Girl-child-AfricaThere are poor people in Africa and Africa needs help. However, there are even poorer people elsewhere in the world who need much more help than the poor in Africa. The western media often portray Africa as the dark continent full of nothing but poverty, hunger, pain and misery which is not the case.

It is true there is poverty in Africa but not all countries in Africa are poor. Some countries are poorer than others. A country like South Africa is far more advanced than most countries in the world today. Even Nigeria, Morocco, Botswana (an upper middle-income country), Ghana and other lower middle income countries in Africa are far better than most countries in the world today.

Take China for example. China is often classified as an advanced country but there is extreme poverty in some parts of China (especially rural China). Even in America, the richest country on earth, some people sleep on streets just because they have no place to call a home while the few extremely rich people continue to pile billions upon billions of dollars in private bank accounts. It may not be as beautiful and flashy as some homes in the western world but in Africa, almost everybody has a place to call a home.

Is Africa poor? Yes, Africa is poor. Are there hungry people in Africa? Yes, there are hungry people in some parts of Africa. Why is there still hunger in Africa? Well, there are so many reasons why some people still go to bed hungry in Africa. I came across this question online; "What happened to all the donations and foreign aid they've been sending to Africa?".

Well, if you want to help the poor in the society then always look for a direct means of contact so you can help them directly. People keep donating huge sums of money to charity organizations to help feed the hungry people in the world today but what do we see? people still go to bed hungry.

If a charity organization makes lets say $50,000 dollars a month and pays the CEO and other executives $25,000, and pays the remaining workers $15,000, It remains just $10,000. The poor do not get all the $10,000. Why? Because transportation, feeding, and other expenses cut in too. So at the end of the day, the poor gets nothing out of the $50,000 money the charity organization received in donations. That is exactly how most charity organizations work today. Even the so-called "reputable" charity organizations are run this way.

It may surprise you to know that the CEO of UNICEF receives not less than $1,200,000 per year plus all expenses, and a Rolls Royce car wherever he goes. Meanwhile, even the president of America makes "just" $400,000 a year. Not just UNICEF. Even the head of the American Red Cross is paid not less than $650,000 a year plus expenses. I can go on and on. That is how most charity organizations are run today and that is why millions of people including tiny little babies still go to bed hungry despite all the billions in donations.

What about the foreign aid? Foreign aid may appear free to some people but the truth is that, none of the foreign aid poor countries receive is free. For every dollar ($1) in aid a developing country (such as the poor countries in Africa) receives, the developing country spends at least 8 dollars ($8) in repayment. Foreign aid is worse than regular loans because of the huge "hidden-interest". Some countries in Africa, especially the war-torn countries like Liberia, Congo, Sudan, etc., have nowhere else to go for loans and that is why they still depend on foreign aid. It is a financial trap.

If you read about debt cancellations for poor countries, you may think western countries like America, Germany, France, UK, etc. forgive those poor countries without getting anything in return but that is not how it works in reality. They may forgive you of the $100,000 loan but they'll take about $100 million worth of timber and other natural resources in return. China is in Africa building bridges and constructing roads and some people think they are doing it for free which is not true. For every road China constructs, China will take huge "tons" of natural resources in return. Read more about How Foreign Aid Destroys Africa .

Africa is blessed with abundance of natural resources yet people go hungry in Africa everyday. Why people go hungry despite the abundance of natural resources? As I mentioned earlier on, some countries (such as China) come to Africa pretending to help but end up exploiting Africa's natural resources sometimes free of charge. There are so many foreign companies in Africa today yet even some workers who work in these foreign companies go to bed hungry. Why? Because those foreign companies are in Africa just to outsource and the outsourcing in Africa is so bad to the point where even the local workers working for these companies go hungry. Those foreign companies get workforce, natural resources, etc. free of charge. People work in these foreign companies but gain very little, not even enough to feed themselves and their families, which is very sad.

Africa has the natural resources and what it takes to be the greatest continent financially yet people still go to bed hungry in Africa. Why? It is because Africans depend on western countries more than Africans themselves. Instead of putting our brains together and utilizing the available natural resources to better our lives, we give western countries and corporations free access to our raw materials and resources while we suffer.

Take a country like Ivory coast for example. Ivory Coast is the world's leading producer of cocoa beans. Children work like slaves in cocoa farms in Ivory Coast yet most of these children working like slaves in cocoa farms have not even tasted chocolate before. Why? Because Ivory Coast sells the cocoa beans at very cheap prices to foreign countries who convert the cocoa beans into chocolate and then sell these chocolates at very expensive prices to poor countries such as Ivory Coast. Those who work like slaves in the cocoa farms to produce the cocoa beans cannot even afford to buy chocolate which is very sad.

Meanwhile, if Ivory Coast imports those chocolate-making machines and starts producing the chocolate in Ivory Coast, they could sell these chocolates at reasonable prices to foreign countries and make more profit.

Agriculture and education are the backbone of every country on earth yet most African governments ignore these sectors as if they are unimportant. Africa has so much fertile land yet we still go hungry. Instead of developing Agriculture and improving education, our politicians waste money on luxurious vacations abroad with their sex partners. Instead of developing Agriculture and education, African leaders waste precious money and time developing their goat-bellies. It is time we do away with all these greedy leaders in Africa because there is no way Africa can escape the poverty trap and prosper with those greedy creatures as our leaders

So what is the New Africa? The new Africa is the Africa of hope. The new Africa is the Africa of opportunities. The new Africa is the Africa of justice. The new Africa is the Africa whereby people depend on themselves (instead of depending on foreign countries). Africa has all it takes to be the greatest continent on earth in terms of fighting poverty and hunger. Africa has the brains and the power to do it. All we need to do is come together as one people. Sometimes they manipulate us to fight and kill ourselves. The new Africa is the Africa whereby people cherish peace and prosperity more than anything else.

War brings nothing but destruction. War brings nothing but pain. War destroys precious lives and properties. There is nothing good in war and tribal conflicts yet we allow ourselves to be manipulated and we have given in to manipulation to the point where we fight and kill our own brothers and sisters for no good reasons at all. It is time we start thinking. The new Africa I see is the Africa whereby people think for themselves. The new Africa I see is the Africa whereby people see reason.

Lets put our time and energy into good use. Africa has done it before so we can do it again. Lets come together as one people with a common destiny and fight for a better Africa.

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Tanu Jalloh
Africa must move beyond its natural resources to harnessing its human and manufacturing potentials. According to a recent report by Ernst & Young: Due to volatile nature of commodity prices, an over-dependency on a few key sectors clearly raises questions about the sustainability of growth. Despite perceptions to the contrary, less than one third of Africa’s growth has come from natural resources.