Africa is not Poor but Poorly Managed

Post By: Gloriel Addison and Emefa Opare Asamoah

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Just as I first look at the face of a person instinctively before looking down at their feet, the Top- Down approach allows to look at a problem right from the top to the bottom. Africa, for a long time has swam in the pools of poverty from surviving under $2 a day, poor health care facilities and the list goes on and till present is battling these same issues.  The pain in Africa’s neck severely affects the ordinary people who vote for leaders to assume positions to serve their needs as these leaders posed to deliver when in power. Instead, most of them care about what they will benefit if they hold high positions in our society .This point is not to start the argument whether the people vote the wrong people into office or not. We stand to critically look from the top; our leaders and speak to what is going on wrong that is failing to tackle the problem of poverty.

The African continent is endowed with many valuable resources in minerals and human resource. Almost all the 53 countries engage in international trade among others. Sadly, many of natural resources are exported in their unrefined state and command no extra economic value. You don’t need to be an economist to concur that resources as scarce. Soon, a lot of the gold and diamonds will get depleted. That not being scary enough, our leaders are far from efficiently allocating the national cake to where they should go. Why is that? Well……if you want to know….George Ayittey provides one answer….corruption. He creates the imagery of the “leaking bowls”. Until the holes are plugged we will cry out for help in our poor state. Monies sent to aid development from international bodies such as International Monetary Fund and World Bank are being “pocketed” rather than serve their purpose. For the benefit of the doubt, at times, some of the projects or agenda are partially completed. (“We have seen you”….in the voice of the lay man)

 Misplaced priorities of our leaders is a contributing factor to the wide spread mismanagement in Africa. A story is told of a town in Ghana in which the government official was accompanied by an entourage to inaugurate a few KVIP’S (i.e. public toilets). Would it not have benefited that community if the money used in fuelling the vehicles were used in building more KVIP’S. What do u think?

Do you sometimes wonder if our leaders even have the competencies to make decisions on our resources? We share the same sentiments. Until things like nepotism seize and placing the qualified in the right position, we will suffer from their actions of mismanagement. Indeed, we concur with those words…Africa is simply mismanaged.

Truly, it is not always about the leaders but also the citizens. We somewhat contribute to how some of our leaders act.  Though we realize that some of our leaders do not want to change, we have accepted anything they do whether good or bad.  We have to be active participants in our various countries. We have written about it, what can you do about it?  

Nelson Mandela said “poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be removed by the actions of human beings”….so is mismanagement of resources.  



One thought on “Africa is not Poor but Poorly Managed”

  1. Interesting analysis. I do agree with you that citizens need to become more actively engaged in their societies to ensure that our leaders are doing the right thing. I personally think that much of this issue of disengaged citizens stems from the fact that we live in societies in which our culture teaches us not to question things because only “too-known” people do so. And so, you have many of us growing up with this mentality embedded in our minds, and as certain issues arise which threaten our development, we remain silent about them. It is necessary that we change this aspect of our culture and question whatever decisions we make. This way, we can have a say in the decisions our leaders take to benefit us as citizens.

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