marathon to the community for help. we have the key to make africa a better place, we have the key to open a new chapter for africa etc...very few african presidents have realised that this is possible and am of the view Kagame is an example of the visionary leader that africa need right now.

    October 5, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  80. tasha

    I never really understood y the country is so poor whrn you have somany rich peolpe living there . all u see in the U>S is send money to Africa to help clothe and feed the people . Then you get on line and see on the CNN website a banquet and it states rich people in Africa . tell me ythis is your country and you dont want to help your on people.
    Then you see all these people running aroung with guns . The money is coming from some where . The goverment got money to give to these people for guns , then they got money to help the people . It some where . Thats y i beleive they are POOR . ITs called MISS USE OF MONEY.

    October 5, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  81. jbrown

    africa is poor because whites want it that way to keep stealing their gold and diamonds!

    October 6, 2010 at 3:41 am |
  82. Stephen

    I will say,the sun has destroy some of the brain cells,which have made
    we the Africans to think diffentely.We are self centered.One want him or her alone to be rich so that he's respected.

    October 6, 2010 at 7:39 am |
  83. Stephen

    Moreso the white are using psychology to divide and rule.So that they take all the resources of Africa to their respective countries.Manipulating things behind the scene for their interest.

    October 6, 2010 at 7:43 am |
  84. ayandeji

    Before we talk about poor or poverty, let us first look into 3 most important things in life..what are these 3 most important things,,,,1...FOOD....2....CLOTH...3.....CHELTER....which of this 3 things is missing in Africa...nearly none...but poverty is all around the world..but its quite obvious in Africa due to the fact that all the mon ey thats is meant to provide certain things to ease life for the citizen,...is lying in europe and America...so how can such country care ior manage poverty. Another thing is poor or rich has no definite concentration of defination..you can be poor with money and you can be rich with knowledge...you can be poor with knowledge about writing and reading but you can be rich with the knowledge of farming...so poor is n othing to me..no man is poor on earth.-.....all men are born with one inportant rich idea or knowledge..but Africa fail to discover those people because of their capitalist mentality,...Only the fucking rich thiefs will get all what they need...another thing is innequality...the is the device that shows the big difrrent between those who has money and those who has no money....NO MAN IS POOR

    October 6, 2010 at 8:15 am |
  85. Henry

    Africa was plundered by the colonialists. They plundered its minerals, wildlife and its people. Cities were built oversees out of the gold, diamonds, iron, asbestos etc from Africa. They created conflicts amongst ourselves some of them which became so deadly. When Africans die killing each other, they get some satisfaction out of it coz like vultures, they will pick up the spoils of war. We can talk about overspending governments and corruption. these terms only rear their heads in Africa. I have never had the Queen being accused of overspending. One robe of the queen can clear a number of debts in some African countries. Our poverty in Africa was created. And we are so stuck in it until and unless we do away with anything of a colonial legacy and put our own purposes into operation.

    October 6, 2010 at 9:08 am |
  86. Ejagham Woman

    Africa is poor on multiple levels, with each level feeding on each other and complicating the poverty. African Countries are artificial entities, formed by foreigners and imposed on existing communities and cultures. The African people are still in the process of becoming citizens of this amalgamated structure called Nigeria, Cameroon, Gambia e.t.c. So, the governments of these countries are floating entities devoid of the mandate of the general population and therefore lacking any sense of responsibility to the plight of the people. This lack of responsibility has bred a gross lack of accountability as well. So when government is viewed as a giant pot of gold without an owner, the 'representatives' become custodians on their own behalf and without remorse and with gross short sightedness, they loot and stash in foreign economies. There isn't enough space here to analyze why Africa is still poor in the midst of plenty.

    October 6, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  87. Issaya

    The bigest liability to Africans is their skin colour. History shows that no nation developed alone. Development came through trading with other nations. Racism ensures that Africans are always treated differently by other people, not as equals. Whenever relationships is established between Africans and other nations, it is extremely exploitative to the disadvantage of Africans because they are not thought to be trully human beings by others. Africans were few in number, therefore trading among themselves could not deliver them out of poverty.

    The only hope for Africa is the rising number of Africans which will make trading among African themselves meaningfful commercial enterprise that will drive Africans out of their poverty. When trading among African is large and meaningful, other nations will no longer afford to neglect trading with Africans.

    October 6, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  88. ekemenjeru

    Tumi,
    President Kagame himself is a dictator!!!!! have you been watching African news lately? Kagame does not want anyone to challenge him try to take power off him!!! He himself is one of those african war lords. Do you know how he came to power???? Kagame was never democratically elected to power but rather as a rebel leader they shot down former president Habryimana's plane that resulted in the two presidents of Burundi and Rwanda by then death that led to the mother of all genocides the world has never nessed before – up to a million Rwandies tutsis and hutus died. He took over power by force and he has worked hard to turn the tied over to the Hutus now. In Rwanda today if you are not a Tutsi you wont get anywhere, he has basically managed to build a kind of apartheid instead of uniting both tribes. Kagame has been heavily implicated as the sole cause of the genocide due to his role in the assasination of the then president.
    Please try to understand the history before commenting here please!! Rwanda could have another genocide watch out!!!!!

    October 6, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
  89. cimarronbaby

    When Jesus returns Africa and all the rest of the world will be free and blessed. He will be here very soon to bring relief to the poor and the faithful. All opressors and ungodly people, whether rich or poor, black or white, will face the vengeance of God.

    October 6, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  90. jakes

    Agreeably, the poverty in Africa could be attributed to bad leadership but this bad leadership is the effect of colonialism, neo-colonialism and the great evil called globalization which is a tool for economic imperialism. These are the fundamental problems which has brought about bad leadership.

    Unfortunately, the ball has been set rolling, and it may never stop rolling. Africa as a whole will continue to be poor until eternity. Imagine a situation where a country has US$140 million in a bank in New York and still goes about borrowing money from world bank, what do u called that.

    Unfortunately, infrastructural development is not the biggest problem of Africa, but many African nation get huge loans each year to finance this. It is just material poverty or ideological poverty?

    October 6, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
  91. Naa

    Africa is poor due to several reasons: the first that comes to mind is our CORRUPT and GREEDY leaders. Until the leaders we elect realize that they are in power not for their own stomachs but for the well being of the nation at large, we cannot go anywhere. We need leaders with foresight like Osagyefo Dr K. Nkrumah. If he had been allowed to remain in power long enough, Ghana would be like Korea is today.
    Instead of using the vast wealth endowed on the continent to better its citizens, they would rather allow themselves be lured by excessive greed to sell their nations' wealth to the "west" and thus become their puppets. What has Nigeria done with its oil wealth for the past 40 years? very, very, sad indeed, compare this to the Middle East oil-rich countries.
    They would rather siphon the country's wealth into a foreign bank instead of investing in education and infrastructure (for example), thereby creating jobs and improving the standard of living of its citizens. NO, they'll rather prefer a "one man show" where they are at the centre of worship!!!
    Charity begins at home!!!
    Honestly i cannot understand how one can "spoil" his own home and help someone else develop theirs!!! It is utter madness!!! .... enough for now....

    October 6, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
  92. Michael Geria

    The fault is with leadership, the ethics of it. There is no passion to work for the community, to make a difference for generations to come. There is no we, just I. I as an individual, I as an immediate family.
    I also think the many cultures/tribes feeds to this selfish thinking. People identify themselves immediately as of a particular clan, tribe etc. and as such see these divisions all the time, making them selfish. So when there is a project, a leader will throw away all reason and take it to his personal division(family, tribe, region) first before he can give it to the nation as a whole.
    With this attitude, progress is not easy.

    October 6, 2010 at 9:04 pm |
  93. Bola Owoade

    Africa's problem goes further than education to illiteracy. Let me explain, in developed countries a lot of people who did not pass through a higher education system can read and understand the news. I live in London and what shocks me is that when I get on a train in the morning, almost everyone is reading something, even if it is a silly novel or free junk newspaper. What I have come to understand is that it is difficult to deceive a population of people who can understand mainstream politics at a basic level because they can understand the news and read papers. This is also the reason why people in the western world who are not university graduates can set up complex ventures such as technology businesses. For instance you have people who did not go past secondary school setting up software companies because they have a certain level of literacy which means they can read and understand certain things. Unfortunately in Africa we don't have that. On average about 70% of the population are illiterate, can't understand basic principles and this continually perpetuates corruption and terrible leadership because illiteracy breeds gullibility which is a consistent source poverty.

