Africa’s Changing Tide

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Drought, famine and an uncertainty over nation rebuilding efforts is hampering the growth of the African continent

In the West, Africa is often associated with never-ending poverty, death, disease and violence but there is another equally compelling side to the continent and it is a developing angle: in the midst of war and famine, there is pouring in of China’s local might in nation rebuilding efforts.

A lot of towns still remain in the dust in Africa, as plenty of China’s new money is poured into creating hospitals, airports, and schools. This investment in Africa is a two-way street: money raked in from it is going to act nationally useful as a stock and it is being built on lucrative investments that had happened in the seventies in the continent, which even safe-earned a seat at the United Nations for China.

There is word on the street that unjust colonialism could at be play here but is it really a justified thought? China’s willingness to invest in the region may also be looked at something more than just a goodbye to a colonial past that had shackled the fate of many – it is also a chance for growth in Africa.

There is a rising concern present however, over whether or not China’s investment efforts may be long-term since good relations need to exist with every African government that comes and goes for all of this growth to happen in the continent and at the moment uncertainty is brewing. This brings to the surface questions over how serious Africa really is about growth and development, there is absolutely no doubt about that but what is horrifying is that uncertainty couldn’t come at a much worse time.

Most of the African population (a staggering 90percent) are unbanked, and in Nigeria, villages are still reeling from having to evacuate because of violence brought upon by the Islamic extremist group, Boko Haram. The last eighteen months of success by the military in curbing the spread of the extremist rebellion in Nigeria is now being looked upon as a call to villagers that it is safe for them to return home.

Villagers cannot change homes because they have farms and a means to earn an income in those villages. Farms were destroyed, livestock was lost, many locals were displaced but fortunately, the displacement period has seen support from the British charity, Tearfund and local partners, which supplied each family, with a subsidy grant of 11,000 naira, along with farming tools and training in how to farm during off-season; the grants have gone into revitalizing the villagers’ farms, whilst some even bought home appliances and more agricultural tools with it.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Africa famine horrifically has spread to several African states, from South Africa to Ethiopia. The primary cause for this has been attributed as failure of crops and a really bad dry spell, connected to natural disasters and abnormality in weather conditions, stretching across years. In Ehiopia, for example, people are living off water lilies or eating only a singular meal each day and there are also reports of an arm of the German pharmaceutical company, Bayer, based in Zimbabwe, losing out on making profits because of scratchy follow-throughs in southern Africa to utilize technologies they provide, and also for the drought presiding over Africa.

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Author: Osmi Anannya

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