Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Africa is Penniless and Broke
The same old guards of the sixties continue to rule Africa unabated. The modes of leadership they impose on their people are multi-faceted. Some practice kleptocracy. These group devour their nation's resources without measure while millions of their loyal citizens perish for lack of food and water. Some are dictators who either kill, maim, or jail the opposition without legal justifications. Others have enthroned themselves kings. These bunch have created gloomy pictures of destitution which are visible in the eyes of their subjects while they live lavish lives in palaces surrounded by loyal, well-fed mistresses and bodyguards.
Africa has every kind of natural resource enough for the entire continental population. Africa prides to have great rivers, lakes, oceans, forests, minerals, culture of tolerance, and a wonderful sunny tropical weather all-year-round. Yet, Africa is poor and penniless because her leaders have decided to keep to themselves every shining dime and nickel. African leaders wear the best woolen, cotton, and silken three-piece-suits bought in Paris, London, Rome, and New York. These leaders drive the most expensive imported cars in the world. They cherish custom-made Mercedes Benz, BMW, Volvo, and Audi limousines that are bullet-proof and well-furnished. They ride the most expensive rodeos, barbecue in expansive ranches surrounded by vineyards, exotic plants and wildlife. They swim in crystal clear waters surrounded by mademoiselles clad in bikinis. Yet, a few miles from their palaces their subjects remain destitute, naked, and sickly.
The children of African leaders abhor local education systems. Instead they prefer to enroll in the best educational institutions located overseas. Upon graduation, they return to their countries of origin where they are ushered in to a world of splendor and merrymaking. Millions of dollars, gold and jewelery looted by their parents-in-power await them upon their return. Had African leaders embarked on philanthropic purposes by dispersing the monies they spend on expensive regalia and lavish lifestyles, millions of their countrymen could be saved from abject poverty.
Africa is penniless and broke as depicted in the world Economic Freedom Index (EFI). The continent lags behind in labor freedom, freedom from corruption, investment freedom, financial freedom, monetary freedom, government size, fiscal freedom, trade freedom, business freedom, and property rights. Africa is being devastated by HIV/AIDS, malaria, sexually transmitted diseases or STD, diabetes, hypertension, and hazardous wastes that contribute to the spread of deadly diseases.
The continent suffers from poor infrastructure; vital medical and educational facilities are scarce if not nonexistent in many rural and remote areas; many regions remain impassable due to lack of reliable roads and bridges; scarcity of food and water shortages afflict millions in the countrysides and even in many major cities; insecurity and corruption remain the biggest obstacle to good governance. Africa has no one else to blame. It is the leaders' old habits that is dragging the continent to unpredictable disaster.