    October 6, 2010 at 9:52 pm |
  94. Oberton

    Still the most beautiful continent on the planet! And for years to come!

    October 7, 2010 at 3:19 am |
  95. I love Whale meat and livein Japan

    Colonialism??? what a joke! this goes back thousands and thousands of years. possibly to the beginning of man! Man was born in Africa. That is where we all started. Then some of the humans felt the need to leave Africa. To explore the world. To do and be something great. They went all over the world. We have seen GREAT empires in china, Japan, India, the Middle East, South America and part of North America and of course Europe. The Egyptian empire is basically part of the middle east, so what empire, what great ruler, what great turn of history happened in Africa. NONE!!! The people who stayed in Africa didn't want to leave, they didn't want to challenge themselves. They never had to adapt to the world around them. They never had to create anything new. They just wanted to stay where they are and keep life the same. And it has been the same for tens of thousands of years. It is a cycle. one that started when the first Africans choose NOT to leave Africa. don't believe me. Look at the wealthy people and successful people of today. They travel, they see the world. They try to experience new things. How many great men can you name stay in the same city they are born and never leave and change the world? none!

    October 7, 2010 at 7:08 am |
  96. The Cza

    Greg has a point its the leadershp that has to take the initiative to dig our beautiful continent out of this mess.selfishness and all these atrocities committed against humanity wont take us to Glory were we are perfectly designed for.leadership is to blame.thes guys should lay aside their hunger for wealth and focus on developing tis continent of immense potential.

    October 7, 2010 at 7:21 am |
  97. Adam

    How many great ideas (inventions, mathematical discoveries, theories of governence and organization of people and resources, etc.) originate from precolonial Subsaharan Africa? How come there have never been any so-called great civilizations in Subsaharan Africa? Have you ever heard of any historic large organizations of people in Subsaharan Africa into, say, mighty armies?

    You have the Indus Valley culture in prehistoric India. You have the Inca and Maya civilizations in America. You have Mesopotamia in what today is Iraq. You have the ancient Greece. You have the Roman empire. You have the great Chinese dynasties.

    Have any African cultures developed great boats, learned navigation and sailing, made high-quality swords, jumped into these boats, and gone to new areas of the word to trade, fight, and conquer like, say, sparcely populated ancient Scandinavia did?

    The eurasian continent, in both east and west, is full of inventions, mathematical discoveries, organizations of people – simply a myriad of ideas that human development and standard of living is dependent on.

    The Chinese and other ancient eastern cultures have provided Europe with silk, pasta, chinaware, the recipee for gun powder, the compass, the idea of paper and writing on it (along with Egypt and the Middle East with its papyrus rolls – Egypt is NOT Subsaharan Africa). Ancient Arabs, Greeks, and others have made mathematical discoveries. Pyramids have been built, kingdoms large as continents have been maintained and administered, clever engineering have come up with all sorts of mechanical solutions for thousands of years.

    True, like in other places of the world, Africans discovered, for example, how to make iron, and there are probably lots of great ideas having been discovered there, but it cannot compare with the number of human ideas and implementations of those ideas that have taken place for thousands of years from China in the east to Europe in the west.

    The truth is that much of the economic development that has taken place in parts of Africa has and still is completely dependent on european (and other) settlers (of the last 400 years or so). Africa is NOT hopeless, and Africa will move forward – especially with Chinese investments – but there is no particluar reason to expect that subsaharan Africa is suddenly going to explode in a myriad of ideas that can move the continent forward with the pace of, say, today's China (after it got rid of its communism as an economic system).

    I sincerely hope that I am totally wrong. Please, convince me! No, better yet, Africa, show me what you can do!

    October 7, 2010 at 9:04 am |
  98. ms. toni kamau

    Mr Bobby – I must emphatically disagree with your ignorant, baseless statenet "African do not have a tradition of caring for themselves, ergo, they are poor?"

    Africans have traditionally been communal in nature, remember the phrase "it takes a village to raise a child?" that's an African adage!
    We always cared for the poor, the sick, the hungry in our past societies. Art the time polygamy existed to ensure that as many women as possible had men to take care of them. Obviously, now polygamy does not make sense for economic and cultural reasons.

    Africa is poor because of lack of access to equal opportunity in a capitalistic world. We have disproportionate amounts of our natural resources in the hands of the elite. This is as a result of historical injustices and corruption.
    Education is also not accessible to most. But some governments are doing something – e.g Kenya, where they have free primary education so that the poor have access to education – which will give them a better chance at negotiating this capitalistic world, where your brian and social networks are the two most important resources anyone can have.

    Ofcourse, leadership is to blame, but so are poor systems and constitutions where dictatorship is virtually legal by law.

    But Africa is waking up, we have a growing number of middle-class people becoming more actively involved in questioning the leadership, we are innovating – ushahidi.org came from Kenya – it has helped during world wide disasters.

    So don't bet on Africa staying poor forever – we are waking up and will rise!

    October 7, 2010 at 9:08 am |
  99. SONOSAMI

    WHY ONLY FOCUS AT VILLAGES IN AFRICA? ALSO FOCUS ON VILLAGES IN INDIA, PAKISTAN PHILLIPINNE ETC AND SEE WHAT POVERTY MEANS. DONT COMMENT WHEN YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN TO AFRICA. BLACK IS BLACK YES THATS THEIR ORIGINAL SKIN BUT SEE HOW MIXED OTHER RACES ARE. DONT HATE AFRICANS. ALL THOSE WHO SHARE COMENTS HERE ARE NOT IN THEIR COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN BECAUSE THEY RAN AWAY FROM THEIR COUNTRIES DUE TO POVERTY. COUNTRIES LIKE DUBAI HAS MILLIONS OF FOREIGNERS THAT RAN AWAY FROM POVERTY IN THEIR COUNTRY. AN AFRICAN COUNTRY HOSTED THE WORLD CUP. POOR? NOW SEE WHICH COUNTRY IS HOSTING THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES AND COMPARE THE FACILITIES. FUCK YOU

    October 7, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
  100. Moh'd U. Sulaiman

    Obviously, from most of the point of views (about Nigeria & Africa as a whole) one can easily conclude that, there has to be a solution to these problems (caused mainly by corruption and lack of good governanc). Writing or speaking out, although can/may be a stepping stone to finding solutions, is in actual sense a very weak medium of fighting back. There is no doubt for a desperate need for some serious action, considering the fact that these talks of change have been going on for, almost a century? What ever.
    Am a Nigerian like many other progress SEEKERS, which automatically confirms me to be an African by birth and origin, and I assure you that these problems of Africa can only be solved perfectly by us (AFRICANS). And that can only be firmly achieved if we all are strongly determined. Well, the very funny question here is, ARE WE REALLY DETERMINED FOR A CHANGE FOR THE BETTER?

    October 7, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  101. paul ambrose

    EDCATION IS ONE OF THE PROBLEM IN AFRICA,

    October 7, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  102. Inno

    The cause of poverty in Africa is Europe. In fact the culture in Europe is totally opposed to the commandments of GOD. Economically all the financial laws of Europe are geared to frustrate any means some African leaders make to survive the citizenry. Look at some of these questions: Why must every newly elected African president visit the queen of England. Why are European immigration laws so cruel and unsupportive to Africans.Yar,adua died with his 7 point agenda not even archieving even one before he died. Who killed MKO Abiola. Thomas Sankara, Abacha ,in fact most of the over-throws of governments in Africa. The population of Africa and how to reduce it .is often the main top agenda in council of Europe deliberations and many other shocking issues that are pionered by Europe against Africa.What is the need for Commonwealth of nations under the queen of England if not to bring all African states under the watchiful of the queen to see that Africa is Europe and America.. we all are under the UN, God must surely vindicate Africa one Day ,in Jesus name ,amen

    October 7, 2010 at 9:20 pm |
  103. Kalu Nnanna

    African countries are poor but not all. It all about understanding, if you believe that your are poor, that will lift in your memory and you will work towards it to be poor. Please Africans are not poor stop insulting us.

