October 23, 2007

Africa is a continent with amazing natural resources

Africa is a continent with amazing natural resources. As Sunday Dare, a Nigerian journalist writes, "From the oil fields of the Niger Delta in Nigeria, to the diamond and copper fields of Sierra Leone, Angola, and Liberia, to the rich mineral deposits of the Great Lakes region, to the mountain ranges, plains and tourist havens of the East African countries, the continent of Africa is undoubtedly blessed." From these blessings, however, sorrow also has flowed. Africa today is a continent in crisis. To understand why most African countries have remained mired in disastrous political, economic and humanitarian crises since the late 1980s, it is important to recognize the internal dynamics of African states as well as the external influences that help to explain Africa's failure.

First of all, much of the blame for Africa's downward spiral of violence and humanitarian disasters belongs to generations of corrupted African leaders and warlords, who have done little, if anything, to develop their countries' economy or emancipate their people. After decades of dictatorial rule, economic mismanagement, political gangsterism and never-ending coups d'etat, most African countries are in terrible shape.

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