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There  is something very addictive about Africa so I thought i would write  a little something more for myself than anyone else. Despite what i write here, Africa is beautiful..

The last five months have opened my eyes in a way that i never thought, to the inequallities that exist here. It is complicated. That’s  true. But it is the combination of policies adopted during the colonial period and the hangover from that, combined with continued  exploitation of Africa by powerful foreign governments. Add to this a mix of corruption and poor education and you have a recipie for what we see now.

There are guerillas and mafia fighting for the minerals in the Congo against the unarmed Congoless military. Corrupt Governments pocketing aid money. Not to mention on the other end western governments and ngo’s (who have made a business out of poverty) pocketing large sums to boot from unsuspecting tax payers. Add to this mountains of African beauracracy with government workers trying to justify their unnecessary  jobs and tribal tensions. It gets messy.

To boot, in the Congo you have pockets of rebels rapeing and killing villagers who are displaced and eventually move to usaid camps that receive money from the same foreign powers that are funding the guerillas indirectly through aid donations. Ironically, coltan from the Congo is probably in the phone that i am writing this message on.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Caught in the middle of all this are the children. Some of whom are sex slaves, groomed as child soldiers, or just plain sold.

Add to this, rampant HIV rates, loads of prostitution and alcoholism and shortsightedness and you have what is going on here.

It is sad. But at the same time there  is hope, because if there is no hope then there is nothing. To be honest aid is what is enslaving Africa. That is my view and i am not alone in my thinking. Aid funds corrupt governments and keeps the cycle of poverty important motion. It is not the answer. Africa needs to be helped by not giving but teaching, not just English, but good business practices so they can develop organically. They need more competent teachers at their schools and universities so they can develop their economies without being taken advantage of by the west and their own corrupt leaders.

There is much more i would like to say, and the remedy for all these problems is complex but i will leave it there.

As i said this continent is addictive. Once you receive that warm African smile you’re in.

I am looking forward to discovering more.

Africa - I love it!

This post first appeared on Switched On Backpackers, please read the originial post: here

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