    October 7, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  104. Kipchirchir

    Mr Love Whale and leave in Japan!!!
    It is not only in Africa where Poverty exist please, even those countries you mentioned like India, China and middle East ther exist alot of materail pverty. Infact India is one of the most poorest country on earth with their uncontrollable population, have you watched the film slam door? Most parts of China are very very poor, people skining cats, dogs, rats etc to survive!!!! Communism is also part of their rulling system. I think you are only mistaken by the sky scrappers of Beiking and Shanghai. Middle East is still a dictatorship region and it is envisaged that another world war might break out soon from that part of the world.Parts of Europe are still very poor especially the Roma's and former Estern bloc countries.
    Africa i think is progressing well, especially with western democracy that i am not sure of. The major problem has been due to lack of visionary leadership, western sanctions and trade barriers in accessing markets equitably!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 11:14 pm |
  105. Noelski Zalloti

    Tasha – I don't mean to sound rude. We are talking about a continent with 52 countries not a country.

    October 8, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
  106. Noelski Zalloti

    Adam – I can think of the Benin Empire. Have a read in wikipedia.

    October 8, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  107. choe_mu_seon

    Africa has been poor compared to the rest of the world LONG BEFORE COLONIALISM OR SLAVERY. The historical GDP for Africa is negligible compared to any part of the world. Their problem is tribalism. Africa is home to the most genetically diverse population. Therefore, ethnic conflict is permanent, and remains so today.

    October 8, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  108. Imani

    Africa is not poor. Africa is rich- extremely rich. And this is exactly the problem. Africa's wealth makes it vulnerable to external meddling, especially in the political arena. Yes, many of Africa's leaders have been and are corrupt, selfish and greedy individuals but these same leaders that are derided by international media are supported by these same dissenting "Western" powers who need countries such as the Congo for Coltan for their iPhones. Africa's wealth is its gift and curse. It is her wealth that propagates her poverty and until this wealth is put principally in the hands of African, under African leadership that aims to serve the people, this will always be the case. What the international community needs to do if they really want to help Africa is not to stuff her full of aid but to help realize a well-led Africa-for-Africans.

    October 8, 2010 at 9:32 pm |
  109. Joel

    Poverty as far as i know is a choice. You can choose to become poor or rich Irrespective of your background.
    You can choose to change things the way you met them or leave things the way they are.
    We all know of the negative role the western world played, the wickedness and selfishness of our own leaders but its not enough to throw away our lives and that of our unborn generation.
    Africa is a place filled with so much opportunities.
    This is the time to reawaken our consciousness, We need to educate ourselves and people around us, we need to change our mind set from the habit of feeling sorry for ourselves and depending on aids to the habit of taking our destiny in our own hands.
    It's a matter of choice, determination, hard-work, focus, faith, God, and the spirit of never give up.

    October 9, 2010 at 2:29 am |
  110. Idemudia J.BOY

    The leaders in Nigeria the moust bad leader in the of world African is Nigeria.

    October 9, 2010 at 10:09 am |
  111. charles essel

    Africans of which am one, can apportion blame to whoever they wish to but we need to be committed to our people and have a conscious agenda to develop our land. It is clear our leaders have not been helpful but we still must embrace the tenets of democracy and the rule of law and embark on an increased campaign to educate its populace.we will get there because we have all the resources to do that.

    October 9, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  112. Yves Kamangu

    Many factors explain why Africa is not wealthy today. Internal factors and external ones. I would assert that internal factors such as poor leadership, tribalism, lack of vision and determination toward self-determination. It is true that the external factors such slavery, colonialism, neo-colonialism and its legacies also contribute greatly to that state of affairs

    October 9, 2010 at 9:30 pm |
  113. chidindu

    Africa is a great continent with diverse of potentials and also blessed with human and natural resources,though we have enormous factors which have detriorated the African continent but i will mention just one of the factor which i think made Africans hopeless even at 50..At this point the major cause is based on leadership which eventually gives birth or boils down to greed,god fartherism,selfishness,dictatorship,inhumane and mediocres...I mention but a few.A this point African needs a miracle for a better change and its more glaring that powers are changing hands.A good example is that of Nigeria, where we have so many talents and brain citizens but eventually find them indulging in criminal activities and abductions just to make a living. There are problems of sincerity,administration,cabals,looting,god fatherism,illusive promises and cruelty on the part of African leaders, They fail to understand that they are servants,machinery and tools to run the affairs of the state,citizens and at large the masses...Is only in Africa we have RULERS AND THE ABSENCE OF TRUE LEADERSHIP.

    Like i said before,power has change hands especially in our country Nigeria...The right man had mounted the saddle,its our wish he wins the 2011 general election and we all know he's going to win the election come April 2011,i use this medium to publicise him and he is no other person but his exellency Dr Guoodluck Ebelle Jonathan. This is the hope sent by God and for sure he will deliver....

    October 9, 2010 at 11:28 pm |
  114. Nathan

    Africa has more educated people and more e resource. But the west still control 99% of African government and African wealth beside big Corruptions in every government level set up by western system.

    October 10, 2010 at 1:31 am |
  115. ike

    i love this athicle

    October 10, 2010 at 7:23 am |
  116. mills

    iam glad finaly we can discus these urgent matters whch ve been burning withn m afta i learnt hw we(africans) are targeted 2b made poor and underdeveloped.our stupid leaders are to blame and then the western countries.our foolish leaders ve made themselves so low dat its lyk the whole country is remote control.iam begining 2c sense in what Mugabe did by chasin th whites and that shud b effected in al african states on all white infesters so-called investors coz they r doin more harm than gud.luk @the curent metal price for example copper,i live in a copper producing country bt gt it frm me thngs are worsening its like the global melt down has jst started.at tyms i fil lyk cryn when i luk @hw our pipo are suferin amidst the many resources in our country.our leaders ve greatly drawn us back.abash western infestment and viva african investment.iam lukn foward to the day when we shal stand as a continent and tel the western that enough is enough and indeed africa shal develop.ciao

    October 10, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  117. allen

    i agree with most comments placed here, but being an African who has lived abroad for several year. I have to say, even with education there is still lots of social issues to deal with on the ground. There is a saying ' U can take a bushman out from a village, but u cant take the village out of the bushman '
    This jus goes to say, we need to find our own ways to deal with our social and daily issues, and not only copy – paste the western model of living.

    Lastly, all these donors supplementing for the african national budget, should STOP. and i mean IT;
    This just makes us lazy and more corrupt. I'm definately sure we can do without all their money., and work hard for every penny. When there is no free money to be fed, then we can start to think on our own.

    I come from an average family, and whenever i try to do sth the right way, iam forced to go through shortcuts and bribes, so as to get it. Its just damn difficult without corruption around here.

    October 10, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  118. max Murphy

    I t seems to me(an evil white guy) that any person in their right mind would flee, if they could, from a place of dictatorial gov't, no opportunities, deadly diseases, wild animals in the backyard, et al.

    You can justifiably blame the west and whitey all you want but the simple fact is, if you can extricate yourself from the hellish(for the indigenous)place called Africa and make your way to the very white west that you hate so much, you will find your life, and never wish to return to the blight you came from.

    Race baiting is a tired old cliche that in some parts of the world, FOR THE MOST PART, no longer exists. Maybe the janjaweed and arab culture might look at things a bit differently, maybe the hutu and tutsi folks see things from a different perspective, maybe mugabe has a "master" plan, maybe idi amin has lost his "taste" for blood, maybe islamic fundamentalists are changing ideaologies as we speak.

    We could go on and on and on about who's right and who's wrong but you know what? Until YOU, whoever you are, decide to make the RIGHT choices for your life and family YOU are the one who consigns your very short existence on this spinning turd called earth to hell. Not me.

    October 10, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  119. Gitau

    It is because of CRAZY tribalistic leaders such as ARAP MOI and MWAI KIBAKI of Kenya who would do anything to STILL/RIG an election so as to remain in power even when the whole country apart from his tribe votes him out. Imagine a country with 8 regions, 7 regions democraticaly votes this ugly man out of power but still ends up winning the election and gets sworn in as quick as possible at his backyard with the head of the judiciary who he handedly picked from his tribe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a joke???? This kind of leaders have created genocides for their own tribes due to their own greed, and yet again their own tribes are sooo stupid to realise what is good for them and their children. To them, so long as a man from their tribe is the leader, they are satisfied that it is their turn to eat (eating culture) when they actually continue languishing in shear pverty.

    October 10, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  120. ben

    I think that the biggest problem is lack of education.Than people have being abracing the notion of," our ancestors did it this way for decades, so we do it the same way".They do not practice crop rotation.Africans do not value what they have,so they destroy everything they own.What a shame! their leaders are the same.Live in luxury at the expense of the masses.

    October 10, 2010 at 9:30 pm |
  121. Yassannah Nuru Deen

    I am yet to see Greg Mills book but I will equally want to draw his attention to the wrong impression the title of his book will be given to the world. Africa is not poor but it is Africans who are rather poor. I will therefore suggest that he change his books title to " Why are Africans poor?" This title will best suit his argument rather than the current title of the book.

