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Innocent Ukomba

Visionary, inChrist

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Can donor funding really fix African challenges, or should we empower African communities to address their own challenges?

Charity gives but does not really transform. For a very long time, donor assistance has been chanelled through to Africa and that really hasnt changed much. Could it be possible to birth a generation of people who are willing to be empowered with means of generating income that eventually get channeled back into communities for purposes of delivering renewal and transformation? How do we get communities to participate in the engineering of a promising future both for the continent and individual nations?

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  • Feb 3 2013: My comment may very well be an ignorant one, as I freely admit I don't have a deep understanding of what the people of Africa face. From what I can see, the root of the problem is that the majority of the continent is dry... There is little in the way of water & vegetation in many areas. Drought & famine are common. From this disadvantage, many more problems arise... Like infighting for resources, lack of education, lack of infrastructure & government support. Etc...

    I often wonder why the people living in the hardest hit areas try to have families? Why bring a child into it? Perhaps the limited resources the land has to offer is a reality some countries in Africa have to face, & they should keep their populations at sustainable levels?

    I say until the situation improves(hopefully technology will come to the rescue one day in form of cheap renewable power) countries would best serve themselves best by ignoring the Catholic Church, rubber up, and only have small families & only when times are good.
    • Feb 4 2013: Darren,i dont agree with you on drought and famine and little vegetation idea...
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      Feb 5 2013: Hello Darren.

      I disagree with you.
      The root of the problem is definitely not related to desertification.
      Africa is the most fertile continent, with 60% of the world's uncultivated arable land and more arable land than the continents with the highest populations.
      It is hard to grow food in many regions (cold and hot) of the world, so that is not the problem.

      As for the lack of education and infrastructures, yes - governments are inefficient, but we must not forget that the majority of African countries were colonies until 60 or less years ago. After centuries of colonization without relevant investment in education, there is lot of work to be done in order to catch up with the rest of the world.

      As for population sizes - you should research more. Families are larger because 1) a high percentage of children die very soon, 2) one's children are one's labor force and 3) there are no contraceptives available at large scale. The land resources are not limited, their exploitation is.

      Bottom line, the problem is leadership - once governments start doing their work, things will improve radically.

      Cheers!
      • Feb 6 2013: Well I thought I might be wrong... Or at least, too general. Your response inspired me to do a little research. My initial comment was based only on what I'd seen on tv etc...

        With fully 1/3 of Africa the Sahara desert. then there's the kalahari being vegetated, but without water, it was easy to assume the continent dry overall. Obviously there are exceptions.

        Australia is the driest continent, yet is doing very well. Its east coast has great rainfall averages & holds the majority of the countries population.

        So assuming we're only talking about fertile lands. My research says that poor farming practises, caused by a combination of poor education & population pressures... Along with natural causes, is causing vital mineral nutrients to disappear from the soil. This means if things continue as they are, food will become harder and harder to grow, whilst the population will continue to increase for the reasons you pointed out. Doesn't sound very good.

        It sounds to me you know what the problems are, and what needs to change. I wish I could suggest something helpful, but like you said, it's the leadership that's the problem.

        Maybe I'm kidding myself, but I'd like to think that if I was a young man there, Facing all these issues... I would concentrate on the basics. All a person needs to survive is food, water & somewhere safe to call home. If there is fertile land & water as you say... Then plants can be grown & animals raised. Screw sending my children to work for some exploitive rich person. I wouldn't have any kids until my own land could support them too. Are people allowed to do this if they wish, or is all the land divided & owned already?

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