Nothing wrong with keeping a sense of humor....
April Fools Day
The first order of business is to feed them. The next step is education. The third step is to improve their social overhead capital. The fifth step is economic investments. c.i.
The Boston Globe ran an article about international aid distribution in Africa being partially re-routed to Iraq.
" 'We are all seized with the war in Iraq,' Morris said. 'But as we meet today, there are nearly 40 million Africans in greater peril. They are struggling against starvation.'
UNICEF's recent appeal for $166 million for Iraq has already netted $49.3 million. But its $110 million appeal made earlier in the year for Afghanistan -- last year's major recovery effort -- has raised just $13.3 million."
u r right but..
I think that is true..
But this is the responsability of everybody to think about it.
So all African countries -Those wich have more capacities than the others-
should make all their effort to solve this problem.
Good point, safinaz. All Africa should pull together, but really, all of the world should lend a hand too. We should at least stop taking advantage of the situation.
A man named Stephen Ellis of the African Studies Centre in Leiden, the Netherlands, suggests turning the leadership of 'failed states' over to trusteeships compromised of exiled populations and local grassroots groups from within a 'failed country' as well as having components of international oversight.VOA
In Kenya a green revolution is setting roots. Emphasis is being placed on enriching the leached soil with necessary nutrients via fertilization. Soil scientist Pedro Sanchez has been working with villagers in Sauri, Kenya, using humanitarian aid.
The Earth Institute at Columbia University
The difference comes down to fertilizer, according to Sanchez and other experts. A recent study by the International Center for Soil Fertility and Agricultural Development, or IFDC, found that the average African farmer applies one fifth of the necessary amount of the various nutrients required to maintain soil fertility. "Without a green revolution, we remain in the logic of food aid, which will never provide food security," said Alpha Oumar Konaré, chairman of the African Union, at the Summit launch.
And food aid is expensive. "In Malawi, we have found that it costs about $40 for a typical smallholder farmer to get good crop yields and get out of hunger," Sanchez says. "It cost $400 to feed that same family with food aid. So it's much better to invest at the front end of the food chain, starting with the soil, water and seeds, than the tail end." Scientific American
<-- an all around fantastic site!
Millennium Villages Project
I have never been to any place in Africa, but I am fascinated by it. I don't really have any answer to your question, so everything that follows is just my musings.
littlek, your initial question "How to help Africa" is probably too broad (I think you might admit that too). Africa is a large and complex place. Think of the differences within your own country, within states and cities even. Then add a lot more history, disease, unnavigable rivers, do-gooder dabbling and global interference.
I was at a social event and met a man who had recently returned from west Africa, where he was acting as a UN political advisor. Unfortunately, I didn't get to talk to him for long, but it resonated when he said something like this: "The thing is that they understand democracy, they want democracy, but they have no instinct for democracy, they don't feel it in their guts."
It got me wondering if democracy is the correct thing for these countries.
Few Sub-Saharan countries have stable politics, but all the ones that I can think of are set up as republics, generally on a parliamentary system. Is this the best thing? Is it a fair expectation? In the first world, we grew into our political systems over hundreds of years with little outside interference.
Without stable government, education cannot be valued and continued from generation to generation. And infrastructure such as roads, bridges, telecommunications, etc. will never be maintained, if they get built in the first place. Stable governments could control the rapacity of large multinational corporations intent on maximum profit (DeBeers comes to mind, among others) and stand up to the disruptive mercenary armies. But above that, without stable government the people never have time to create any wealth and develop their own systems.
So I guess I'm coming to the conclusion that the most important thing to all the nations and regions of Africa is stable government. Our problem is that we just can't keep our fingers out unless the government is modelled on our own. But it may be that the only stable government possible is not parliamentary democracy, but something else.
I've just finished reading My Heart is Africa by Scott Griffin. He is a Canadian businessman hired by AMREF to restructure the Flying Doctors Service to be a economically self-sufficient. Unfortunately, the book is written as a flying adventure (he flew his Cessna 180 across the Atlantic and over much of Africa) so it's a little light on details that would be good for this thread.
But one thing that struck me while reading it was that, in east Africa and former British colonies, all the responsible executive, administrative and management business positions are mostly held by whites and, to a lesser degree, by Asians. Most of the grunt work is by native Africans. To me this speaks of 2 things: a segregated class society that persists, and lack of education for black Africans. We know from experience in the West that these two factors lead to political instability.
Oh, and most of the politicians are black Africans. But that means the majority were vaulted from rural tribes or urban slums to positions of power and are now unchecked by much democratic instinct. It takes an exceptional person to have a strong sense of justice and social well-being in these conditions. It's not surprising that corruption is rife, which contributes to governmental instability.