    October 10, 2010 at 9:44 pm |
  122. Black african

    We are poor, because european especially france impoverish african countries.

    Look at Niger where the Areva is mining the largest uranium reserve. France calls himself the number 1 partner of Africa, but the number one trouble maker in this black continent : genocide in Rwanda, Sudan, DRC.

    French companies bribe our government to through out US companies or chinese investors

    Wealth does not need education. Many billionaires have bachelors even less

    October 11, 2010 at 4:20 am |
  123. Adzakey

    Africans are poor because of selfishness greediness and lack of education .We should not blame anybody

    October 11, 2010 at 10:47 am |
  124. Adzakey

    Africans are poor because of selfishness greediness and lack of education .We should not blame anybody our leaders are the cause of our poverty

    October 11, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  125. Salisu Moh'd .R.

    Though similar conversations had taken place earlier but many believe that is the leaders who are LOOTING, CORRUPTING but as an African i will like to lament on the interest of the west on the economic situation of the region, let's be frank anyway is the west who enacted the corrupted constitutions of several caliber, the west also look at the initial wealth that had been accumulated in the Area over Centuries and fortunately the region had been a great source of "SLAVE" sometime ago which the westerners used on building their Houses and road.
    the few surviving siblings of the slaves where able to go to schools after that they were separated from the tradition of their fare fathers and got introduced to the corruption, which is today becoming a rampant attitude in especially est Africa,

    October 11, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  126. African125

    It appears that the World is on its toes talking and walking to help Africa reduce poverty, it's all talk-talk. The western World knows the formula to solve all Africa's problems in a span of 5 years, but they keep it concealed for them to benefit more from the cow they been milking since they discovered the black continent with its overwhelming riches and its beautiful people. The blind and stupid leaders of Africa, leading the blind folks who blindly vote for blind and stupid leaders even if they see how impoverished they've become under their leadership, do not know how to implement programmes that would kiss poverty good-by, let alone handing to the young and up-coming generation who may trade well.Where on earth, apart from Africa would you get president over 80 years of age, can a man at that age even think properly, let alone compete with the young, brilliant leaders of qualities of OBAMA. How can Mugabe compete in thinking with OBAMA, and you expect things to be ok, yes, Mugabe is intelligent for trying all to give the land back to the owners, from which the land was stolen and kept for the British, which is one reason why Africans are still poor, fertile lands of Southern Africa in the hands of Europeans. All stolen but never given back, now the governments are to spend money in buying back the land from the thieves, that's how the west undermine and exploit Africans, poor African cannot even get to negotiate better to get their stolen properties back, that's why! What about trade? is the field leveled for all to compete? NO...genuine, quality products out of Africa at cheap prices, diamond manufacturing in Belgium or elsewhere, is there a diamond mine in Belgium? i am not sure? Why can't we apply models that have worked elsewhere? How about those that have implemented them help implementing and stop the Aid trade? Somebody knows why? There is a reason why, if it happens, where would we get this or that? THAT'S WHY!!!

    October 11, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  127. ETON MILLS

    I shall not fully give my mind on this question because the answer should make for an extraordinary PhD thesis. Indeed it should make a lucrative book deal1 However, just ponder the words of a past French statesman: 'Africans are incapable of building a modern state.' Leadership in the African world is just mantra alongside Good Governance, Accountability and Transparency. Education? Africa has a fair share of PhDs. There is an education system that produced Europe's leaders, even America's. For instance Winston Churchill had 6000 books on his shelf – a family inheritance of three generations! One of my friends, a British professor and a journalist among other important things, has 4000 volumes to his name and he is always on his toes thinking aloud just excited about the next big idea! Show me and African leader that values books more that his stomach and I shall point you to Africa's Prosperity. Lastly, learn the meaning of the word Elite. Ask yourself why Margaret Thatcher had an ALMOST exclusively MALE CABINET! Well, they had been with her since her days at Oxford!

    October 12, 2010 at 7:19 am |
  128. TEMBO

    AFRICA IS POOR BECAUSE OF GREEDY OF OUR LEADERS.
    AND BAD GOVERNANCE.

    October 12, 2010 at 9:46 am |
  129. Stranger

    Y Africa is poor ?

    My answer : " Status Quo " & " Dirty Politics "

    " This Is It ! "

    October 12, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
  130. D Habeeb

    I have been working with white people for few years in career, during this time i have came to understood that the problem africans actually have are the white people. No white person like a successful, inteligent and promissing black person. In the department where i work no black person progress, you either stay where you are or you are degraded. A fully graduate black person will be a subodinate to secondary school drop out white. If we African can one day understand the fact that the only way we can survive and be in control of our life is to totally eradicate white people in all our doings, life will be worthwhile us and the generations to come. Any advice or suggestion from white person is toxic and nothing good about it because the advice will not be for the benefit of the African – sooner we know this the better.

    October 12, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
  131. Noelski Zalloti

    Eton Mills, you read my mind. I am thinking of doing exactly that. Writing a book about development in Africa is something I’d like to do. I am fascinated by this discussion from so many angles.

    At least it gives the average/ordinary person in the street with no political affiliation/allegiance to speak out. You see there is a big difference between real politics/policies and what we call ‘arm-chair’ politicians. Having said that the current policy makers are so alienated from what goes on at the grassroots level their policies are foreign to the ordinary citizen.

    In my view the building of infrastructure (good roads, telecommunication, schools, and hospitals) is pivotal.
    Next, African needs auditing systems that can trace every penny its nations earn.

    October 12, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  132. Harold

    The Maxim gun was first used by Britain's colonial forces in the First Matabele War in Rhodesia, in 1893-1894. During the Battle of the Shangani, 50 soldiers fought off 5,000 warriors with just four Maxim guns. The gun played an important role in the swift European colonization of Africa in the late 19th century. The extreme lethality was employed to devastating effect against obsolete charging tactics, when native opponents could be lured into pitched battles in open terrain. As it was put by Hilaire Belloc, in the words of the figure "Blood" in his poem "The Modern Traveller":

    Whatever happens, we have got
    The Maxim gun, and they have not. [4]

    October 12, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
  133. sergio

    THIS IS FOR BOBBY AND PHISICS,
    Have u ever been to an affrican country and went into village, im a educated city boy that has traveled the world, so and studied in south africa with whites and blacks, african cultures teaches u to care for ur neighbour and friend, and we share everything we have, u dont go into a house of a relative and dont get fed and u must come to the city with a gift, mainly traditional food, this is the perception u have coz u are fed this shit from your tv and magazines, come to real africa not city and experiency this, ask anybody who worked here and they will tell.
    Yes we have problems, and we are to blame, but europeans and ameriacans have their share on it, u people once said that blacks are hopeless, and dumb, BARAK OBAMA is black not white, we are only 50yrs old and being runned by almost the same generation that gave us independence, but if you see closely things are changing, SOUTH AFRICA is a powerhouse, with its problems but its, BOTSWANA is an example and others, have u spoke about them, or their development no, only the bad and ugly is published, im sick and tired of u people, saying shit that u dont know shit.
    When did u whites stopped killing eachother, no more than 60yrs, u are killing innocent people in IRAQUE, Afganistahn, providinng guns for dictator and so on....

    October 13, 2010 at 8:36 am |
  134. Thomas Mundia

    Africa remains poor because it suits powerful nations i.e.the more dependent the continent is to others the better for them. I believe that there is no genuine and sincere attempt to solve the problems that befall Africans. How do you justify the Trillion of dollars that have come in the form of aid and have left the continent worse of. Solutions that are truly African can only come from the Africans themselves. Education content especially push for free primary education is nothing but means of keeping Africans beggars i.e. spoon feeding,shallow and white collar job focused with little to show for training the mind and the heart. The African leaders being blamed for the woes of the continent have been created and financed by foreign powers. Read Pope Benedict's encyclical 'Charity in truth' and there lies the bitter truth that we dont want to face!!!

