View Poll Results: Are we to blame for Africa's current state?

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  • Completely - it is entirely our fault

    2 5.71%
  • Slightly - it's partially our fault

    11 31.43%
  • Neutral

    3 8.57%
  • Not our fault at all

    19 54.29%
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Thread: Are we to blame for Africa's current state?

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    Are we to blame for Africa's current state?

    Personally, I think it's ridiculous when people say that people in Africa starve because of us.

    People say that the only way we can afford to live as well as we do is because of poor children in Africa. This is utter garbage. Barely anything, other than a bit of oil, is exported out of Africa. There are starving children in Africa mainly because the continent is a jumbled mess of civil wars and religious terrorism.

    Sure there are children in India/China/etc. working to make our shoes, but that's not our fault.

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    Re: Are we to blame for Africa's current state?

    Depends on who you mean by "we."

    Africa largely could have succeeded but for political instability and violence. But the instability partially comes from drawing arbitrary lines on a map and imposing the political construct of a modern "state" in a place where it never existed.


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    Re: Are we to blame for Africa's current state?

    europe. They drew the borders.
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    Re: Are we to blame for Africa's current state?

    Bloomberg/Business week, May 14-20, page 8.....
    Exxon Mobil vs. Dodd-Frank Wall St. Reform and Consumer Protection Act, section 1504.
    Oil companies don't want to publish how much they pay for the oil they extract, so the locals don't know if their leaders are siphoning off a big chunk to secret bank accounts somewhere. Oil rich countries like Nigeria and Iraq get tons of money, but too little of it gets filtered down to the citizens.
    If the citizens KNOW how much is being paid to their leaders, they can EXPECT some of it to be spent on better schools, roads, jobs, etc.
    Supposedly, Exxon Mobil feels that they are being asked to play by a differrent set of rules than buyers from other countries, like china, Russia, Brazil, India.
    That is true, but the oil revenue belongs to all of the citizens, not just the leaders....and if the other countries don't want to disclose, then it should be fair game to snitch to the Nigerians and Iraqis just how much those others are paying.

    The Diamond industry is even worse...
    Last edited by UtahBill; 05-27-12 at 10:56 PM.
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    Re: Are we to blame for Africa's current state?

    Quote Originally Posted by Voltaire X View Post
    Personally, I think it's ridiculous when people say that people in Africa starve because of us.

    People say that the only way we can afford to live as well as we do is because of poor children in Africa. This is utter garbage. Barely anything, other than a bit of oil, is exported out of Africa. There are starving children in Africa mainly because the continent is a jumbled mess of civil wars and religious terrorism.

    Sure there are children in India/China/etc. working to make our shoes, but that's not our fault.

    We as in The USA?

    I believe the US gave 8 Billion to Africa in 2009, 7 billion or so in 2010 and 2011

    No telling how much non-government resources gave to them.
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    Re: Are we to blame for Africa's current state?

    No, it's not our fault, except that we have tried to buy and manipulate it into success to a certain extent. As my friend from Botswana loves to say, as he shakes his head sadly, "Africa will always be Africa". The continent, and many of its countries have horrible problems with crime, corruption, and ignorance. It's very sad, but for the most part, Africa will have to fix Africa.
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    Re: Are we to blame for Africa's current state?

    Partly, yes.

    It's true we have given them a lot of money, but what the people who tout those numbers fail to mention is under what conditions we gave it to them.

    For several African countries, we mandated austerity budgets so strict it was impossible for them to actually build anything to improve conditions. On top of that, the interest rates are so high than even though most have been good about paying on time, their level of debt never actually goes down. It's a treadmill with no end in sight.

    On top of that, we have put a lot of local farmers out of business with influxes of cheap, subsidized grains (our own farmers haven't gotten off so well on that deal either), further weakening their ability to build their communities.

    It is probably unfair to blame Africa's situation entirely or even mostly on the US, but we certainly have played a role.

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    Re: Are we to blame for Africa's current state?

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeAndMirrors View Post
    Partly, yes.

    It's true we have given them a lot of money, but what the people who tout those numbers fail to mention is under what conditions we gave it to them.

    For several African countries, we mandated austerity budgets so strict it was impossible for them to actually build anything to improve conditions. On top of that, the interest rates are so high than even though most have been good about paying on time, their level of debt never actually goes down. It's a treadmill with no end in sight.

    On top of that, we have put a lot of local farmers out of business with influxes of cheap, subsidized grains (our own farmers haven't gotten off so well on that deal either), further weakening their ability to build their communities.

    It is probably unfair to blame Africa's situation entirely or even mostly on the US, but we certainly have played a role.
    Yes, we played a role, perhaps we should have just kept the money and built a couple bridges.
    The corruption and culture in the region does little to promote humanitarian activity, manipulation of resource rich areas, and politics make it unlikely any amount of $$$ will make a dent.
    War is the norm under these circumstance, and we pay for it.

    If we did not fund this crap, they would kill each other in tribal warfare by the dozens, we make it possible to graduate to the thousands.


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    Re: Are we to blame for Africa's current state?

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeAndMirrors View Post
    Partly, yes.

    It's true we have given them a lot of money, but what the people who tout those numbers fail to mention is under what conditions we gave it to them.

    For several African countries, we mandated austerity budgets so strict it was impossible for them to actually build anything to improve conditions. On top of that, the interest rates are so high than even though most have been good about paying on time, their level of debt never actually goes down. It's a treadmill with no end in sight.

    On top of that, we have put a lot of local farmers out of business with influxes of cheap, subsidized grains (our own farmers haven't gotten off so well on that deal either), further weakening their ability to build their communities.

    It is probably unfair to blame Africa's situation entirely or even mostly on the US, but we certainly have played a role.
    I agree with this notion entirely. While Africa has its problems that only it can resolve, no doubt, the West has played a role that has mainly been negative, such as supporting dictators. (Brutal West African Dictators Get Plenty Of U.s. Support - Chicago Tribune) (African Dictatorships and Double Standards | FPIF)

    In addition to this, the IMF and World Bank's 'structual adjustment programs,' have had negative effects all over the world. (Structural Adjustment Program) These programs essentially impose massive austerity on the people, thus hurting the potential for economic growth and put already bad economies into even worse conditions.
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    Re: Are we to blame for Africa's current state?

    I think Europe is mostly to blame. They divvied up Africa in their mad quest for hegemony, in ways that highly disfavored the neighbors. The New Imperialists agreed amongst each other on how to carve up Africa (not a single African was present at the Berlin Conference, which set the borders for which regions each European country would control, and led to the creation of the hated Congo Free State), without regards to ethnicity. They ruled authoritarian-style, suppressing Africans and denying independence. The African colonies were little more than resource pools to the European nations, and they were treated accordingly.

    The U.S. has hampered Africa economically (I'm no expert in that area), not to mention they supported dictators like Mobutu Sese Seko.
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