The Economist: A Hopeful Continent – A Summary

Throughout the article, the correspondent travels Africa to document the state of the countries that are seen as impoverished, war-torn nations that are impossible to reconcile into civilization. Statistics that the number of democratic nations in Africa from the Cold War to the present day shows that there were only three were democratic has now risen to over twenty, with twenty-two holding elections for president or prime minister. Chinese trade has increased from $11 to $116 billion; while some of this money is still stolen to be put into the pockets of corrupt officials, this new income has gone towards the construction of schools and hospitals, infrastructure, and social programs. This infrastructure has made the continent more easily traversed, and cell-signal is nearly constant across the continent. Borders can be crossed with on-site or through the capital visas that are purchased for a few dollars.

War-ravaged countries do still exist, such as Guinea-Bissau, however, the number of armed conflicts, near thirty after the cold war, has reduced to a little over ten. Sierra Leone is experiencing fewer murders than NYC, partly due to the ban on private guns. Since this ban, newfound peace has given UN peacekeepers the chance to leave Sierra Leone to help Sudan instead. The correspondent writes, “Peace isn’t here yet, but it’s on its way.”

Governments are becoming more educated, the bar of political debates is rising, but some problems are fixed easier using bribes instead of meetings. Embezzlement of export incomes still causes problems, but some money is still reaching communities in countries such as Kenya through the construction of previously mentions amenities and infrastructure. Africa’s landlocked central countries still face the worst poverty and conditions in the continent. These countries sit on a wealth of natural resources, and private organizations and the government fight for individual mines and ports. Money from these ventures would go towards improvements in these countries, but each side beefs up their fighting power to keep the other side in check. Algeria jails political dissidents and exists without democratic elections. Due to a lack of trade, and therefore a lack of income, these countries remain in the poverty-stricken state they have had for decades.

Even though there are still many problems that all of Africa faces, the continent as a whole is on an economic rise, governments are learning to control their states while allowing their citizens to create a life for themselves. Tech startups are pushing for a more advanced continent, investors are reaching out to take advantage of untapped markets, and the GDP of nearly every country is increasing yearly. Cold War Africa is a thing of the past, and people are realizing this slowly, but surely.

Leave a Reply