    October 13, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
  135. Minji

    Africa has a lot of wealthy. Africa has plenty of minerals you name them including Oil and Gas, not to forget forests in many countries. Wild animals and many attractive scenes. It is very unfortunately that majority of African leaders are corrupted. Corruption ranging from stealing government funds or holding power for too long. Poor administrations, mismanagement of Governments and outdated policies are among other things that contribute to the problem.
    I don't see the point of blaming those countries that once colonised Africa, most of African countries gain their independences in the 60's with few in the 70's. If you count how many years have passed since gaining independence and if you look at Asian countries that earned their independences almost the same time as African countries you see a different picture. Look at the progress made in most asian countries. Most of African countries can't even pass their national budgets without foreign aid. Africans need to wake up and embark in a change that will benefit all and not individuals

    October 13, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
  136. P Muthiora

    Colonization played a big role. The winds of the Caribbean are not the winds of the Americas; Haiti and its debt to former colonial French is a good example. There were many exploitive deals made with the African elite in the name of freedom. In my opinion, there is strong correlation between colonialism and poor leadership.

    October 14, 2010 at 8:44 am |
  137. Holomo Koni Kourouma

    My premise is that Africa's development or lack thereof is first and foremost the responsibility of Africans. Until this simple true is recognized and emphasized it will nearly be impossible to achieve any meaningful progress. It is true that the white man bears some of the burden but that is history, and over history many communities have come to impose hardship to many others even inside Africa.
    It was not the white slave masters that prevented Africans from improving and disseminating the alphabet they invented some 3,000 years bc, but Africans themselves (leaders) who decided that writing should be an esoteric skill reserved to very few. It was not the ugly colonialist who prevented African from developing science, techniques and technologies but certainly us or our ancestry who decided that those were not priority.
    Nature may have helped us weather through ages without mastering our surrounding but it was our responsibility to decide or not to use our god-given ability to comprehend our environment, to share our understanding of the world to many as to facilitate the construction of a collective body of knowledge to which many member of society would contribute.
    Having turned its back on writing, science, technologies Africa unwittingly decided to lay itself at the mercy of others. For, in the time of slavery, feudalism and colonialism and to some extent even now, the strongest invariably used his might to extract his well being from the weakest. The reign of the strongest did not only occur between Africa and Europe, it happened within all continents including Africa.
    Show the way for African is to restart where it failed it the first place. Go for science, technologies and techniques. Stop the blame game and assume its past and future.

    October 14, 2010 at 9:04 am |
  138. Humbya

    It is true that Africa , we are poor because of our leader, our leader have no commitment and put the country first . Africa has so much things which can make our country more powerful in term of economically in the world. God has given us so much natural resources, but we dont use them wisely.

    October 14, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  139. Akorede

    Ineptitude on the part of Africans in doing things with srong determination is a factor.For many years,Africans still depend largely on foreigners in the supervision of certain capital projects even up to partronizing locally made goods which should have direct impact on the GDP.There are inadequate standard for youths developments which is the strength of many foreign countries.

    October 14, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
  140. Elizabeth Kuranchie-M

    I sstrongly believe that much attention is usually paid to the continents natural resources forgetting about the intangible assets or the intellectual capital of individuals so that they can use their competencies and skills to make the country rich and not poor!
    Secondly, political graft and inter-ethnic conflicts wouldn't make Africa have a serene environment to philosophize soas to make the ontinent move forward.
    Thirdly, corruption and non-democratic rule hinders Africa's progress retarding their growth. Once the problems have been identified, I hope there is surely going to be a solution for Africa to be the richest continent in the year 2025.

    October 14, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  141. kunle omo-owo

    Why Africa is Poor? POOR LEADERSHIP POOR LEADERSHIP POOR LEADERSHIP!!!!

    October 14, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  142. Neltech

    u can call it world bank, Ifc, EU, G8 the list is endless. The bottom line is we Africans should take control of our destiny. We have the resources; why do you think China and the rest of the western world are scrambling for Africa again? Lets get rid of our leaders who are selling our continent to the highest bidder. We dont need their markets. All we need to do is first trade within ourselves. I admire Lybia which has been shunned by the west for over a decade and they did it.

    October 15, 2010 at 7:07 am |
  143. Lucy de john

    I totally agree with greg. Walk into any government offices (except botswana) and nothing will get done without greasing someones hand.

    October 15, 2010 at 7:12 am |
  144. Boikanyo

    Africa is poor because Africans do not believe in themselves. Our philosophy and tradition does not encourage economic prosperity. For example, take a look at the famous “American Dream” this ideology is instilled in all Americans and it preaches of the possibility to achieve the best, regardless of any other variables. We do not have such thinking, we are trapped in our situations, we are doubtful of our capabilities and above all, we do not believe that anything is possible. So of course the rest of the world takes this to this to their advantage and exploits our insecurities by, wanting to do everything for us, by taking our resources for close to nothing and leaving us powerless than ever before. We as Africans have lost everything, our culture has been stupefied, we do not own our resources, we do not have means to technology, and the world is set up in a way which seems to leave Africa in the smoke. Why are we poor, we are poor because we do not have the confidence to be rich. To stand up for our rights and demand to be given what is ours back.

    October 15, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  145. Dafe

    Africa is poor bcos she is a consumer continent full stop. If you use more than u can produce u will be poor. If you are programmed to think more of your wants instead of your needs you will be poor. If you are debased enough to kill your own citizens for whatever reasons u will be poor because wealth flows from people. Africa's value system needs to change.

    October 15, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  146. candace

    Africa is the richest continent on the planet the people are poor this world
    would not be able to survive without its wealth my foreparents werethe
    prouduts of the slave the cities of liverpool bristol london the southern
    states of amercia brazil all the islands in the carbibean have all benifited
    the only people who did not get anything were the slaves or the countries
    from where they taken my oldest family whom i knew would have been
    onehundred and fifty old this october she prayed for the freedom of the
    poor black peoples every where then my mother prayed and things have
    not got anybetter now i am 71 years so my conclugan We have not got

    no spirtual guidance when we find the right god we will SOAR

    October 15, 2010 at 10:03 pm |
  147. Gregory Harper

    Africa is poor because GOD has curse Africa, That is the bottom line!Judgment

    October 15, 2010 at 11:54 pm |
  148. Emeka

    Tip from a gypsy: don't get tipsy in a world of hypocrisy and lies buttered on toast! This blog should have been published on mirrors manufactured, sold and consumed in the so-called 'developed world'. Then perhaps the entrenched sub-systemic assumptions which manifest in supremacist foreign policies and protectionist economic plunder will see its own lying face. Can a snake fart and wonder why its long dead dinner belched forth a putrid stench?

    Year after year aid arrives Africa for the sole purpose of slowing the decay of consciences that pursued (and still pursue) economic blue prints whose ink poisoned (and still poison) out our manufacturing capabilities. Thereafter with every batch of imports African jobs (and opportunities) were exported overseas and our cycle of dependence on foreign goods (and the unemployment which followed it) is deepened. This marvelous piece of economic engineering means even the proceeds of the natural resources we export goes straight back to buying more foreign goods (is China listening?) and continuing the export of African jobs and economic well being. Has this cycle ended?

    Yet with one masterstroke (aid) dead consciences are embalmed, a PR masterstroke achieved and our political and economic woes are woven deeper into this intricate fabric of deception. Of course we (Africans) must share responsibilty for this; it was the massive ineptitude and greed of the ancients and the senile brigade of thieves in our politics that created the opportunity for our plunder....

    To cut a long story short, scrap cash aid, fair trade and any new economic traps (onya ego). Scrap investing in resource exploitation and enviromental pollution; it's worse than theft. If you want to heal your conscience, support Africa to rebuild the industries your economic blue prints converted into national debts before privatizing to your cronies for peanuts (whereupon you stepped in and negotiated a heroic pardon). Aid means nothing if it does not create jobs in Africa. Support us to build our industries, work in them, exploit our resources in enviromentally sustainable ways and export the final products to you. When we get to this stage, if it is not profitable for us to produce anything we will buy it from you and vice versa! As political instability and its liabilities are the product of skewered economic relations, herein lies our hope.

    October 16, 2010 at 3:04 am |
  149. elica1

    Lack of human capital.
    Brain drain.
    Poor governance from presidents to janitorial workers
    Lack of respect of human rights.
    Alienation from the Western World: world markets, global investments, representatives (we tend to have lots of 'western experts' in all of our problesm).
    Negative media publicity from the Wwest – After sometime, you tend to believe what you see. All you see about Africa is poverty, flies, war, and big bellied dirty kids. Who would want to believe something else?

    October 16, 2010 at 6:16 am |
  150. Challenging1

    Africa is poor of another big reason as it( most part) has been neglected time to time and basic reason- STATUS QUO, I feel.

    Col. Gaddafi of Libya attended the only UN summit and pointed out the same fact and gave the alternative ( some figure ) so as to curb the POVERTY.

