Africa a declining continent hit by poverty and Aids

Current events in Africa make for very depressing reading.

Current events in Africa make for very depressing reading.

Economically, Africa is considered a marginalised and poor continent. Few studies of the continent leave much room for hope. We read about a collapsing continent.

The image of a shipwrecked continent seems to sum up the perceptions of Africa - synonymous with poverty, corruption and fraud, the home of violence, conflict and genocide.

The seemingly never-ending cycle of poverty, coups and squandered resources lead distant observers to wonder if Africa will ever overcome its immense problems.

Africa has travelled far since decolonisation began, going from the land of promise during the 1960s to the land of despair and ruin during the 2000s.

The failure of democracy and economic development in Africa are to a large part due to the scramble for wealth by predator elites who have dominated African politics since independence. Aids, if left unchecked, will decimate and destroy Africa. As HIV-Aids sweeps mercilessly through these lands - the fiercest trial Africa has yet endured - very few leaders try to address the terrible depredation.

The victims don't cry out. Doctors and obituaries do not give the killer its name. Families recoil in shame. Many African leaders shirk responsibility. Their stubborn silence heralds victory for the disease, denial cannot keep the virus at bay.

Farouk Araie, Johannesburg

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