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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Poverty, corruption and instabilities, what can the Africa Union do?

There are many questions about Africa that defy every conventional wisdom. For instance why is it that despite being the poorest continent in the world Africa is also the continent where capital outflows exceeds inflows?

Why is it that desite being the richest continent in terms of natural resource endowment more than 70% of its people live on two dollars a day?

Why is it that despite the fact that most of these countries have had leaders who have ruled for more than four decades poverty, malnutrition, diseases and instabilities continue to plague the continent?

Why has the oil revenue in Nigeria, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Angola and Congo not trckled down to the ordinary people?

Why has the huge revenue from gold, diamond, coltan, copper, bauxite and uranium not tricked down to the people of Ghana, Niger, Guinea, DR Congo, Central African Republic and Zambia?

Why has Equatorial Guinea not become the Hong Kong of Africa or Gabon the Singapore of Africa? Why has Nigeria not become the United States of Africa with all her oil money, population and rich soil? Why has Libya not become the Switzerland of Africa? Why has DR Congo with its landmass, population and resources not become the Canada of Africa or Angola the Norway of Africa?

The answers to these questions lie deep within the the kind of leadership, and the types of goverments and institutions found in these countries. Available figures suggest that Africa receives about 10 billion dollars or a little more than that annually as aid and foreign direct investment. On the contrary and according to the AU the continent losses 148 billion dollars annually most of it siphoned away by the leaders and their business associates with most of the money going into their private bank accounts in Europe, North America, the Carribbean, Hong Kong, Singapore and other save haven centres around the globe.

Do you think the AU can help? What can the AU as a continental body do to stop the corruption, poverty, wars and diseases? Have your say.

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