    Recently Bro' Barry had a meeting with some 40 odd young African leaders but I think no follow up has been done, if I'm wrong here please correct me. And in case if I'm correct, Mr. Prez ( US ) should follow up and try to grab maximum of support from Africa which can play some role in the ongoing "War against Terror" and I'm confident that Bro' Barry can Win the confidence of at least 60% of Africa.
    Moreover it seems to me that the war is inching closer and closer to the final stage and maybe stuck because of strategic ally.
    It is taking time but I feel confident that it would be sorted out.

    October 16, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
  151. Congolais

    There is no one line answer to this question:
    African problem is a mix of problems caused by the Western countries, African slave mentality, and lack of professionalism.
    From the African point of view: . Africans have to take things in their own hands and have stop blaming the West. They have to look forward and try to invent new strategy to develop themselves.
    Africans are still afraid of white people.. a typical African leader will never say no to white politician(business proposal, because he believes that white politician never lies). They never discuss deals.. meanwhile obstacles, hidden strategies are somehwre to be found in those deals.
    Better education is a good thing but not THE SOLUTION, we know the history of America.. u just need a group of peope who see farther than tomorrow.. I am referring to the founding fathers. America was losing war against England, to a such a point ,other politicians started blaming George Washington for holding on the war. Other politicians were about to lose it, but Washington's determination was to finish the English supremacy, once and for all.

    Africand have to compete the West, by any means necessary, China did it.. it is working. Compete does not only mean physical fight, but try to discuss, and try to have like THINK TANK CEOS(do we really know what CEOS in think tank do?).Most African leaders believe Westerners are a curse to the continent, but why are they still want to listen or work them; why not form another powerful tie with non-Western countries like China, India, Brasil to fight the West?

    from the Western point of view.. Most Westerners want to keep Africa poor, because once Africa start using itself resources for itself, Europe will have nothing. In fact Africa does not need the West anymore. Everything the West has China has it, and China is the only country that buys products from Africa with real money.
    The west is behind most of wars in Africa.. it does not mean..other countries dont do..so Africans have to accept it.. thats the way we do business in the West.. if Africa finds a way to paralyse the western economy for their benefit, they have to do that.
    the US send spies to England, to Israel, to Russia, but they are also friends to each other. There is no right or wrong.

    U can kill millions of people, but if u are the winner, of course you will still be right and u will right the histoy.
    Africans are stupid, they have to make it, by any means necessary and so do France, US.

    Advise to African leaders: there is right or wrong, if u have a better strategy that will work better over the western strategy use it
    and start controlling anything that goes into Africa.. weapons are hidden in the royal flights, deplomatic convoys.. charity convoys etc..

    October 16, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  152. Aduda Otieno

    Poverty in Africa is attributed to just one thing:
    Bad Leadership. Period.

    October 16, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  153. william

    africa is not poor, the wealth of africa including it'speoplecontinue to be explioted by the developed nations as it has been done for centries. what you call failed nations were cold war battelfields. wait and see what the terroist war battelfields look like in the future

    October 16, 2010 at 10:40 pm |
  154. ceacar

    They have more mineral resources than any European country but are lazy, full stop.

    October 17, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  155. dadel

    I think there is no way to go out of poverty still we store our money out of Country, let us keep our money to study and to work hard , and stability of all africa is need to build .

    October 17, 2010 at 8:43 am |
  156. Andreya

    The main explanation of why Africa is poor could be found in the Gross national income (GNI) of the African countries (of course!). In this value we unfortunately find a very poor food issue (quantity and quality). Sahara is for a third of that.
    Once, Cato the Elder or the Censor(A Roman statesman) said: "Anger so clouds the mind, that it cannot perceive the truth." Said otherwise: "Hungry bellies have no ears". Mao Tze Dung added: don't give fish but teach how to catch it.
    As long as food production and its balanced conservation is not granted in Africa, no true human wealth and development can be.
    Only stable and sufficient demography (disabled in Africa for scarce food, diseases, etc) can enable enough wealth and richness. Africa detains the best economic parameters in the World (energy, forests, etc) but no enough demography ...

    October 17, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
  157. The Dark One

    Bobby is grossly misguided. Let the White people rule as they have done in South Africa and America pre- 1960? Perhaps most White people would like to take the whole world into an apartheid era.

    October 17, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  158. Jeph Chidi

    Africa is poor because of its post colonial settings,which is not in any way in the interest of African rather the colonial powers.Consequently, it destroyed the spirit of patriotism in the minds of Africans. This post colonial settings created ethnic hatred, tribalism, wars and made exploitation very easy for western countries.This also created bad leadership where leaders are chosen from the tribe that suits western powers,it doesn't matter if the candidate has the necessary record and qualification.Take for instance, a country like Nigeria and its past leaders.This in turns, cripples the country and its human development and economy and breeds illteracy, poverty and killed the spirit of building the nation.

    October 17, 2010 at 8:04 pm |
  159. Inuagbor

    First and foremost, I think it is imperative that Africa is a continent, not a country and the first mistake made by the Americans and other developed nations is to utilize this name as if it were a country. There are developed countries in Africa; South Africa for example and some countries are poorer than others. Not to deviate from the topic though, I think most of the countries in Africa that fall in the 'poor' bracket are the countries whose leaders are either being recycled or runs in the family with leaders either attempting or actually handing power to their political god sons or familial politicians. When power is in the hands of a few, corruption is bound to be inherent in that country and that translates to underdevelopment as the country remains static economically, politically and of course in development. That explains why the leaders still battle and sometimes actually get re- elected. A typical case, Nigeria. Democracy in all ramifications should be practices, leaders should come into power remembering their oath of office and serve the country that has elected them, and lead them to development. The leaders do not even encourage internal development, if not please explain why $1 billion Naira was proposed for prospective importation of dustbins from a foreign country to abuja, Nigeria? Why Nigerian leaders encourage foreign treatment and flying out of the country whenever ill while majority of the Nigerian government owned or teaching hospitals are old and badly maintained? I can give you 101 reasons why so many African countries are poor but will leave you with one: bad, bad leadership which always leads to wrong priorities in order of policies and their implementation....

    October 17, 2010 at 9:49 pm |
  160. Victor .O.A. Uma

    The orthodox historians usually attribute the poverty of African to the natural state of the continent.Africas, they claim,were created lazy and poor. The myth of the lazy African who depended entirely on nature to survive dominated European historiography of Africa in the 19th c& early 20th c. but thats not the case. African economies' high dependence on export of raw materials essentially a smail numbar of "low value -added commondities such as minerals or agricultural products.Poor harvest arising from unpredictable weather conditions,unstable prices of commodities produced in Africa, and the structural dependency of the Africa economies.the big guy is CORRUPTION.

    October 17, 2010 at 11:47 pm |
  161. Jeannot

    tell me about a country that are not corrupt. they called it lobbying in the west. see the news. Irak is a big corruption of the US government. now they want to divide as well Israel. why not devise Washington DC or New york. the west come always with certain rule and measure to make sure that they will get more and the African countries loose. don't listen to all those lies. Africa shall be developed and more than the west.

    October 18, 2010 at 1:42 am |
  162. panafric

    Africans are poor because they have not matured in politics yet.
    1. We believe only the rich can lead us because they buy our votes with as little as 1 dollar.
    2. We believe in an Anarchial style of leadership, simply because they ammassed wealth and use it aginst us.
    3. Our judicial systems across Africa are a joke. If you can buy justice, why the need for a judge?
    4. We can never have a leader who comes from the jaws of poverty being elected because of good ideals.

    We let our own insecurities bring us down. It is time Africa said enough is enough and stop blaming the world for our problems. It has been said time and time again that it is only AFRICANS WHO CAN TAKE CARE OF AFRICAN Problems. Let us silence our GUNS put our MACHETES down, roll up our sleeves and begin serious work.

    Africa is a great continent with beautiful people who MUST reclaim their right of being on this earth as soon as yesterday.

    October 18, 2010 at 7:04 am |
  163. Yves Kimenyi

    Africa is still poor because the Human capital doesn't exist in mind of our leaders, professionals and even in the families. People comes last after minerals, forest, tourism,etc...

    October 18, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
  164. papa-washoo

    Here are some reasons why Africa is poor:
    1Poor governance and bad decision making
    2 Greed and Lust
    3 Lack of awareness and lack of tolerance
    4 Corruption and political dishonesty
    5 Illiteracy
    6 Witchcraft and tribalism
    7 Empty pride and laziness
    When africans and their leaders address some of the above mentioned factors, there is a possibility that africa will come out of poverty.

