The World Bank and the IMF (the International Monetary Fund) were set up during the end of the Second World War to rebuild the economies of Europe. However, in order for the world bank and the IMF to implement their policies, they (the world bank and the IMF) began offering loans to poor countries but only if the poor countries privatized their economies and allowed western corporations free access to their raw materials and markets. That was a poverty trap and many poor countries realized it when it was too late. We were already in chains.
That was the beginning of much of the problems we face today in Africa. Now we are in a vicious cycle of poverty and there seems to be no way out. The western corporations flourish while the poor continue to die in poverty.
The more we fight and kill ourselves, the more profit (money) they make so even as we work very hard to achieve peace and understanding, there are many up there in the top working extremely hard to make sure there are wars and even more wars so they can profit from the deaths of untold number of people. This is the situation in Africa today and that is why every now and then you hear conflicts, political violence and rumors of war all across the continent.
Let me begin with a clear example to explain what I am trying to say. Many of you have heard about Darfur and the deaths of untold number of people (some say about 500,000 although the true figure is far bigger than that). However, not so many people know the Sudan conflict was somehow "a proxy war".
Almost all the foreign aid Africa receives end up in private bank accounts in foreign lands. In Africa, foreign aid fuels corruption, starts conflicts, and pays to kill innocent people especially the poor and the weak. This is how foreign aid destroys Africa. Foreign aid turns African governments into monsters and causes them to destroy the very own people they were supposed to be protecting. Many African leaders stay in power for decades why because they receive free aid money to pay the military and private killing machines to enable them remain in power forever.
Besides turning governments into monsters, foreign aid brings in a lot of other negative incentives. External people see Africa as even poorer why because they "feed" Africa in the form of aid.
Is Africa the poorest continent on earth? The answer is NO. Africa is not the poorest continent on earth. In fact, Asia is far poorer than Africa. The Indian subcontinent alone contains nearly 50 percent of the total population of poor people in the world today. Africa and the rest of Asia contain about 40 percent of the world's poor population. Latin America and the rest of the world contain the remaining 10 percent.
So as you can see, Africa contains just about 20% of the world's poor population. Asia contains at least 60-65% of the world's poor population. It depends on how you view poverty. If you are judging continents based on the number of advanced countries, then you may put Asia ahead of Africa because of countries like Japan and China.
Not so many people know and not so many people understand why because the few who know do not share and the few who understand do not explain and so the story continues but in silent dreams - dreams full of several "whats" and "hows". The very few good Samaritans who decide to share what they know are often handsomely rewarded with early graves while the very few who try to explain end up with barbecued tongues.
Our maker did not put us here to suffer yet we continue to suffer all day and night. "A hand that does not work must not eat" yet some of us are left with no limbs at all.
Some say we are lazy. Some say we are selfish. Some say we are ignorant while others consider us nothing but foolish fools.