Sub-Saharan Africa: a Threat to Global Stability

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Geoffrey A. Smith
Poli. Sci. 7 section #3053
Prof. Melvin Aaron
June 31 2012

Sub-Saharan Africa: A Threat to Global Stability
Still recovering from malicious colonialism, the southern half of Africa has incurred several other factors contributing to the regions underdevelopment. The southern half has a general inability to contain AIDS, corruption, and war in the region. Racism is still prevalent, there are dire food shortages, and to add, there is mounting debt in almost every country in the southern part of the continent. For decades, these issues have plagued the region, yet, there is little or no aid being pumped in to uplift the area, nor is there any end in sight. But what kind of threat does this pose for global stability? In failing to resolve these problems decade after decade, the southern half of Africa is only further pushing towards global instability. Constant warring, human rights issues and corruption keep the vicious cycle going. With the problems of the southern nations continuing, violence is spreading unimpededly, contributing to global instability.

Colonialism’s Mark
By way of the colonial powers Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, and Portugal, the southern nations were divided neglectfully. Those lines of division still stand today, making up the borders of the 15 nations included in the region. When they were initially split between the colonial rulers, there was disregard of culture, religion, and tribes. Which has led to civil wars and is related to being the root cause of many other problems. [1]The colonial rulers were also able to institutionalize their own legislation which has kept the natives from progressing all these years http://exhibitions.nypl.org/africanaage/essay-colonization-of-africa.htmllater. After decolonization, nations were left to fend for themselves (few allies, separation from the Western World). There were little or no foreign investors, the people were not educated, there was a lack of trained personnel, and all these problems give explanation to why Africa is so underdeveloped today. Using Zimbabwe as an example, although much of the arable land owned in the country (73%), prior to the year 2000, was owned by a dismal 0.3% white minority[2]. The whites in the country retained a monopoly over agriculture, which led to the land reforms of 2000. The Zimbabwean government began stripping land from white owners and redistributing it to black natives. But these land reforms in Zimbabwe led to distaste from foreign investors, a decrease in foreign aid, and poor agricultural production. The new black farmers did not have the experience or proper know how to work the lands for massive production, and the markets that were there for Zimbabwe’s agricultural products, were now gone. The international view on the way the reforms were handled, single handedly scared away possible income along with support from the West, causing inflation and sending the country deep into debt. [3]Similarly, in South Africa, 87% of land was still in the hands of the minority white owners, following the end of the apartheid period there. And it was through the colonial influence from which apartheid could flourish and exist from 1948 to 1994. It wasn’t until rather recently, blacks began to populate the middle class in South Africa. The hegemonic racial class in these nations are just recently beginning to reflect the demographics of the population. But it may take years to fully recover from colonization’s effects, which has set back the society and hindered its development.

Incurable Debt
Structural Adjustment Programs offered by the World Bank and IMF, have turned out to be traps rather than economically beneficial for most African countries. Made in and predominantly run by the Western aligned U.S., both the World Bank and IMF appear to be a form of neocolonialism. They offer loans in packages to developing countries under conditions that benefit Western corporations and governments,...
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