    October 18, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
  165. Dan

    Africa is not that poor as you put it
    i have had to opportunity to visit the interior some countries in Asia and South America and believe most of them are almost equal to Africa or even worse than Africa
    And all countries in Africa have a manageable population unlike Asian countries which are overpopulated, but its amazing why u specifically focus on Africa despite the fact that unemployment rate is not as high as Asia's

    October 18, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  166. nola

    The Stagnacy in my dear continent Africa stems from greed and poor governance which of course has led to corruption and the widespread poverty. Well i would not consider it a poor nation,ionly that ts stream of resources have just been mismanaged by the few in power. One may have to conduct a total reorientation programme because even an infant has been initiated into this world of corruption. The resource-cursed continent...such a pity

    October 19, 2010 at 8:27 am |
  167. orfega

    fear of becoming poor again makes African leaders to embezel excess money at the detriment of their citizens

    October 19, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
  168. Tawanda

    To my mind, the major problem is that we have allowed people with a Marxist-Leninist orientation to run African governments. Marxism is a patently false philosophy which is firmly rooted in diabolical cults. Marxism has fooled people into believing that there is no GOD. Africa is being run by a clique of individuals who are not GOD-fearing...people who are not afraid to kill, maim and steal in advancement of their narrow political ambitions!!

    October 20, 2010 at 7:46 am |
  169. Karine

    I think Africa's poverty can be attributed to many reasons including lack of proper education, brain drain (to the western world of course), corrupt governance, bureaucratic and non-transparent business environment as well as ethnic divide. I also feel that language & cultural barriers among the different nations adds to the divide.
    Karine

    October 20, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
  170. Godwill

    Africa a content, without it own Constitution, but adopted Constitustion tells what the content or its Leaders.In others Nation people are born into and brougth up in a construtive Constitional practing sytem but in Africa the people deceive themserves with Church going and blame others. Africa is not a poor Nation, it has gotten all money can buy.
    Talking of poverty in Africa it should be define: People, Minds, Reasoning,Self controll and thinking capacity etc is the problem to the beautifull Nation.

    October 20, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
  171. Vicent

    Poverty in Africa has been like a pandemic disease which spread from one generation to another. Africans must understand that the solution of our problems lies within us. No one from outside the continent will solve this. Again, African leaders must realize that they have been elected to work for poor people not for their families and ther near relatives. Resources should be for the benefit of all and not personal! God bless Africa. We can

    October 20, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  172. BA Kats MD

    Most, if not all, capitals of Sub-Saharan African Republics have huge slum areas. I suggest, that we start to clean those up first.

    October 20, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  173. Paddy Singh

    Africa is probably the richest continent in the world as far as natural resources go. Unfortuntely the colonials did not treat Africa at par with the way the British treated India as a colony. One main reason was that there was more literacy in India, and the aristocratic wealth there was comparable or probably more than what existed in Europe. In fact the grandeur in India surpassed any colony of the western powers. This led to the natural resources being exploited by the colonials in Africa, and except for the British who gave some semblence of it back to the people by way of hospitals, schools, some roads etc, the other powers looted Africa and left. Come the African rulers who took over on getting their independence and they aped the former colonials by stealing African wealth for themselves. The only way they could do this for life was to put corrupt middlemen as lower ranked administraters with the result the common man got left behind buried in poverty. Sad but true

    October 20, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  174. Bouyea

    Africans are poor for several reasons.
    1. Africans have not grasp concept of the medium of exchange, which I think is superficially in the currency, but is more in the natural resources, the things that are produced, and services rendered to create utilities. We have the natural resources, but must control it through our production of things of usefulness and other services.
    2. Poor leaderships
    3. Intrusion of External forces and the syndrome of colonialism
    4. Under productivity, utilization of their natural resources and the practices of the extractive concept
    5. Low self-esteem, ignorance, too complacent, and easily influence by others
    6. Lack of knowledge to make values

    Solutions:
    1. Select the best and brightest, not only in academic, but multiculturalism, the pragmatism and believers in African’s prosperity above all
    2. Realize that no other nation or peoples would love the Africans more than themselves
    3. Provide rehabilitation to the syndrome of colonialism, not through the usual propaganda, but learning to build, create and invent thing of values our of their environment and more and believe and appreciate their own
    4. Transformation of their societies into more scientific and evidence based societies
    5. Providing more access via transportation, communication, and information
    6. Do away with tribalism and the senseless wars
    7. Eradicate or minimize corruption and abuse of the public treasury
    8. African governments must trust their people

    October 20, 2010 at 11:03 pm |
  175. Ngobola Muyembe

    Africa is not poor, but it is controlled by leaders who have been wrongly schooled from a conservative or Republican play book. They have failed to distinguish the fine line between making money in the private sector while using ones elected position and corruption. The Zambian government is currently attempting to remove the Abuse of Office clause from the Anti-Corruption Act. A clause that has successfully seen a lot of officials locked up for corruption because they say, it can only work in Socialist State were business is prohibited.
    The second point is that there has been a lot of secrecy encouraged by the IMF and World Bank in the past when signing agreements and most leaders have used this to embezzle money since the public does not know. Back door deals with hedge funds managers, donor agencies and industrial lobbyists have just compounded the problems. The solution is to allow for real Democracy and not the dictatorship wrapped in Democracy that we experience in most of the African countries.

    October 21, 2010 at 11:12 am |
  176. Eritrea

    Western countries are the reason Africa poor. How the western countries could get the cheap resources, if African people are educated, and more smart. Eritea is the future for Africa. Good government and free aid country.

    October 21, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
  177. CJ

    Talking about poverty today and not as a reminant from colonialism brings to mind the massive amounts of funds being squandered by leaders. African Aid and Funding does not benefit the little man in the end because there is no accountability.

    Aid agencies are told that they may not ask for specific outcomes as this would be inadvertedly 'dictating policies'. Investing in educating communitues rather than giving money to governments would go a longer way towards helping africa's poverty. The 'guilt money' coming in from EU and US empowers the people who already have power.

    October 21, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  178. kwofie

    Africa,the continent have no mind of their own. Whenever living becomes ones life, everything eles in it becomes vivid to take appropriate presuit our own dreams.Unless we have no dreams of our own othewise,get rid of old European way of life.

    October 22, 2010 at 12:40 am |
  179. Atayo

    myself i would say Africa is not poor but education and sensitization of most (all) poverty eradicating programmes end in urban areas where we need less than the rural places. i normally listen to radio programs but you find that what is said or taught never reaches people in villages who need it most. very well knowing that they lack radios network services. more so if we could adapt love for one another and learn to share we would not be that poor, but we lack that spirit of togetherness. if Africans could learn how to share reaping from natural resources than individualizing the benefits from the resources which are supposed to be enjoyed by every citizen. instead who see themselves rich want it all for themselves thus leaving others poor.
    so if we could only change this by learning to share the given resources without greed Africa would be rich.share ideas with the poor and not neglect them while assumption they know nothing as away to bridge the gap. every thing will change.

    from uganda, kampala.

    October 22, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  180. Khadija Bah

    Africa is not poor in terms of resources. That said, definitely poor in leadership from the national to the community underlined by endemic corruption. Hence the problem!

    Sadly, you have a people who are not aware of their inalienable rights to hold their leaders accountable and leaders who believe their election or appointment is a license to plunder national resources. Fertile continent for poor leadership and corruption!

    education to concientise Africa's masses of their rights and obligations as citizens is one of the critical solutions to the problem.

    October 22, 2010 at 9:01 pm |
  181. Bolade

    Multitude of factors contributes to Africa poverty whilst the continent has abundant resources to make it one the finest in the world. The greediness of our corrupt leaders will continue to retard and blight the continent. Apart from Nelson Mandella, an exceptional man, there are no single honest leaders in Africa particularly in Nigeria. Lack of good governance, ineffectual tax system, inadequate judiciary system, mass illiteracy and inability to stand up for ourselves in unison couple with the fact that Europeans leaders with their banks provide save haven for corrupt fraudulent leaders will continue to ensure that Africa remain poor with very little or no progress for generation to come.
    Solution: contract out the running of the whole continent to proven private company to manage the continent including the corrupt and incompetent leaders. Anyone that steps out of line should be banged up.

