African leaders should do what's right for their people

EDITOR — Africa, despite it being rich in resources remains the poorest continent in the world.  The land issue is a major problem in Africa, with many African countries having confused land ownership such that vast useful land remains underutilised or unused —  and in some African countries where rainfall is unreliable, there is still little or no irrigation of land. Africa’s natural resources have also been mostly monopolised by European and American companies, largely taking money out of Africa.

Land degradation, largely due to poor land management, has mostly been worsening in recent years. Financial aid going to African countries has often been mostly emergency food aid for short-term help for famines, and any long-term aid has often been misappropriated for personal wealth by corrupt officials. 

Where useful financial aid has been supplied to African countries it has often been in the form of loans with high interest rates that leave the poor countries debt-ridden. Africa has to date attracted little foreign investment though much of that has been more stable long-term European investment as in mining.

The terms of trade set by rich countries tend often to exploit poor countries and offer unfairly low prices for their exports of commodities such as tea, coffee, bananas and their other export products. Foreign businesses operating in Africa also often do not help the local economy as much as they easily could help. 

Some of these problems are of course not unique to Africa and are seen also in some non-African poor countries.
Education, medicine and drinking water are also major problems in poor African countries — as well as transport and energy. 

Diseases like HIV/Aids, malaria and cholera are widespread with the latter two involving poor water systems. In some African countries a lack of adequate medical services is exacerbating the poverty situation for many families.

It is my prayer that the leadership in Africa does what is right for its people.

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