Poverty in Africa is Not About Money, Stupid

An awful lot of money has been poured into Africa by way of loans and grants but some African countries remain desperately poor and the debates as to why this is continue. For the purpose of this article and the ones that will follow over the next few days, I have drawn on my experience as an African woman and by virtue of my work with African women involved in textile and handicraft production to explore some of the reasons why ending poverty is not simply about the money. The views I put forward are mine as well as those of the women I work with and others I come across during the of course of my work.

What is it about the money?

We have all heard the saying “money isn’t everything”, Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar took this one step further when he said “money isn’t everything but it is up there with oxygen”. This is certainly very true of the many desperately poor and hunger stricken Africans. By the end of the series, I hope to have demonstrated that money is only part of the equation.

The one thing that most folk agree on is that AID in the form of money has failed because it doesn’t necessarily get to those that need it, it creates dependency and several reasons have been put forward as to why this is. There two reasons that really stand out in my mind’s eye one is VULTURE FUNDS the other is EXCLUSION.

Vulture Funds

These funds work on the basis of buying up third world debt, knowing very well that the third world country is so poor and is unlikely to pay and when this become evident the “vultures” pounce.What is shocking about this is that these vultures are not breaking the law well not here in the UK anyway. There is however an irony in this because the third world country is unlikely to pay and the only way that country can pay is by dipping into the AID that is allocated to it for health, education, or food. Furthermore, AID is made available through our Tax system and as such we the Tax payers are putting money into these vultures’ pockets. So as you can see there are really circumstances when the money simply doesn’t get to the destined country let alone folk on the ground.

Exclusion

The desperately poor in Africa are amongst the most excluded people in the world. As such these folk do not know their rights or how to fight for them. The exclusion is wide spread and takes many forms, social, political, economic, health, education etc and when any part of a population or an individual is excluded in all those areas it becomes near impossible to eradicate poverty, disease, etc. It is also means that these folk are unable to take those in power to task on matters of accountability when it comes to AID.

The question one asks is whether it is best to give these people money or to empower them/address their exclusion. If giving more money isn’t necessarily the answer to ending poverty what is, and why aren’t governments looking at different ways/models of ending poverty? Models that seek to bring about accountability, responsibility, sustainability and above all dignified ways out of poverty. I’ll be covering more on this in future articles, so stay tuned!

Discover the Shocking Truth Behind Africa AIDS Statistics and the Statistics of HIV

Imagine a place where your every waking moment is surrounded by death. Across the street is a family of eight, all orphans. The eldest takes care of all the siblings and he is barely in his teens. They don’t have any source of income and one of them has been infected with AIDS. Right on the corner lays a man dying. No one bats an eye. No one tries to help. It is all just a common sight to the people in the neighborhood. Standing atop of it all are the authorities who are doing nothing to help. They are just stuffing their fat pockets with graft and corruption.

Imagine no further. Read about the Africa AIDS statistics and realize that the previous scenario is reality in Africa. These statistics show that two out of three people in Africa will die of AIDS. These deaths mean there will be more orphans that will be thrust into poverty, resorting to dire survival means, including crime, drugs and prostitution. Unfortunately, this lifestyle will put these children at risk of getting AIDS themselves and continuing this vicious cycle.

Statistics of HIV show that most of the people with AIDS in the world come from Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa to be specific. Among the people inflicted with the disease, two out of three people will come from this region. In the state of Botswana, for example, one out of four people are infected and in Zimbabwe it is growing to one out of three. Twenty-four million in this region are infected by this deadly disease and the number will continue to grow if this epidemic is not attended to.

The economic repercussions of the disease are serious, too. It is the major reason for the loss of skilled workers. Africa AIDS Statistics show that Kenya loses two of out of every three police officers to the disease.

Furthermore, AIDS is seen as the main cause for the lack of teachers in the Central African Republic. This has led to 100 primary school closings in two years between 1996 and 1998. It is also important to note that statistics of HIV show that three out of ten soldiers in Africa are HIV-positive.

AIDS affects Africa so much so that if nothing is done about this disease, it will lead to continued poverty and suffering. Today, AIDS remains one of the major problems facing this region.

Child Poverty in South Africa

Child poverty in South Africa is a case that really needs to be addressed. A lot of people think that this is still linked to apartheid, but that is certainly not the case. What is quite sad is that people are under the assumption that there is nothing wrong at all so the country tries to hide the situation away under the covers as if there were nothing to worry about.

Before the FIFA Soccer World cup came to the country people were wondering what was going to become of the situation with child poverty and poverty in South Africa in general. A few days before the event took place children were taken off the street mysteriously.

Tourists come to Africa not knowing the situation, but the poverty statistics show us how bad things really are. It is a little like a catch-22 scenario because parents don’t have the funds to send their children to school to improve their way of life and give them an education so they are stuck on the street, most of the time begging to pass the day.

Slowly, people are being made aware of the situation. Volunteers have been building houses in the townships out of funds that they provide. It is fantastic that people have the heart for a cause like this, but it would be great if more people were aware of life on the streets. When you have a look at mansions overlooking the ocean it really makes you stop and think.