    October 22, 2010 at 9:55 pm |
  182. Judith Asino

    It is true that Africa is economically poor because of poor leadership, corruption,tribalism and well ochastrated wars that make the citizens poor while others benefit from it

    October 23, 2010 at 8:52 am |
  183. kwabena

    I believe Africa is not as poor as the experts and the media would want us to believe. We have experts on African issues who have not been to Africa or have their own biases towards Africa. Lack of knowledge of a people and where they come from and their greatness could contribute to the state of Africa now. People blame leadership but i believe what produces these leaders is the main issue. The education systems must be geared towards complexities of where we are coming from and the possibilities of the future we see. Poverty is every where. It is in India, China, Europe, America. Africa's has been over blown, because African has not had strong argument. And the so-called experts have their own beliefs on Africans as well. A people are nothing more than what they know and do. The leadership are just doing what the colonial education has told them to do. But it is a new day and things have changed. We only have old minded media and institutions branding Africa of what the knew then..

    October 23, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
  184. Akwasi

    Africa is not poor. what africa needs is the truth about life. and i blame the media for not educating the people but rather sell their airtime to people to preach falsehood and put fear in our brothers and sisters. God bless Africa. All will come to past.

    October 24, 2010 at 9:07 am |
  185. ERNEST ROBINSON

    Africa is poor due to so many reasons caused by Africans themselves than any western colonization or unequal playing field on global market place, for example, Agricultural produce etc.

    Africans should first and for most inculcate into their people and especially the younger generation what HONESTY, SINCERETY AND TRUTH means.

    Second, reduce the role of culture and old traditions play in people's lifes by taking them backward instead of future.

    Third, their leaders should learn what governance really is, most African leaders do not know what goverance or public service really is; most think it is about self enrichment as a result do not know what Healthcare, Education, Infrastructure develpoment are and how it can help economy grow and people prosper. No reliable justice system for a recourse etc.

    African as a Continent has a long long way to go, if its people are to be lifted out of poverty and be taken reason on a world stage.

    It is a continent blessed with human talents, natural resources and great weather, yet the people are ardently poor and God forsaken because they do not know how to harnes these resoureces. It's a SHAME.

    October 24, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  186. Chioma

    Africa is poor because of all the above reasons. However, the emphasis should not be on why Africa is poor but on how can Africa come out of poverty. I happen to live in Europe and I know how Africa is looked at.The truth is that the whites cannot and will not solve our problems. We have to do it ourselves and the earlier we start thinking of a revolution, the faster we are approaching the solution.

    October 25, 2010 at 12:21 am |
  187. Eloka

    There is no people or race that can achieve anything unless their destined time be riched. Maybe one would say, oh, Africa never going to grow, yeah because African people are uneducated, because African leaders are corrupt. But what if all those gone years that God whom owns everytime and nations has not turned African page yet? For there is an appropriate week for all people including China that was so very abased but very great today and now. What about Pharaoh and Ceasar, what about Greek even Roma.
    Africa has been there before any nation or people, even all people! Africa has being in the game of civilisation before the time, before any bright colored skin ever created.
    As long as Africa has being the first, so she be last after all before her, because "Africa Is Trully The Land of God", yeah, even the land of the Igbos (Hebrews)the chosen of all the earth. However, every time and people and generation and civilisation and development are in the hands of the God of the children of Abraham. FOR ONLY THE LORD EVERYTIME BELONGETH UNTO EVEN THE TIME OF AFRICA the people of God. yeah! There is time for every people and nation. let us just hope that there is a great hope for Africa, For Africa will return in the time of her Destiny. Amen.

    October 25, 2010 at 1:49 am |
  188. Hafiz

    Africa may be poor financially and economically and all that is rich to the Western's perception of "rich & wealth". However, I personally think Africans deep down inside never looked up into that sort of richness. They are already rich in nature. Literally. They never really wanted to cut down their forests and trade them up in a massive amount to get money in return. Africans would be happy just the way they are and have been if not of this prejudicial economical perception Westerners have lazy labelled upon them. Let's not encourage Africa to materialize and head towards groundbreaking capitalism, it will only wipe out their one and only source of richness – their surroundings. Again, it's my personal opinion over an observation made for the last 10 years.

    H

    October 25, 2010 at 7:08 am |
  189. servant of africa

    Our fault is just that the truth is so difficult for we Africans to say. Nobody wants to die or sacrifice his life for his future {Africans}. Nigeria is an example where the people that re suppose to be in jail re governors, like Gov. T A Orji {Abia state governor of nigeria}, national party chairman of Nigeria {P.D.P} Okwesilieze Nwodo who is suppose to face the court for $214 million scam. I see Africa as people not created by God. I urge us to start from where ever we are in Africa to start making our place better by doing the right thing all the time, i know the effect might not be noticed now. But if we can start, then we can succeed. Lets form a non profit organization to contribute ideas, face our challenges squarely and sacrifice all we are and have to change Africa. Lets start today. Your ideas are necessary, send it to changeandchallenge@yahoo.com

    October 25, 2010 at 7:20 am |
  190. James NGU

    There are a variety of reasons why Africa has lagged behind other continents in terms of development, and they vary from external Colonialism, slavery, neo colonialism, Cold war, to internal, poor leadership, cultural challenges, reverse racism, greed, corruption etc.

    Bottom line we can come up with a lot of reasons for prior poor performance, what we should not do is let all of that stop us from ensuring that Africa catches up and even surpasses the rest of the world in terms of development.

    We have the talent, tenacity and capacity to take ownership of our destiny, we just need the right leadership, and the right followship.

    It starts with us agreeing that we have no one to blame but ourselves, but also agreeing on a future a vision that enables us to leap frog in the next 50 years and realize our potential.

    October 25, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  191. GLASNOST

    Check this blog.
    Foreign aid is counter-productive in Africa.
    http://cosmopolitan-glasnost.blogspot.com/2010/09/dead-aid.html

    November 3, 2010 at 9:50 am |
  192. ROSE ABOLADE

    I refuse to allow most of these criticism against AFRICA by other spokesperson to get into me.Especially BOBBY and BIGGERO.I hope you guyz are priviledge to read this now? Let me start by saying it's not of God's plan to create Africa as a continent for morkery.The bad leadership and other related financial misconduct is not a mischievial of AFRICA but AFRICANS.AFRICA is potentially loaded in terms of RESOURCES,but THE MANAGERIAL SKILL is what we lack.Saying that their colour is what makes them to be radically vulnurable to humanity,I totally diagree with that! Why? By God's grace,i'm a very SPIRITUAL PERSON and not just RELIGIOUS.And the Holy book of the books(BIBLE) clearly states it in Gen 1 that God pondered on this point and told his angels that "let create man in our own image,in the image of God he created both the male and female(BLACK & WHITE) So you saying that their colour is the cause of thier PREDICAMENT is noting but a mere RHETORIC.It's indeed a BLASPHEMY.Only God can forgive for that."Don't call what I God have made holy unholy".Which one can you create? Can you even create any living thing? Then why then condeming them as thou they are the cause of thier existence.Are they from the devil.Their mentality is what you'er to correct for crying out loud and not they themselves.Please try to be very careful on the way and manner you analise your views & opinion.It could be something disasterous to any morally-sound African out there.Colour has noting to do with the case of bad leader.Your phinomena to me is indeed wrong.The colour discrimination has no BIBLICAL back up.What you ought to say is that "Africans are suffering from POVERTY OF THE MIND" and not "POVERTY OF COLOUR/RESOURCES".The solutions to this issue are indeed nameless.But to pull at his horn ,I will say all we need is "MINDREVOLUTION" I.e. Revolution of the mind.Once the mind is rehabillitated & reconstructed on what is wrong and how to take strategic steps on its solution,the principle of PATRIOTISM will strongly be rejuvenated in these people (including myself),and they will have something to hold unto as a meaningful solution tothier challenge.

    November 26, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  193. doestruthhurt

    africa is poor because everytime we have a leader who does what is best for teh african people
    you kill him and replace him by a bloodthirsty tyrant who will pupm the wealth to europe

    example: rightfully elected patrice lumumba got murdered and replaced by the tyrant mobutu

    so please keep you comments about africans inability to succeed for yourself

    March 19, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  194. games nintendo

    I relish, cause I found just what I was having a look for. You have ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

    July 30, 2012 at 5:44 am |
  195. Joe Schmoe

    The mystery of why black people can not be like the other races is found in the book of Jonah 3:8

    May 25, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
  196. miata theola

    africa is poor because the leaders have made that choice, through curroption

    March 26, 2014 at 6:23 am |

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