No continent in the world has been linked to poverty as Africa. It is in fact the poorest continent in the world. Its population is about to reach a billion along with the consequences. More than a half of African population lives with less than one dollar a day. Every year thousands of people die of hunger, millions die of curable diseases. Africa is the richest continent in terms of raw materials: That is the paradox. It is clear that the wealth derived from the raw materials does not benefit the people of Africa. Their standard of living is not improving. It is of course a major reason why Africans are poor. How to overcome this?
Good governance is the key issue. The misuse of public funds derived from the sale of raw materials is a major issue in Africa. It has become a threat to African development. When leaders are concerned with their own interested we should not expect a change in people standard of living. Unfortunately it is the situation of most African leaders. Fortunately we do have some who show real concerned to their people situation. I believe it is the case in my country: Togo.
Since the president Faure came to power, major changes are occurring in my country. Roads are being rebuilt; reforms are being made to foster efficiency of public institutions, policies are being implemented to create jobs, to grow food production, and to reduce significantly poverty. And above all he tried to reconcile his people. It seems he has a vision for his country: Development through good governance. It simply means the good use of public funds for the benefit of the people. When a leader is conscious of his job: Govern for the interest of the people he has the privilege to lead; it is likely that he will lead his country on the path of democracy and economic development.
What Africa needs the most is leaders who are really concerned with the prosperity and economic development of their nation. Leaders who have a vision for their country who do their best to lead their country on the path of democracy and economic development should be encouraged and supported. I believe it is the only way to overcome poverty in Africa. Africa should not expect much from aid or a Marshall plan. Africa should rely on its own resources. The western countries are likely to experience severe economic, energy and even political crisis in the coming years. So this is the opportunity for Africa to rise up and shine.
African financial dependence over western countries should reduce now significantly. The economic crisis occurring now in the world is called a systemic crisis. It means the crisis spreads to any area which is linked to the main source of the crisis. If Africa reduces significantly its dependence with the western countries it is likely that Africa be less hit by any major crisis which may occur in the western countries. Africa has to break the chains of dependency with the western countries in order to free his young population which is desperate and looking for better living.
Poverty reduction is possible only if African leaders become more concerned with their people needs. They should invest their time and energy to help their people improve their standard of living rather than misusing their nation's wealth. People also should be wise and elect leaders who will be accountable to them and would never deceive them, even though it is difficult to know (the case of Senegal).