HILLARY CLINTON; HARD CHOICES: BOOK ANALYSIS. CHAPTER 13: AFRICA: GUNS OR GROWTH? OR MAYBE BETTER EDUCATION AND FAMILY PLANNING.
The Hard Choice here is will Africa’s future be governed by guns, graft or growth. (Maybe the way forward is through education, particularly of women.)
However there are signs that give rise to the hope that Africa will become a stable, democratic continent. Some of the fastest growing economies in the World exist in Sub-Saharan Africa. (However the population is forecast to double by 2050 so this may cancel out per capita benefits.)
China is a big investor in Sub Saharan resources and raw materials. They also build eye-catching infrastructure like stadiums or roads and ports that help to access the resources they own. Often they turn a blind eye to human rights abuses and human welfare conditions. Also they bring their own labor so their projects don’t provide jobs for the locals. They also are not interested in advancing democracy or good governance.
Graft and corruption is estimated to cost Sub Saharan Africa up to 150 billion a year. Since 2005 the number of elected democracies in Sub Saharan Africa fell from 24 to 19.
The Congo has long been in the grip of civil war where rape is used as a weapon of war. The government army is undisciplined and untrained. Recently soldier’s pay was diverted by senior officers into their own accounts until a plan was developed to transfer money directly into the accounts of the soldiers. However graft and corruption remains endemic. Schooling and medical care remains sporadic or non existent
South Sudan has oil resources while the North does not but the North has refining and shipping facilities while the South does not. A renewed civil war nearly broke out until a compromise was reached where the South could ship their oil out at a reasonable fee through Northern ports. This was due to the influence of Bishop Elias Taban a former freedom fighter for the South and now a religious leader. However the peace is tenuous and may not hold.
In Sub Sahran Africa tensions remain high between tribes and interest groups often to see who will control their countries resources.
However the example of Nelson Mandela is clear. A man who started out as a violent freedom fighter and spent 27 years in jail returned to be a non violent leader and overcame apartheid to become president of South Africa. Mandela was an educated man, a lawyer before he went to prison and returned as a non violent leader and activist like Gandhi who also was from South Africa and was a lawyer before he became a national non violent leader in India. whether leaders like these men will arise elsewhere in Sub Saharan Africa remains to be seen.
Hillary is hopeful about Sub Saharan Africa but population increases, unchecked diseases like Malaria, Ebola and HIV Aids remain a menacing threat along with internecine warfare in many countries. Whether Sub Saharan Africa can resolve its problems is an open question and the selling of natural resources alone will not produce a solution. One solution that seems to be on the back burner is education. The more educated the population becomes, particularly the women, then the birth rate tends to fall and the standard of living and the level of social welfare increases.