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Poverty in Africa
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I am with the last camp and believe aid is hurting Africa by making them dependent. Although admittedly it is an odd situation considering that during all these years of having a decent amount of natural resources the populations of African nations disregard constructing and maintenaning infrastructure.

The most blatant insult to humankind and growth displayed is a lack of ideas, it's almost as if they wish to go extinct! How many of you guys have seen those commercials where they say that Africans have to walk for days to get to water, why not move closer to it or divert the river towards yourself? STD ravaging the population? Certainly you would put two and two together and realize what you're doing wrong!

Excuse me if the above is extremely uneducated.

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I'm with Ori'verda on this. Foreign aid hurts them in the long run because they got depended on it to the point that they became extremely lazy, and as Ori'verda said, it's like they wish to go extinct.

Sure, it may sound very cruel but we need to stop all aid, let them think and do things by themselves so they do not continue to be dependant on foreign aid but on their own skills. Yes, many will die, but those that survive will be better off in the long run...

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xxT65xx Creator

I agree that the current aid system is hurting African countries in the long run, but rather than cut all aid entirely it would probably help more if we invested in their local businesses.

At the moment, many African people rely on foreign aid for food because they can't afford to buy from local businesses. People not buying from local businesses hurt them even more, driving up their prices, creating a vicious cycle where their goods can never be competitive. Investing in African agriculture should help them lower their prices and be able to provide for a larger number of people.

When you invest directly in their government, they might use it for improving their infrastructure, or their leaders might pocket it. If its possible to invest in their businesses, thats where I think aid money should go. If the country refuses to let you invest that way, don't give them any money. Thats how I see it.

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Kalga Creator

I agree with both of the above guys on this, though I'll point out that stopping aid =/= stop development/investment. What Africa needs is something that the PRC went through during the 80s, and in fact that's actually happening in some parts of Sub-Sahara Africa even today (but of course you won't here about that in the media, since people aren't dying in large numbers).

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If you're talking about Mao's Great Leap/Cultural Revolution (which happened in the 60s/70s), if anything, that put China back 10-15 years. Deng Xiaoping and similar social market economy proponents already had success in the 50s, but Chairman Mao wanted to go for his manic idea of forced heavy industry which led to millions of senseless deaths and culminated in the reintroduction of market reforms that finally led to China how we have it today (though now it is too shifted to the capitalist side).

Otherwise I fail to see how the 80s market reforms caused any kind of deaths on a large scale? Unless you're alluding to the rest of Africa that is in the spotlight precisely because of death, poverty and conflict (which you propably are, realized after editing :D).

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First of all, they have to want the change. I heard someone said that instead of food we should send only condoms. I entirely agree with this.

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Everyone said that the aid hurts their economies and makes them dependent on the bigger nations, but what if that is the objective?

If African countries became independent, it would mean their economies would grow and their currencies would increase in value. That would end up causing at least two things:

1- The operations of foreign corporations would become more expensive, and therefore, their profits would decrease.

2- As African countries create their own means of exploring their resources, many operations of foreign corporations would be nationalized. This happened all over the world many times already. Later, some of the operations would be auctioned to foreign companies, but that would significantly increase their costs, therefore making them less profitable.

The corporations would not only lose part of their operations, the profitability of the remaining ones would be significantly lowered.

Although we may think using the humanitarian point of view, don't forget their point of view, two words they don't stop repeating: National Interest.

For them, it doesn't matter if it's good for humanity, it matters what is good for them. Sometimes they interweave, sometimes they don't...

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Having lived in South Africa for almost 10 years, and having regular dealings with people from all over Africa (I currently teach English to refugees) I can honestly say that around 7/10's of the problem lies with the African governments.

No matter how developed countries get, or how much aid is given, or how much foreign investment comes in; African governments thrive on corruption. The President gains a multi-million Rand mansion, while even the most minor government official boasts a sporty new car as a perk of his position. In South Africa specifically, a portion of our taxes goes directly to the King of the Zulu tribe who does absolutely nothing for it. Even the British Monarchy contributes through tourism and charity, while the current Zulu king is a racist wife-beater.

But the worst part is that the majority of Africans either don't care, are too uneducated to understand the problems, or even worse are perfectly okay with it. Some of the conversations i've had with students have been startling, where they say they refuse to vote for opposition parties because they think it is the party in power who pays for the development/distribution all the services and such (water/elec/etc). They don't grasp the link that its their taxes being spent, rather than some mystical political entity spewing money. Worse still though, are those who agree with the corruption. Who say 'The president is like the chief, so he is entitled to the lavish new palace, expensive parties, etc'.

Until the African culture is changed, and the become educated enough to understand that they have the right to a better life, and not be subservient to their 'leaders', they will never move past their many issues.

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What should be done about poverty in Africa?

There are a huge variety of opinions on this issue. Some argue that current methods of foreign aid are fine, but perhaps need to be increased in scale. Others believe that the system is dysfunctional and needs to be drastically altered in some way or another. Yet others believe that foreign aid actually hurts African economies, and that the only way to help the continent is through removing all assistance from developed nations.

What do you think?

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